I met with several patients this week to discuss their personal journey to making the decision to pursue DBS surgery. Not surprisingly, they were well educated about their disease and treatment options.
Each patient reminded me that there is a lot of information and misinformation about surgery for movement disorders.
The most important advice I can give any patient or family is to be your own best advocate when making this decision. Never allow a friend, relative, or healthcare provider to be your quality of life spokesperson. For example, one may tell you “you are not ready, or “it is too dangerous” or even “your symptoms are not bad enough”.
The decision to choose DBS surgery starts with an objective conversation about risks, benefits, and alternatives with a physician who has expertise in DBS.
The goal of surgery is always to improve your quality of life, as measured by you the patient, your family, and nobody else.