What are the possible hardware-related complications of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of Parkinson disease (PD)?

Updated: Dec 09, 2020
  • Author: Konstantin V Slavin, MD; Chief Editor: Brian H Kopell, MD  more...
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Hardware-related complications include malfunction of the implantable pulse generator (IPG), breakage or displacement of the lead, skin erosion, superficial infections, and device fractures. These complications can occur in up to 25% of patients and generally require additional surgery. Misplacement of the lead may occur in approximately 10% of patients and require additional surgery to correct lead placement. Systematic review of hardware-related complications showed that the most common hardware-related complications were infections (5.12% of patients), followed by lead migration (1.6%), lead fracture (1.46%), IPG malfunctions (1.06%), and skin erosions without infections (0.48%). [45]

Although not considered a complication per se, replacement of the device’s battery generally is required every 3–5 years, and this process necessitates additional outpatient surgery.

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