Description of Medical ServiceVagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS® Therapy) Therapy is an adjunctive non-pharmacologic treatment for patients with drug-resistant partial or generalised epilepsy which can improve seizure control and quality-of-life for patients with epilepsy.
VNS® Therapy involves insertion of a small pulse generator (similar to a pacemaker) under the skin in the left chest wall and a lead attached to the left vagus nerve in the neck, to deliver precisely timed and measured electrical stimulation to the left vagus nerve. Using an external programming system (hand-held computer, software and wand), neurologists can adjust the timing and amount of stimulation the patient receives.
VNS® Therapy results in a decrease in both the rate and severity of seizures for patients where no other therapy is available.
Description of Medical ConditionEpilepsy is a disorder characterised by unprovoked recurrent seizures, a neurological state in which a region (focus) of the brain or the entire brain develops abnormal, hypersynchronous neuronal discharges. Seizures are classified as either generalised (whole brain involved from onset) or partial (regional or focal seizure onset). For the majority of patients, seizures are adequately controlled with Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AEDs). Approximately 30% of epilepsy patients do not respond to medical treatment and are termed “refractory” despite treatment with a combination of AEDs.
Reason for ApplicationNew MBS item
Medical Service TypeTherapeutic
Previous Application Number1358
PICO ConfirmationAs per Application 1358
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