Surgery & tremor
Surgery and tremor
Surgical intervention in essential tremor has been used for over 50 years, and is used for those patients who have particularly severe/disabling tremor and do not respond to medication.
About 50% of severely affected essential tremor patients have medication-resistant symptoms or are intolerant to medication, so that brain surgery is an option. In order to alleviate tremor in a patient’s right arm, surgery is performed on the left side of the brain and vice versa for the left arm.
- The main risks of this type of surgery, when performed in a neurosurgical centre by a specialist functional neurosurgeon, are a 1/1000 risk of death
- 3% risk of a bleed within the skull
- 1% risk of a stroke.
Success of surgery
- Long-term studies have shown that tremor control can be maintained for up to six years after deep brain stimulation.
- The effects of deep brain stimulation on the patient’s thought processes, mood state and quality of life after up to 6 years are mainly positive.