Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery


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Assessment for Deep Brain Stimulation is performed in the DBS Clinic at Toronto Western Hospital. This clinic is a part of The Edmond J. Safra Program in Parkinson’s Disease and the Morton and Gloria Shulman Movement Disorders Clinic. It is located in the McLaughlin Pavilion – 7th Floor.

Patients deemed appropriate to undergo DBS surgery have the implantation of the stimulating system performed in an operating room. Patients are admitted to the Pre-Operative Care Unit (POCU) on the 2nd floor Fell Pavilion on the morning of the procedure.


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What We Do

DBS is a treatment for many movement disorders (particularly for Parkinson's disease, dystonia, tremor and other involuntary movements) that can help patients when medication does not work well enough.

The target areas for DBS are small parts of the brain involved in making and controlling movements. DBS cannot cure these conditions or change the progression of the disease, but it can relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.

After all your screening assessments are done, your neurology team will:

  • Review the results of your assessments
  • Discuss whether your condition and needs can be helped with DBS surgery
  • Discuss what type of surgery would suit you best
  • Refer you to one of the neurosurgeons

Neurosurgery Evaluation

A few months after the referral to your neurosurgeon, you will meet them to:

  • Review the results of your assessments
  • Discuss the risks and benefits of having DBS surgery
  • Explain the details about the surgery and answer any questions you may have

Once you have met the neurosurgeon, all of the health care practitioners that have assessed you will meet to discuss your case and decide together whether you should have surgery. A member of the neurology team will call you to explain the decision.

If you agree to have DBS surgery, your neurosurgeon's office will schedule:

  • A visit for you to sign a consent form. Bring a family member or support person to this appointment.
  • A Pre-Admission Clinic visit to help you prepare for surgery.
  • Your DBS surgery.

How DBS Works

  1. You will have surgery done by the neurosurgeon to put the 3 parts of the DBS system inside your body.
    1. Electrodes. Electrodes are very thin wires placed deep inside your brain. The tip of each electrode is positioned in a specific part of your brain that is affected by your movement disorder.
    2. Extension wires. Extension wires are thin wires placed under the skin of your scalp, neck and chest. These wires connect the electrodes to the Internal Pulse Generator.
    3. Internal Pulse Generator (IPG or neurostimulator). The IPG is a battery like device put under the skin (implanted) in your chest, near your collarbone.
  2. Several weeks after surgery, your IPG is turned on.
    • The IPG creates electrical impulses and sends them up along the extension wires to the electrodes.
    • The tip of the electrodes delivers the electrical impulses to the target area in your brain. This stimulates the target area without damaging the brain.
  3. Your IPG is programmed to give you the best results.
    • ​This means adjusting the electrical impulses to the setting that best relieves your symptoms with as few side effects as possible.


Phone: 416 603 5800 ext. 5729


DBS Nursing Team
Phone: 416 603 5800 ext. 2356

DBS Administrative Assistant
Phone: 416 603 5800 ext. 6167​