Surgical Revision of Vagus Nerve Stimulation Electrodes in Children.
Use of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) has increased in the past decade, resulting in frequent revision cases for device failure. The authors report their series of children who underwent reimplantation of the VNS device after removal of old electrodes and leads. Patients with medically refractory seizures who underwent revision of VNS electrodes were included (n = 23). Twenty patients had high lead impedance and underwent removal of the device and replacement of the VNS electrodes during the same procedure. In 3 patients, electrodes and the device had been removed previously at an outside institution because of infection. None of the patients experienced any major complications. Mean operative time was 2.3 ± 0.9 hours. The reimplanted device worked well in all patients, and seizure control was similar to or better than that reported with the previous device. Thus, implantation of the VNS electrodes is reversible, and it appears that the electrodes can be removed or replaced safely if the device is not functioning properly.