Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery

December 10, 2019

Memorial Staff

Core Award Winners for December 2019

Two physicians who performed Memorial Healthcare System's first Deep Brain Stimulation surgery were the latest recipients of the Board of Commissioner's Excellence in Core Values Award.

Memorial Neuroscience Institute's Christopher DeMassi, MD, who is Chief of Adult Neurosciences and Neurosurgery Services, and Howard Kreger, MD, a neurologist, worked together with the clinical team to perform the first deep brain stimulation surgery at Memorial Regional Hospital.

They were both presented with the monthly Board of Commissioner's Excellence in Core Values Award during the board's November meeting.

The innovated surgery helps patients with Parkinson's disease.

During the two-part procedure, electrodes are placed on the left and right side of the brain through small holes made at the top of the skull.

A battery-powered stimulator is placed under the skin of the chest. The electrodes are connected by long wires that travel under the skin and down the neck to the battery-powered stimulator.

When activated, the stimulator sends electrical pulses intended to block faulty nerve signals which are the cause of tremors, rigidity, and other symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease.

The patient uses a handheld controller to turn the DBS system on and off. The doctor programs the stimulator settings through a wireless device.

Dr. DeMassi and Dr. Kreger spent months planning and preparing for this surgery. Many people and departments were involved, including the Imaging and Surgical teams.

Memorial is very proud to be able to provide DBS to our patients and our community, as it is available only at the most comprehensive healthcare centers that offer highly advanced technology and expertly trained physicians and staff.

Congratulations to Drs. DeMassi and Kreger, and the entire team involved in this extraordinary accomplishment. You exemplify our core values of innovation, teamwork and collaboration, as well as our vision of being a premier clinically integrated delivery system providing access to exceptional patient- and family-centered care, medical education, research and innovation for the benefit of the community we serve.