Medtronics & St Judes offer 2 choices when contemplating DBS; the regular, and the recharchable batteries for the neurostimulator. (Implanted device).
A few weeks before the surgery, my neurologist asked me which I would prefer. We decided on the rechargeable one as I hope to live til 80+ (hah!), and that would mean 2 surgeries (every 9 years), as opposed to 8 (every 3).
The differences? Well, now after the event, I see that this is a point for lots of thought.
The main differences are as follows;
The regular battery lasts about 3 years, and one needs not to worry about maintenance until the 3 years is up.
The rechargeable battery needs to be replaced every 9 years. (I said "7" at the Conference, but a Metronics rep came to listen to my talk, and corrected me afterwards.)
In addition, the battery needs to be charged every one to three weeks. (Both need surgery to replace the battery.)
This is where the confusion came in.... it reminded me of the myths of recharging my Prius car when I purchased it about 9 years ago, and it was a totally new concept. Did I need to plug it into a powerpoint? One person on the Parkinson's website jokingly suggested there may be a USB port to plug into a computer for those of us who spend too much time on it!
NO! There is a device that one has to cover the neurostimulator with, and this recharges the battery. (left) This may take an hour or 2, and I recommend you do it whilst watching TV, or going on a long car journey.
This charger, (above), needs to be recharged... and this is where the excess hardware sets in.
This device (for both battery options), lives in my handbag, to be carried at all times. It can also turn the neurostimulator off and on, so handy if mistakenly turned off by a security scanner in a shop. (This has NEVER happened to me.) Some guys in my support group like to demonstrate the effectiveness of DBS, by turning their programmer on and off at meetings. I leave mine on at all times; after all I had the operation to feel better.
Finally, I'll leave you with an image of the area where my neurostimulator is planted. It does NOT protrude, and is barely noticeable. Bio Oil has kept scarring down.
I hope that I have not confused you too much; feel free to email me with any questions.
NB Please note that all above is my personal opinion, based on experience and reading.