SWITCHING TO VERCISE™ DBS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE: Bill D.’s DBS StoryCategory:
Bill D.’s DBS Story
For 69 year-old Bill Day, switching to the Boston Scientific Vercise DBS from his old DBS system made a world of difference.
He got his first DBS system about two and a half years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “My disease was progressing at a very rapid rate, and I felt I needed something more than a pharmaceutical solution.” A former CPA and Chief Financial Officer of a hospital, he found that he couldn’t open an envelope, type, or add up a column of numbers without making errors, not to mention the disruption of everyday activities of life like holding a fork, showering and shaving.
He went to see the neurosurgeon who had done back surgery on him several years earlier when he was implanted with two generators, one to control the right side of his body and one to control the left. He found the surgery to implant the leads in his brain to be “very simple. There was virtually no pain… and I was shocked at that!” Within six months of the surgery and adjustments, he was “probably about 80% back to what I considered normal.”
But the generators in his chest were “somewhat bulky and you could see them,” and he still had some physical issues. “My voice was getting softer and softer, and family members would ask me to repeat what I had just said, because they didn’t hear it. Eating certain foods would cause great difficulty in swallowing. I couldn’t really lift my left arm, and sometimes I would choke so much, on the old system, that I’d almost crawl on the floor just to get over it.”
After about eighteen months, he was at a family holiday party and “I noticed that I wasn’t walking properly, that some of my [Parkinson’s disease] symptoms were returning.” He found out it was because the batteries in his two generators had reached their end of service far earlier than the three to five years that he’d been told to expect.
A friend of his from an exercise group he belonged to had recently been implanted with a DBS at Bill’s urging, and when Bill saw him post-implant, he couldn’t believe his eyes. His friend had one generator, not two, and Bill couldn’t even see where it was in his chest. “I’m looking at him and said, ‘Did you really have the surgery?’ My friend had this lightweight battery that really wasn’t noticeable, and here [mine is] double the size, noticeable and heavier. My friend looked fantastic! I mean, you’d never know that he had the DBS, [except that now] his movements were really smooth.” Bill asked him which DBS system he had, and his friend enthusiastically told him that it was Vercise™ DBS.
Bill asked his doctor if he was a candidate to switch to Vercise DBS, and he was. In addition to being able to remove the two bulkier generators and go down to one, more compact generator, he learned that the Vercise DBS battery was rechargeable and would last at least fifteen years.
After Bill had his Vercise DBS implanted, he was amazed by just the physical change alone. “Before, I had two bulging [generators]. The other night I was [in bed], I didn’t feel anything in my chest. I didn’t sense it was even there.” But beyond that, there were all sorts of other surprises. “I didn’t anticipate that there would be improvement in the voice, improvement in my left arm, improvement in swallowing, and no more choking. Now, I’m [really] back to what I was like before I had Parkinson’s.”
For more information and other DBS patient stories Visit Boston Scientific in the Wellness Village at ParkinsonsResource.org/the-wellness-village/directory/boston-scientific/ where they have been members since April 2020.