Better futures for young lives with epilepsy and associated conditions

A- A A+
Contact us: 01342 832243
Helpline: 01342 831342
Donate Now

Menu

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) is a small device, similar to a cardiac pacemaker that is implanted under the skin near the left collar bone.

It is connected via a lead to the vagus nerve in the neck. By stimulating the nerve at regular intervals, it can reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures.

The device may also be activated by the patient or carer placing the special VNS therapy magnet over the device for about a second - if applied at the onset of a seizure; this may interrupt a seizure or reduce its severity.

It can be used alongside other treatments for epilepsy, such as medication and dietary treatments and it is often used for frequent, reoccurring seizures.

Side-effects are usually mild and can almost always be reduced with an adjustment of the settings. Hoarseness, throat discomfort, coughing and swallowing difficulties can be side-effects but these may be intermittent and often settle over time.

Any improvement in seizure control may not be seen until 6 to 12 months after the device has been fitted, with the full effect taking up to 18 months.

Helpline

Our dedicated Helpline can provide information and support for treatment of epilepsy. For a private, confidential chat, call us on 01342 831342 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Image of helpline numbers
Star Icon

Star Fact!

The numbers of young people who are 25 years and under with epilepsy is around 112,000.

Cyber EssentialsFundraising RegulatorYoung Epilepsy is the operating name of The National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy (NCYPE).
Registered Charity number 311877 (England and Wales)

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Policy.

I accept cookies from this site

EU Cookie Directive Plugin Information