Frequency of the use of vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of intractable epilepsy during the first year of public health insurance coverage with in Kyushu Rosai Hospital and other areas in Japan

Takato Morioka, Tetsuro Sayama, Takashi Shimogawa, Takeshi Hamamura, Kimiaki Hashiguchi, Kensuke Kawai, Nobutaka Mukae, Nobuya Murakami, Tomio Sasaki

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Vagus nerve Stimulation (VNS) is a palliative treatment for medically intractable epilepsy and has been covered by public health insurance in Japan since July 1, 2010. The frequency of the use of VNS during the first year of insurance coverage was determined by assessing the number of cases for which VNS was performed in Kyushu Rosai Hospital, the number of registered cases, and the questionnaire survey filled by 68 surgeons who are board certified as both epileptologists and neurosurgeons. VNS devices were placed in 98 patients from July 2010 to June 2011. These devices were placed in an average of 4.4 patients per month from July 2010 to November 2010 and in an average of 10.9 patients from December 2010 to June 2011. However, we did not observe an increasing trend. Almost all of the surgeries were performed in the Kanto (56 patients in 8 institutes) and Tokai (24 patients in 2 institutes) areas. VNS was not performed in many institutes primarily because VNS was not indicated for any of the patients. The questionnaire survey indicated that the use of VNS was likely to increase with an increase in the number of neurologists who decide on performing VNS preoperatively and regulate the conditions of the vagus nerve stimulator postoperatively. In conclusion, VNS is currently being applied in a limited number of institutes in the Kanto and Tokai areas, and a close association between the epileptologists and neurologists during preoperative and postoperative periods will increase the use of VNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-687
Number of pages7
JournalBrain and Nerve
Volume64
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology

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