Happening Now

Barrow Surgeon Performs Milestone Surgery

July 5, 2016

Barrow’s Center for Neuromodulation director and neurosurgeon Francisco Ponce, MD, performed his 500th Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgery recently.

Cyndi Carver – a resident of Chandler, Arizona – underwent the procedure a few months ago to relieve her tremors, which made it difficult for her to perform everyday tasks.

Ponce has performed a total of 512 DBS surgeries to date—more than any other surgeon in the nation.

Deep Brain Stimulation is changing the lives of people with previously untreatable brain conditions. This therapy—a type of neuromodulation—can relieve the tremors, stiffness and slowness of Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia, and may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders.

During this surgery a pacemaker-like device called a neurostimulator is implanted under the skin in the chest and connected to an electrode in the brain. The battery-operated device is programmed to deliver electrical signals to the brain, regulating abnormal signals and providing symptom relief.

Dr. Ponce and his team at the Barrow Center for Neuromodulation are exploring treatments that restore or improve function by correcting abnormal electrical or chemical activity in the brain. Neuromodulation can be achieved in traditional ways via medication and through new approaches using nanotechnologies and genetic engineering.

The Barrow Center for Neuromodulation has been generously supported by many donors since its opening in 2011.