Expanding Horizons Vascular Surgeons Train in New York on Vagus Nerve Stimulation

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Vascular surgeon’s world-wide participated in a six-hour training course today reviewing the techniques and requirements to perform Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (VNS) during the 32nd annual VEITHsymposium.™ The FDA recently approved VNS for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). This treatment requires surgical implantation of a device by a procedure similar to a carotid endarterectomy performed by a vascular surgeon.

Vascular surgeon’s world-wide participated in a six-hour training course today reviewing the techniques and requirements to perform Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy (VNS) during the 32nd annual VEITHsymposium.™ The FDA recently approved VNS for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). This treatment requires surgical implantation of a device by a procedure similar to a carotid endarterectomy performed by a vascular surgeon.

Frank J. Veith, M.D., the William J. von Liebig Chair in Vascular Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center and Professor and Vice Chairman of Surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, (Bronx, NY) said, “Vascular surgeons possess all the skills and training to perform VNS because of their extensive knowledge and understanding when it comes to operating within the carotid sheath. The vagus nerve lies deep and in between the common carotid artery and the jugular vein.”

This treatment offers hope to the millions who have failed to respond to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a combination of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies.” VNS therapy can be performed on patients 18 years of age and older who experience a major depressive episode, and have not had an adequate response to four or more antidepressant treatments. It is expected that over 80,000 implants will be performed within 4 years.        

An implanted pacemaker-like device delivers mild, intermittent pulsed signals to the patient’s left vagus nerve, which then activates various areas of the brain. The device is implanted in the patient’s left chest area. A thin thread-like wire, attached to the generator, runs under the skin to the left vagus nerve in the neck. The procedure takes approximately one to two hours. Physicians can adjust the stimulation duration, frequency and intensity.

About VEITHsymposium™: Now in its fourth decade, VEITHsymposium™ has been the epicenter of physician education for the global vascular community. This international congress attracts over 2,500 thought leaders in the field. More than 250 international clinician/educators present the latest topics, advances, and data and then validate these concepts through the dynamic interactive faculty/audience exchange that ends each session.

VEITHsymposium™ is sponsored by Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY) with CME credit issued by Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY).

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Pauline Mayer
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