NICE has been notified about this procedure and it is part of its work programme. The Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee (IPAC) will consider this procedure and NICE will issue an interventional procedures consultation document about its safety and efficacy for 4 weeks’ public consultation. IPAC will then review the consultation document in the light of comments received and produce a final interventional procedures document, which will be considered by NICE before guidance is issued to the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Status In progress
Process IP
ID number 806
Description Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes into specific target areas of the brain. Although the mechanisms of action are not fully understood, the aim of the procedure is to reduce or suppress seizure frequency. A potential advantage of the procedure is its reversibility. It is an option for some patients with medically refractory epilepsy when resective surgery is not indicated. Deep brain stimulation for epilepsy is done using general or local anaesthesia. A stereotactic frame may be used. Imaging (MRI or CT) is used to identify the target area of the brain (most commonly the anterior nucleus of the thalamus but may include the centromedian thalamic nucleus, hippocampus and nucleus accumbens). One or more small holes are drilled in the skull and electrodes are implanted into the target area. The electrodes are connected to an implantable neurostimulator by means of leads that are tunnelled under the skin of the neck and scalp. The neurostimulator is surgically placed into a subcutaneous pocket below the clavicle. Postoperative imaging is usually used to confirm the location of the electrodes. A handheld remote-control programming unit is used to turn the neurostimulator on or off, adjust stimulation parameters, and monitor activity.

Email enquiries


Key events during the development of the guidance:

Date Update
07 January 2020 - 04 February 2020 Interventional procedure consultation

For further information on how we develop guidance, please see our page about NICE interventional procedures guidance