Carol Poe always had believed her weight issues were controlled by the brain, so in spite of the risks she enthusiastically agreed to participate in Dr. Don Whiting's study of deep brain stimulation. This is a surgery that is commonly used to treat Parkinson's.
On February 3, 2009, Dr. Whiting, associate professor of neurosurgery and co-director of neuromodulation, did brain surgery on Carol to study the procedure's effects on obesity. Although the prospect of brain surgery scares people, Whiting said the procedure is not as dangerous as it seems. "Deep brain stimulation like we've been using for Parkinson's disease has a 1 to 1.5 percent chance of a serious complication such as bleeding, stroke, coma or death," he said. "Compare that to gastric bypass surgery, which has a 4 to 5 percent chance of a serious complication happening."
Not to mention the fact that gastric bypass surgery has no effect on hunger or the metabolism, both of which are addressed by deep brain stimulation, Whiting said.
The doctors of Ruby Memorial Hospital hope the procedure eventually will be widely available for obese patients like Poe who have made every other effort to lose weight.
See, I am not crazy. I think I feel another surgery coming on!