Cosmetic considerations for placement of deep brain stimulation pulse generator: the submammary subfascial approach

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2023 Mar;165(3):735-739. doi: 10.1007/s00701-022-05450-0. Epub 2022 Dec 14.


Introduction: Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective treatment for a number of debilitating neurological diseases. However, the placement of an implantable pulse generator (IPG) can lead to significant cosmetic concerns for some patients.

Methods: We present a subfascial technique of DBS IPG implantation under the breast using a more concealed scar location. The technique is illustrated in a female patient who favored a more aesthetic placement of the DBS to treat essential tremor. Relevant literature of this approach from both breast augmentation and cardiac pacemaker implantation was reviewed.

Results: An excellent cosmetic outcome was demonstrated, and reviewing the literature, implanting under the pectoralis major fascia has the potential benefit of reducing complication rates associated with silicone implant placement in the plastic surgery literature when compared to other planes.

Conclusions: The subfascial implantation of IPG was described. This plane, which is used routinely in breast augmentation, has the potential to decrease complication rates compared to placement in the subglandular plane. An inframammary incision provides patients with concerns about the scar and stigmata associated with an infraclavicular location of DBS generator a better cosmetic outcome.

Keywords: Breast; Deep brain stimulation; Implantable pulse generator; Submammary; Subfascial.

MeSH terms

  • Cicatrix
  • Deep Brain Stimulation* / methods
  • Fascia
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures*
  • Treatment Outcome