The vagus nerve stimulator is a device, similar in size to a heart pacemaker, which is implanted in the chest with a lead that passes up to the neck and is placed around the vagus nerve. This device stimulates the vagus nerve for about 30 seconds every 5 minutes and has been shown to improve seizure control in people with uncontrolled seizures.
The device may take up to a year to show maximum benefit. This device requires an operation for insertion as well as for removal. The batteries require replacement approximately every 5 years entailing further surgery.