✓Patients with epilepsy and an implanted vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) device who are referred for consideration of definitive epilepsy surgery (removal of the epileptogenic cortex) may require magnetoencephalography (MEG), a study requiring explantation of the pulse generator, as part of their evaluation. Nonetheless, these patients may not wish to abandon palliative VNS therapy should definitive surgery prove unsuccessful or impossible. To avoid obliteration of the pocket by scar tissue after the pulse generator is explanted, the authors have preserved the dead space in several patients with insertion of a similarly sized silicone block. This block is easily replaced with the pulse generator if continued VNS therapy is appropriate, and is left in place in patients who appear to no longer require VNS therapy.
Upon completion of MEG, if pulse generator replacement proves desirable, atraumatic retrieval of the electrode connector pin and body is easy. Silicone block implantation during what may prove to be temporary device explantation facilitates reuse of the original pulse generator implantation site and atraumatic distal electrode wire retrieval.