Infections in deep brain stimulation: Shaving versus not shaving

Felix Gubler*, L. Ackermans, Pieter Kubben, A. Damci, Mark Kuijf, Mayke Oosterloo, Jeroen Vermeulen, Sarah Hescham, E. Kocabicak, E. Kurt, Yasin Temel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background:To report our experience of infections in deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgeries comparing shaving versus no shaving of cranial hair. Nonshaving is strongly preferred by patients due to aesthetic and psychological factors.

Methods:This study is a prospective follow-up of the infection rate in 43 nonshaven DBS cases between April 2014 and December 2015 compared to our former infection rate with shaving in our center. Minimum follow-up was 6 months. All patients, except 7 epilepsy patients, received implantation of the electrodes together with the extension cables and internal pulse generator in one session.

Results:In 43 nonshaven patients, a total of 81 electrodes were implanted or revised with a mean follow-up of 16 months. One patient (2.32%) developed an infection of the implanted DBS-hardware and was treated with antibiotics.

Conclusion:In our experience nonshaving of cranial hair in DBS surgery does not lead to more infections when compared to shaving. We have changed our protocol to nonshaving based on these findings.

Keywords: Complication, deep brain stimulation, infection, shaving
Original languageEnglish
Article number249
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Neurology International
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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