Lesioning Procedures: Pallidotomy & Thalamotomy

Before the availability of deep brain stimulation, dystonia was treated surgically by creating permanent lesions in the brain.

Pallidotomy is a procedure that involves creating a therapeutic lesion in the globus pallidus. Thalamotomy creates a lesion in the thalamus. The lesion is made by heating the tip of an electrode and coagulating the intended tissue, or similar methods.

Although lesioning procedures are performed much less frequently than deep brain stimulation, these procedures may provide a reasonable alternative to deep brain stimulation for some patients, when offered by a qualified neurosurgical team.

Last updated: November 2021

Thank you to Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (USA) for allowing us to share this information. The DMRF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.

Last update: Nov 2021