Vagus nerve stimulation isn't a cure for epilepsy. Most people with epilepsy won't stop having seizures or taking epilepsy medication altogether after the procedure.
But many will have fewer seizures, up to 20 to 50 percent fewer. Seizure intensity may lessen as well.
It can take as long as 18 months of vagus nerve stimulation before you notice any significant reduction in seizures. Vagus nerve stimulation may also shorten the recovery time after a seizure.
People who've had vagus nerve stimulation to treat epilepsy may also experience improvements in mood and quality of life.
Research is still mixed on the benefits of vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of depression.
Some studies suggest the benefits of vagus nerve stimulation for depression accrue over time, and it may take several months of treatment before you notice any improvements in your depression symptoms.
In addition, vagus nerve stimulation doesn't work for everybody, and it generally isn't meant to replace traditional treatments.
Additionally, some health insurance carriers may not pay for this procedure.
Studies of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease, migraine and multiple sclerosis, have been too small to draw any definitive conclusions about how well it may work for those problems. More research is needed.