Vianed Aldebol had experienced tremors for 10 years. After undergoing the focused ultrasound treatment, she is tremor-free.
UCF Lake Nona Hospital – Incisionless Brain Surgery
When Vianed Aldebol was diagnosed with essential tremor 10 years ago, it was a relief to finally have an official name for the trembling she had experienced since at least college. Now, after undergoing “life-changing” Incisionless Brain Surgery at UCF Lake Nona Hospital, the tremors she thought she’d live with for the rest of her life is gone.
Incisionless Brain Surgery, an innovative, scalpel-free therapy, uses focused ultrasound guided by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to direct targeted sound wave energy deep into the brain, treating the tissue that causes a tremor. No surgical incision or anesthesia is required.
Aldebol, a 42-year-old mom of two who works for Osceola County, said it took more than 10 years for her to finally reach a diagnosis of Essential Tremor.
“I was a guinea pig for many years,” she said. “None of my doctors knew what it was, and they tested me for everything, including thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. They gave me all kinds of medications that either made me sick or made me unable to function, so I slept all day.”
Once Aldebol was diagnosed, most medications used to treat Essential Tremor didn’t work for her. About three years ago, she switched neurologists, and they found a medication that tamed her tremors.
“Over the years, we increased the dose, but the tremors still never completely went away,” Aldebol said. “My neurologist also started doing more tests to identify what triggers my Essential Tremor, so I could avoid those activities and situations.”
Without the medication, her tremors were uncontrollable. On her worst days, her muscles would spasm, her ankles would lock, and she was unable to write or drive a car. Everyday activities like taking photos, texting and eating soup were difficult.
“When I got too excited at my son’s basketball games, my entire body would shake,” Aldebol said. “I could never cut my kids’ nails or give them medications. I couldn’t hold a glass to give a toast. I couldn’t paint my nails, put a necklace on or close safety pins. I would find earrings I could sleep in. Eyeliner, mascara and sometimes even lipstick were out of the question.”
Aldebol’s Essential Tremor affected every aspect of how she lived her life.
“I lived very self-consciously because I thought everyone would notice,” she said. “When people did notice, I would just say I was cold because I didn’t want to get into it.”
Then a co-worker saw that UCF Lake Nona Hospital had started offering Incisionless Brain Surgery and shared the information with her. About 15 minutes later, her parents called to tell her that they, too, had seen a story about it on the news.
“I immediately reached out to the hospital, and they responded to me the same day,” Aldebol said. “Everything happened so quickly, but my dad kept telling me that everything was meant to be. When I found out I was eligible, I started crying.”
Aldebol is claustrophobic, so she was nervous leading up to the procedure, as it’s completed inside the MRI machine.
“I started having a panic attack before it began, but the nurses were so incredible calming me down,” she said. “The staff talked me through the entire procedure and kept me calm, and one of the nurses held my hand the whole time. From there, it went so quickly, and I was very determined to get through all of the treatments because I wanted it to be successful.”
After the hour-long treatment was complete, Aldebol was overwhelmed with joy that the tremors were gone.
“I’ll be doing something normal at home, and suddenly I remember that I don’t tremble anymore and get teary-eyed,” she said.
“I thought I was going to live with the tremors the rest of my life. It all happened so quickly, but it was absolutely worth it. There are so many little things that people take for granted that people with Essential Tremor can’t do. This is the best possible outcome.”
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