Surgery for Epilepsy

Normally in epilepsy the doctor will recommend a continued intake of seizure-preventing medicines. Once if it is proven that the conditions are not being improved with medication, then other means of treatment can be used like a surgery, a ketogenic diet, corresponding therapies or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). The aim of these epilepsy treatments are to avoid further seizures without any side effects as well as provide the patients with a normal and active life.

Proper treatment is mandatory to prevent further worsening the situation, when once diagnosed with epilepsy. Surgical procedures have been helpful in treating seizures in epilepsy successfully if the reason is some underlying correctable brain conditions.

Surgery has been used as a substitute for some patients whose seizures could not be restricted by mere medications. The recent increase in the surgical procedures to treat seizures shows that, it is an effective practice as well as a useful alternative to seizure medicines. However, the advantages of surgery has to be calculated carefully in opposition to its risks, as there is still no pledged assurance that the surgery will be successful in getting rid of seizures

Medication is mostly effective in controlling the seizures in epilepsy. However, for about 30 percent patients, they are not that effectual or the patient’s body is intolerable to such medications. For such cases a brain surgery may be helpful.

Epileptic surgery is a surgery conducted on the brain to treat seizures as well as to make better the individual’s quality of living. There are two major kinds of epileptic surgery:

  • Surgery to eliminate the area of the brain which is causing the seizures
  • Surgery to disrupt the nerve way which is causing the seizure impulses to spread throughout the brain

Surgery can be an option only if the part of the brain where the seizures began, known as the seizure focus, can be identified unmistakably, and if the part to be eradicated is not involved in any vital functions, like language, sensation or movement. Hence a thorough assessment as well as testing is needed to decide if the surgery would be appropriate.

Generally such kinds of surgery are conducted on individuals whose seizures are disabling or cannot be restricted by medication, or if the side effects of the medicines are greatly affecting the individual’s living. However, patients with serious medical issues like cancer or heart problems, generally are not considered for such surgery.


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