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Epilepsy surgery is a procedure that removes an area of the brain where seizures occur. Epilepsy surgery is most effective when seizures always occur in a single location in the brain. Its main goal is to decrease and ideally stop, the frequency and intensity of seizures one experiences.
How and why it is done?
The neurosurgeon surgically removes the brain tissues in the brain where seizures occur, usually at the site of a tumour, brain injury or malformation. Resective surgery is most often performed on one of the temporal lobes. There are multiple approaches to managing epilepsy, these include:
- Removing the part of your brain where the seizures start
- Using a laser to kill the nerve cells with heat energy at its source
- Disconnecting brain nerve cell communication to stop the spread of seizures to other areas of your brain
- Implanting a pacemaker-like device and electrodes that send electrical signals to block or disrupt seizure activity at its source
- Inserting delicate electrode wires (using robotic guidance) to record seizure activity deep in the brain
Comprehensive Epilepsy Program | Advanced Level 4 Centre | Dr. Sachin Sureshbabu
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Frequently Asked Questions
How do I decide whether to have the surgery?
You will have questions about deciding about and preparing for the surgery. To give you the full plan when deciding about having surgery, your doctor will explain to you about the potential risks of the kind of surgery you are having. Although your doctor can give you information and advice, the final decision is yours. To give you time to talk about how you are feeling about having surgery, you may be offered some form of pre-surgical counselling.
How long does it take to recover from epilepsy surgery?
In general, recovery after epilepsy surgery can take weeks to months. Though the hospital stay may be only a few days, it takes longer for the brain to heal, especially if an open surgery or craniotomy was done. Recovery from minimally invasive surgery or surgery to implant devices may be different.
Who are the best candidates for epilepsy surgery?
Epilepsy surgery is most successful in people:
- Whose seizures start and stay within one area of their brain.
- Whose surgery can be safely performed without causing new or additional problems in memory, speech, vision, and movement.