Surgical Intervention

Epilepsy brain surgery may be an option to eliminate seizures or limit their severity, but it doesn’t work for everyone. It is considered when at least 2 types of antiepileptic medications have failed to control seizures or if the medication side effects are extreme and affect your quality of life.

Poorly controlled epilepsy can result in a number of complications and health risks during a seizure such as physical injuries, drowning if in a bath or swimming, depression and anxiety and developmental delays in children.

A brain surgery is most effective when seizures are of focal origin and can be clearly identified and where the area doesn’t control a critical function like language, movement, or sensation. An operation on the brain can control seizures by removing or altering the area that is causing them to improve your quality of life.

There are many types of brain surgeries, so depending on the type of seizure you have is the surgery that will be performed for you. A number of pre-surgical tests are necessary to determine whether or not you’re a candidate for epilepsy surgery. These tests may provide additional insight into the area of the brain affected by the seizures.

These tests include Video EEG, scalp Electroencephalogram (EEG), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Functional MRI (FMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG).

The results in seizure-free outcomes are for two thirds of people. Studies show that if you don’t have a seizure in the first year after surgery, while still on medication, the probability of being seizure-free at two years is 87-90 percent. If you’re still seizure-free at two years, the probability of being seizure-free is 95 percent at five years, 82 percent at ten years.

Your doctor may consider reducing your anti-epileptic medication and eventually taking you off it entirely, if you remain seizure-free for one year. Most people who do get a seizure after going off their medication are able to control them by resuming medication treatment.

Skip to content