Statistic shows that there are estimated 200,000 newly diagnosed cases of epilepsy in the United States annually. Of course, this number indicates only the reported cases.
Further, not everyone within this number can control their seizures. Only 30% of them can manage their seizures completely with the help of anticonvulsant medication. And for the remaining 70% of them? Brain surgery comes as an option and worthy of serious consideration.
Epilepsy surgery includes neurosurgical procedure wherein the area of the brain where seizures originate is either stimulated, cut out or disconnected. The ultimate goal of this procedure is to completely eliminate seizures or reduce their burden.
Types of Surgery
There are 3 major types of the epilepsy surgery and these are the following:
- Surgery to disconnect the nerve pathways through which the seizure impulses are transmitted within the brain.
- Surgery to remove the particular area of the brain that produces the seizures.
- Surgery to implant a device that is used to treat epilepsy.
Patients with epilepsy are given by their doctors with at least two types of anti-seizure drugs. If these two fail them, there will be further observations, debate or combination of medications to maximize seizure control but minimize the side effects. If these methods are proven to be void of help, the patient can then be considered by his or her doctor for the surgery.
On the other hand, if the seizures are focused in one location that’s too vital to remove, the surgeon may withdraw the recommendation for surgery.
Effectiveness and Risks
The effectiveness varies from which case of epilepsy and type of surgery. Some patients do not experience any more seizures after the surgery. Some are merely reduced; others are not successful and are recommended for a re-operation; while most still needed their medications.
Apparently, when surgeries are mentioned, discussion about risks is also brought out. One must need to consider every factor regarding this subject and must have the courage to undergo this procedure.