Epilepsy surgery is a clinical procedure that removes a particular area of the brain where the seizures occur. It is an effective surgery when the seizures occur in a single location in the brain. Medical practitioners will not suggest you epilepsy surgery for the first time, They will suggest you when at least two anti-seizure medications have failed to control the problem. Usually, medical experts suggest epilepsy surgery when medications do not control seizures. The main objective of epilepsy surgery is to stop seizures without the use of medications. If your epilepsy is poorly controlled, it can bring several complications and health risks such as depression, anxiety, drowning, developmental delays in children, and worsening in memory.
Epileptic seizures are due to the abnormal activity of certain neurons. The type of surgery based on the location of the neurons that stimulate the seizure and the age of the patient. The types of the surgery are
Resective Surgery: It is the common epilepsy surgery that involves removal of a small portion of the brain. The medical practitioner removes the brain tissue by cutting in the area of the brain where seizures occur. This surgery is performed on one of the temporal lobes, which is the area that controls visual memory, emotions, and language.
Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy(LII): This surgery uses a laser to pinpoint and destroy some specific areas of brain tissue. To guide the laser surgeon, Magnetic Resonance Imaging( MRI) is used.
Deep Brain Stimulation: In this surgery, a device is permanently implanted inside the brain to release electrical signals regularly and the generator that sends the electrical signal is implanted in the chest.
Corpus Callosotomy: This surgery is used to remove the part of the brain that connects nerves on the left and right sides of the brain.
Hemispherectomy: It is a clinical procedure carried out to remove hemisphere of the cerebral cortex. This surgery is normally reserved for children who experience seizures from the birth.
Different sections of the brain have different types of functions. Hence, the risks vary based on the type of surgery and surgical sites. Your medical team will help you understand the specific risks of your procedure, and the surgeries used to reduce the risk of complications. Some of the risks are stroke, headache, depression, visual impairment and memory related problems.
Medical team will conduct several tests to find your eligibility for surgery, find the appropriate surgical sites and understand in detail how that specific region of your brian functions. Some of these tests are Video EEG, Baseline electroencephalogram(EEG), Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI), Positron Emission Tomography(PET), and Single-photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT).
The results of epilepsy surgery will vary based on the type of surgery performed. Then you need to follow medication to control seizure. If you do not have a seizure in the first year after temporal lobe surgery after taking medication, then you are free from seizure.