Epilepsy Surgery

Epilepsy Surgery

Approximately 30 percent of people with epilepsy will not be able to control their seizures with medication. A subset of these patients will be candidates for epilepsy surgery. During epilepsy surgery, a skilled neurosurgeon removes the region of the brain where seizures are originating. Patients who are being considered for surgery undergo extensive testing to locate the source of their seizures and to ensure that removing that region of the brain will not impact their speech, mobility or quality of life. Surgical procedures intended to eliminate, or greatly reduce, seizures that originate in a specific area include temporal lobectomy, cortical excision and modified hemispherectomy.

Palliative Surgery (Callosotomy)

Some surgical procedures are performed when the origin of seizures cannot be determined. The intent of these procedures is to limit the spread of seizures and to reduce the risk that uncontrolled seizures will cause injury to the patient. A callosotomy can be performed to sever the communication pathways between the left and right sides of the brain.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS)

VNS is a surgical treatment that involves wrapping a wire around the vagus nerve in the neck and connecting it to a generator implanted under the skin near the collarbone. A physician programs the generator device, which produces electrical signals that travel along the vagus nerve to the brain at regular intervals. The signals help prevent seizures.

Multiple Subpial Transections

This surgical procedure involves the creation of small incisions in the brain. The incisions interfere with the spread of seizure impulses. The procedure can be used alone or in combination with a lobectomy.

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