Epilepsy Surgery and Thereafter
Phase III– If the patient is thought to have potential benefit from the surgery with previous tests, the next step is the actual epilepsy surgery. It takes a long time and lots of testing before we can reach this point. We are very careful because we want to offer patients the best possible chance for controlling the seizures. We also want to be as sure as possible that we can do the operation safely and not cause any harm. The chance for a good result depends on many things. The evaluation allows us to tell our patients how possible a good outcome for them.
Phase IV– Surgery is not the end of the process. The recovery (Phase IV) is also an important time. We keep all our patients on antiepileptic medications for at least one to two years. We can never be absolutely sure that we have removed all the brain tissue that can cause seizures. However, the medications are usually able to work to control the seizures. The medications also help protect the brain as it heals. Many people never have another seizure after their operation. Some people have a few seizures immediately after the operation and then gain full control. Others will have fewer or less severe seizures. A few people see no improvement in their seizure control. There are no guarantees for this operation, but we try our best to give our patients the best chance possible. Whatever the outcome, we will continue to provide the care for our patients.