Thursday, August 6, 2015

Epilepsy cure through surgery

On 10th of May an article was published in our local media about surgery, an option for a cure to epilepsy. This article led me to read more about the pros and cons of surgery. Below are some pointers that are shared by Epilepsy Action, UK.

Success rates for epilepsy brain surgery

The success rate depends on the type of surgery. Many children stop having seizures after epilepsy surgery. If they do still have seizures, they usually have a lot fewer than before. If seizures continue, most children will usually continue to take their epilepsy medicine. Children who have a temporal resection usually do better than those who have an extra-temporal resection.

Benefits and risks

Although the tests before epilepsy brain surgery are very thorough, it’s still not always possible to predict what the risks are for each child. However, the test results will help the doctors decide whether to recommend surgery for your child. They will be able to discuss this with you fully before any decision about surgery is made.

Doctors will only go ahead with epilepsy brain surgery if the tests show that the benefits are likely to be higher than the risk of complications. The risks depend on the type of epilepsy brain surgery. Here are some possible risks.

Memory problems

The temporal lobes handle memory and language. This means that any surgery on the temporal lobes can cause difficulties in remembering, understanding and speaking. The memory problems can be for things that a child has seen (‘visual memory’) or for things that a child has heard (‘verbal memory’).

More seizures than before

Cutting the connections between the two hemispheres (sides) of the brain in corpus callosotomy stops seizures spreading from one hemisphere to the other. However, it doesn’t stop all the seizures, only the drop attacks. In fact, some children may have more focal (partial) seizures, but they are less severe.

Visual symptoms

After hemispherectomy (where the outer layer of one half of the brain is removed), a child’s vision may be reduced or they may have double vision. This is usually temporary. They may also have some difficulties with their peripheral vision. This may be temporary or permanent and will depend on how much of the brain has been removed.

One-sided paralysis

After hemispherectomy (where the outer layer of one half of the brain is removed), a child may have limited use of one side of their body. This one-sided paralysis is called a hemiparesis or hemiplegia. Physiotherapy and occupational therapy can help with this.

Behavioural problems

Some children may have had behavioural problems before the surgery. Or they may have had problems communicating or relating to other people. Epilepsy surgery itself will probably not help these problems. It is even possible that in a very few children, these problems may become a little worse.

Article Link:

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