Pediatrics – Neurology
Epilepsy - Surgical Consultation and Therapy
Surgery to reduce or control seizures is a well established option for children and adults with epilepsy when medical therapies have failed.
Surgery may be considered when:
- Medications have failed to control seizures
- The seizures start from one part of the brain
- There is a localized lesion in the brain
- The surgery will not cause damage to important skills like speech, memory or motor function
Surgical evaluation is an extensive process that requires a multidisciplinary team including specialists in neurology, neurosurgery, neurophysiology, neuropathology and neuropsychology. A first step is inpatient EEG-Video monitoring to identify where seizures originate in the brain. Additional testing, such as a brain MRI, helps evaluate brain anatomy. We also perform functional studies like PET or SPECT scans.
The decision to proceed with a further surgical evaluation and/or intervention is made after each phase of the work-up and comprehensive review of the findings by the epilepsy team.
The choice of surgical procedure depends on the nature of the seizure syndrome. The resection can be small and limited or more extensive.
In addition to stopping or reducing the frequency of seizures, surgical goals are to reduce the amount of medications and improve the child’s development and quality of life.
Recent studies show that earlier surgical evaluation and intervention may increase the chances for a better overall outcome.