Surgical Hope for Epilepsy Patients
Outstanding results can be obtained with proper treatment methods for epilepsy disease
Epilepsy can occur in the people at any age, including newborn. The first recommendation of doctors for the treatment is medications. In such conditions when the patient doesn’t respond to the treatment, doctors suggest that the surgical option should be discussed as soon as possible and considered as a last chance. Primarily, antiepileptic medications are used for the treatment of epilepsy. But, epilepsy surgery is decided for the patients with uncontrollable seizures. Prof. Nejat Akalan, MD of Medipol University Department of Neurosurgery gave important information about epilepsy surgery.
A PATIENT WITH DRUG RESISTANCE CAN BE A CANDIDATE FOR SURGERY
Is surgery required for every epilepsy patient?
The treatment of epilepsy is performed mainly with medications. In the other hand, any positive result can’t be obtained in some patients even with medication therapy. This condition indicates a spot which causes epilepsy in relevant patients, but not in others. If this focus has been detected and its removal won’t cause a neurological issue for the patients, surgical treatment is decided. Success can be achieved at least as much as medication therapy.
Prof. Akalan, MD explains the details of epilepsy surgery: “The first stipulation for an epilepsy patient to become a candidate for surgery is to have drug resistance. A patient who experiences seizures even he or she taking the medications in sufficient doses is practically considered as a candidate for surgery. After this decision, a spot that causes epilepsy in these patients is investigated. Discovering and removing this spot with recently developed methods and detecting the location of the spot that won’t cause an injury make the patient a natural candidate for epilepsy.
SEIZURES STOP WITH SURGERY
After the surgery, usually seizures stop in half of epilepsy patients with drug resistance. Soon, they can be benefited as they can live without medications. Akalın underlines the situations that the success of surgery can differ and includes: “Giving the same success rate for every epilepsy patient is not right. Of course, when we think about that these patients are having seizures even they take several drugs together, achieving a success rate of 50% is considered as very important for improving the standards of living of the patients. Seizures can prevail or reoccur after epilepsy surgery. Although very detailed researches and knowledge, it’s known that some epilepsy types reoccur in a group of patients even after 8 or 10 years.”
ARE THERE ANY RISKS?
Like any other surgical treatment, epilepsy surgery can also have its own risks. The most feared risk is unstopped and prevailing seizures occurring even after all the examinations and surgery. Apart from this, all the risks brought by the operation and anesthesia in brain surgery are also applied for epilepsy surgery. The most afraid point except of unstopped seizures is the risk of permanent damage in brain. Thus, when determining epilepsy surgery, the condition should be handled with multi-disciplinary approach by the doctors who specialized in their branches and those from other branches.