What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy Surgery Options / Side Effects: Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder of brain which causes unprovoked seizures which is recurrent in nature. A seizure is evoked due to a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures are of two types; generalized seizure affects the brain as a whole, whereas partial seizure affects just specific part of the brain. A seizure lasts for few seconds to several minutes only and can be mild or strong. A mild seizure might not be recognized. A stronger seizure can lead to consciousness and can cause serious damage. You need to know epilepsy surgery risks, side effects, brain surgery cost, recovery time, success rate and evaluation.
There are no specific reasons for epilepsy, but it may cause because of high fever, very low blood sugar, alcohol withdrawal, trauma etc. Epilepsy can develop in anybody; it is more common in younger children and older adults. There is no cure for epilepsy disorder, but it can be managed through medications.
Diagnosis for Epilepsy
A seizure is a serious health issue and you need to consult a doctor. Your medical history and symptoms will help the doctor to diagnosis. The doctor will have neurological examination to check your motor abilities and mental functioning. A complete blood test and chemistry of blood probably be taken. Electroencephalogram (EEG) test is also taken.
Treatment for Epilepsy
Treatment for epilepsy is determined based on symptoms, how well your body responds to therapy and your health.
Medications: Anti-epileptic medicine helps eliminate or reduce seizures. The medicine is to be taken regularly as prescribed by the doctor.
Vagus nerve stimulator: It is a surgical device which is placed under the skin on the chest. It stimulates nerve which runs through neck and helps prevent seizures.
Brain Surgery: If medication doesn’t help, option of surgery can be considered in certain cases.
Epilepsy Surgery Options and its Side Effects
Resection brain surgery can be performed. An area of the brain which causes seizure is removed or altered. Usually temporal lobectomy is performed in which the temporal lobe is removed. It can help stop seizures.
If area of the brain to be removed is large or related to some important function of the body, another process known as multiple subpial transaction is performed. Under this process, cuts are made in brain to interrupt the nerve pathway in the affected area which keeps seizures from spreading to other parts of the brain. While removing area of the brain, care is taken that it doesn’t affect controlling of important functions such as hearing, vision, speech etc.
There are some risks associated with epilepsy surgery. The surgery can cause bleeding and infection. A bad reaction to anesthesia can also occur. Brain surgery may sometimes cause cognitive changes. You need to discuss with your doctor about the risk associated with it.
Research is being carried out to find better treatment options. Work is being done on brain simulation process in which electrodes can be implanted in the brain.
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