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Brain Surgery for Epilepsy

Home / Brain Surgery for Epilepsy

What is Brain Surgery for Epilepsy

The main goal of epilepsy surgery is to decrease the number of seizures you experience, the severity of the seizures or, ideally, to become seizure-free. There are several different types of epilepsy surgery.
With so many options for treatment, surgery for epilepsy is no longer considered a last resort. Epilepsy surgery may be able to offer relief when medications either cannot control seizures or cause unmanageable side effects.
You must have tried two or more medications without success to qualify. Brain surgery for epilepsy has a high success rate. It may significantly improve your quality of life.

What types of epilepsy brain surgery are there?

Below are types where part of the brain is taken away. This is known as resection surgery:
Temporal lobectomy
Brain tissue in the temporal lobes that has been causing seizures is cut away. The temporal lobes are responsible for understanding language, memory and hearing
Extra-temporal resection
Brain tissue in other parts of the brain that has been causing seizures is cut away. This is any brain surgery that takes place outside the temporal lobes
Tumours, abscesses or other types of damage that have been causing seizures is cut away
In this type of surgery, the outer layer of one half of the brain is removed


The possible benefits of epilepsy brain surgery include:

  • No more seizures
  • Fewer or less severe seizures
  • Lower risk of injury and SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy)
  • Better quality of life
  • Less need for epilepsy medicines

Risks of Brain Surgery for Epilepsy

Brain surgery offers potential benefits that may improve your quality of life, but it also involves serious risks. The risks may include:

  • infection
  • stroke
  • paralysis
  • speech problems
  • loss of vision
  • loss of motor skills
  • more seizures

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