How Neurosurgery Can Address Epilepsy

Epileptic seizures aren’t the same for every patient. They can vary in severity, symptoms, and duration, and so the disruption caused by them also varies widely. Treatment approaches include control through medication or neurosurgery, which is often successful at stopping seizures altogether. 

Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center is your go-to provider for neurosurgical consultation for epilepsy in Phoenix and Sun City West, Arizona. There are different approaches to surgical treatment for epilepsy, and your Atlas neurosurgeon will help you to understand your options and any risks you may be facing. 

Neurosurgery for epilepsy has a high rate of success for those who are good candidates. Your seizures may be reduced, and they can even vanish, reducing your reliance on medications. Here’s what you need to know about epilepsy procedures. 

Candidates for surgery

Neurosurgery is not typically a first treatment option for patients. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are the first defense against seizures, and sometimes, it takes time to discover what works best for you. You’ll have to try at least two AEDs with minimal to no results before surgery becomes a consideration. 

When this is the case, the next step is to analyze brain activity to see if epileptic activity is localized, and if the area from which seizures originate is in an operable location. Your general health and suitability for surgery are also evaluated. 

This diagnostic process also identifies if there is any risk to other brain functions as a result of surgery, such as effects on memory, sight, speech, or movement. 

Typically, surgery is advised for those whose lives are seriously impacted by the quantity or intensity of their epileptic seizures, their inability to control seizures with medication, and with seizures that originate in a localized and easily accessible area of the brain. 

Types of neurosurgery

The most common neurosurgical procedure for epilepsy is resective surgery. This is usually done when seizures originate from a singular location in one of the temporal lobes. The portion of the brain that produces the irregular activity causing a seizure is removed. These areas often develop due to an injury or tumor. 

Laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) uses a laser to cauterize a small portion of brain tissue, when the seizure-causing area can be located. This is less invasive than resection. 

Deep brain stimulators work in a manner similar to heart pacemakers. An implanted device releases regular electrical pulses, which disrupt the electrical activity that causes epileptic seizures. 

Separating certain nerves connecting the left and right sides of the brain, called corpus callosotomy, may be recommended for patients whose seizure activity spreads through the brain. 

There are other surgical approaches that usually apply to infants and children who are severely affected by epilepsy. 

Epilepsy plays no favorites. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic background. If you’re struggling for seizure control despite using several different AEDs, it may be time to contact Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center for an examination and assessment. 

You can contact any of our three locations by phone, or you can request an appointment through the convenient online link on this page. There’s a better quality of life waiting for you, so book your consultation now. 

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If you're looking for a neurosurgeon in the Phoenix area, contact Atlas Neurosurgery and Spine Center for the ultimate neurological care.