What is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a disorder in which a person has two or more unprovoked seizures. Unprovoked means that the seizures are not brought on by a clear cause such as alcohol withdrawal, heart problems, or extremely low blood sugar. In other words, epilepsy is a condition of recurrent, unprovoked seizures. The seizures may result from a hereditary tendency or a brain injury, but often the cause is unknown. Many use the term “seizure disorder” instead because “epilepsy” seems more serious or stigmatized. However, almost all seizure disorders are epilepsy.
When seizures cannot be controlled by medications or control can be achieved only at the cost of severe and unacceptable adverse effects, surgery is an alternative. Epilepsy surgery has an excellent chance of completely controlling seizures and its absolute risk is less than that of uncontrolled epilepsy. Modern brain imaging and non-invasive neurophysiologic analysis of normal and abnormal brain function have allowed an understanding of a person’s epilepsy never before possible.
Neurosurgery has evolved and benefited from advanced technology and a growing understanding of complex brain function, making surgery of the brain safer than ever before. By considering and comparing the risks of recurrent seizures and the usual progression of epilepsy over the patient’s lifetime to the risks of epilepsy surgery, epilepsy surgery, which can completely control seizures, is in the long run less risky than uncontrolled seizures.
Epilepsy surgery can be especially beneficial to patients who have seizures associated with structural brain abnormalities, such as benign brain tumors, malformations of blood vessels (including disorders known as arteriovenous malformations, venous angiomas, and cavernous angiomas), and strokes.
Thought you would be interested in the following article: Early Surgery for Refractory Epilepsy Beneficial
- NYU Langome Medical Center – http://epilepsy.med.nyu.edu/epilepsy/what-epilepsy
- Spine Procedures and Conditions – http://www.understandspinesurgery.com/doctors/template/index.asp?d=zamorano