Seizure surgery can drastically reduce or completely stop seizures caused by epilepsy and other neurological conditions. About 25 percent of children with epilepsy do not respond to medicines and may benefit from a surgical procedure to control their seizures. Surgery may also be an option for children with epilepsy who have side effects related to their required medicines or who require multiple medicines to regulate their seizures and still have frequent seizures.
Surgery is a good option for children who have a specific and identifiable area in the brain that causes their seizures. This means that there is a specific, localized group of abnormal brain cells that send abnormal signals and cause irregular brain activity at random. The exact spot or focus of seizure activity in the brain can be seen on an electroencephalogram (EEG) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. If the seizure focus can be safely removed, surgery may be the best treatment to stop your child’s seizures.
In most cases, children who have seizure surgery are free of seizures and no longer need medicines a year or two after the procedure.
If left untreated, frequent seizures can be physically and mentally debilitating and even fatal.
Types of seizure surgeries include:
Before your child is approved for seizure surgery at Riley at IU Health, he or she will complete a full medical workup with the neurology and neurosurgery teams. Children who are candidates for seizure surgery typically experience seizures daily or more than once a day, despite being on two or more medicines.
After all pre-surgical testing is performed, a multidisciplinary group of neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuropsychologists will meet to discuss whether your child is a good surgical candidate. The team then presents the surgical options to your family and explains the chosen procedure.
You can expect the following during the medical workup to determine if your child is a good candidate for seizure surgery:
You can expect the following on the day of seizure surgery:
Riley at IU Health has created a surgery preparation video to help you and your child know what to expect the day of their surgery. Visit our preparing for surgery page to learn more.
You can expect the following after seizure surgery:
Most children do not have any seizures after surgery and can gradually stop taking seizure medicines. Your child should return to normal activities soon after recovering from the procedure.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.