Surgery

Depending on the type and cause of epilepsy, epilepsy surgery may be a treatment option for people who do not gain seizure control through medication.

Why surgery?

Epilepsy is sometimes caused by an area of abnormal brain tissue. There are many reasons why an abnormality occurs and it may be unimportant unless it causes seizures. The size and position of the area, referred to as the epilepsy focus, varies between individuals. If epilepsy surgery can remove the epilepsy focus, seizures can often be prevented. The chance of successful surgery and the risks of complications differ for each patient.

When is surgery an option?

Surgery is usually only used where medication fails and is not intended to be a substitute for medication. If surgery is considered a possible treatment for a person’s epilepsy, several months of extensive testing and counselling are undertaken before surgery is performed. Doctors will then discuss the possible outcomes and potential risks from surgery in the individual case so they can make an informed choice. Successful surgery can prevent seizures from occurring, or dramatically reduce seizure frequency and thereby change a person’s life forever. Epilepsy Queensland can provide you with specialised literature on this topic. See below for articles for further reading.

For further information, you can contact our Services team on 07 34 355 000 or 1300 852 853 (outside Brisbane).