Corrective surgery is another treatment option for some patients and the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program employs all of the latest, state-of-the-science techniques and strategies. Neurosurgeons with vast experience in epilepsy surgery provide their technical expertise and care.
For those patients that have non-controlled seizures and a localized seizures focus in the brain, surgery provides seizure freedom inmost cases. In others, seizures are diminished making it possible to reduce drug therapies.
In any surgical procedure, a detailed “map” of the brain is needed so that only the seizure-producing areas of the brain are removed. Cortical mapping is a highly accurate technique used by epilepsy neurosurgeons to localize both the region of the brain generating seizures as well as the areas that are responsible for thought and movement.
Two techniques are used to obtain a map of the brain.
- Prolonged monitoring with electrodes over the surface of the brain (called subdural electrodes). These electrodes allow recording of the brains electrical activity associated with function and with seizures.
- “Awake” surgery where the brain is mapped during surgery with the help of the patient. During this highly sophisticated technique, the patient receives local sedation and actually responds during the procedure. The surgery exposes the part of the brain believed to be involved in the cause of the seizures. A neurosurgeon places electrodes directly on the brain to provide an accurate reading of the brain waves. The brain is then stimulated with electric current and the response is recorded. This pinpoints the origins of motor, language and sensory functions so the surgeon can avoid putting them at risk when removing the area that causes seizures.