Up to a quarter to a third of children with epilepsy do not respond to antiepileptic drugs. Epilepsy surgery should be considered early in these children.
Epilepsy surgery (neurosurgery) may be considered if antiepileptic drug treatment has been shown to be ineffective and if, after a number of detailed tests, the results of these investigations show that:
- The seizures arise from a specific part of the brain that can be clearly defined and removal of this area will not cause any further problems.
- There is evidence of medical, social and/or educational disability due to the child’s seizures.
- The child’s quality of life is likely to improve after surgery.
- There is an acceptable risk-benefit ratio for the child undergoing surgery
There are a number of different surgical procedures that can be carried out. The success rate of neurosurgery varies depending on the type of surgery, but it is now recognised that in many cases the earlier the surgery is carried out, the better the result.
If doctors decide that surgery is an option, parents will have plenty of opportunity to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with the surgeon. They will also be told about the risks and benefits of surgery.