Neurosurgery & epilepsy

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.

Download our neurosurgery factsheet

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.

NB Young Epilepsy are currently reviewing our information portfolio which will be updated in October 2023.

Also in this section

More information about epilepsy

Epilepsy seizures

An epileptic seizure happens because of a disruption of the electrical activity in the brain

Epilepsy syndromes

A syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms which, if they occur together, can suggest a particular condition

Epilepsy & contraception

It is important that all teenagers are given information about the effects of AEDs on contraception and pregnancy before they become sexually active

Epilepsy & pregnancy

Some medication can have an effect on the development of the baby so it's important that you discuss planning a pregnancy with your consultant, epilepsy nurse or GP

Causes of epilepsy

The causes of epilepsy generally falls into three groups; genetic, structural/metabolic or unknown

Diagnosing epilepsy

Getting a diagnosis of epilepsy can often take some time. Only until there have been two or more seizures that a diagnosis of epilepsy will be considered