What happens before epilepsy surgery?

The purpose of the preoperative evaluation is to determine whether epilepsy surgery can be performed safely without damaging vital functions. This requires a detailed pre-surgical evaluation to identify seizure type, seizure frequency, and the site of seizure onset; psychological and social functioning; and the degree of disability in order to select the most appropriate treatment from a variety of surgical options. This type of evaluation is best carried out in a multidisciplinary epilepsy center experienced in the investigation and treatment of epilepsy.

If you undergo a preoperative evaluation, a variety of specialists will be involved in your care, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychologists, nurses, social workers, electroencephalogram (EEG) technologists, occupational therapists, and psychiatrists.

The surgical evaluation process can take from several weeks to several months, depending on individual needs. During this process, the entire team considers both the medical and emotional needs of the patients and their families.

While each preoperative evaluation is different depending on the individual patient's needs, generally speaking, the overall goal is to classify the different kinds of seizures, as well as the frequency, severity, and duration of each type.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.