Seizure Focus Resection
Some patients with epilepsy may have an area of the brain that seizures consistently arise from. We refer to this often as a person’s seizure focus. If your Neurologist suspects your child may have a consistent focal area that seizures arise from it may be possible to remove this area and better control the patient’s seizures. If you or your Neurologist feels this is the case we will often schedule a visit in our office to meet your family and discuss surgical options with you. Since every child is unique so is their epilepsy, which is why we have a team approach to any potential surgery. Families and their Neurologist are involved every step of the way in the surgical planning process.
What to expect at surgery:
If your family and our team of epilepsy specialist feel that surgery is an option here is what you can expect at the time of surgery. Families will be given a date and time during their clinic appointment. It is standard that children do not have anything to eat past midnight on the day of surgery. We understand this is difficult for our very young patients and take special care to schedule those surgeries as early in the day as possible. It is important you bathe your child and wash their hair either the night before or the morning of surgery to help prevent post operative infections.
In some instances we need more precise information to identify a child’s seizure focus. If this is the case the surgery will occur in two parts. The first surgery entails placing depth electrodes within the brain or EEG leads directly on the surface of the brain, rather than on the skull as you may be familiar with. This allows for extremely accurate information to be obtained about your child’s seizures. This surgery generally takes 2-4 hours to complete. Children come out of the OR with a bandage on their head and you will notice wires coming out from the bandage. Then they are hooked up to an EEG machine where very precise information about your child’s seizures can be acquired.
Once the seizure focus has been very accurately identified a second surgery will take place to remove it. Our epilepsy team will discuss the surgical plan with all caregivers as well as your child prior to the procedure. Each case is unique so duration of surgery and risks will be discussed at that time. Following the second surgery children usually remain in the hospital for an additional 4-6 days.