About Epilepsy Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
What are the different types of Epilepsy treatments?
What type of treatment is recommended for each patient?
Medication will depend on the type of seizure, and accordingly, the doctor will prescribe different medication. Anticonvulsant medications are most commonly used to prevent seizures.
- Factors that affect the type of anticonvulsant medication are seizure type, cost of the medication, and medical conditions of the patient.
- Adjustments to the anticonvulsant medications are frequently required after starting the medications.
- Anticonvulsant medications may be monitored and lab tested.
- Antiepileptic medication may not be given unless it is certain that the patient suffers a risk of another seizure that can cause a brain injury or if the patient has a history of epilepsy in the family.
- Other Treatments along with Medication
Other treatments along with medicines may be used to control seizures. These include:
- Ketogenic Diet
Following this high-fat diet has been helpful in some cases of epilepsy among children with unrestrained seizures. A few doctors may recommend this diet, while some doctors may not advise using it.
- Vagus Nerve Stimulation:
A vagus nerve stimulator device may be used while taking medication or after surgery.
- Care at Home
It is important that patients get adequate care and treatments that are necessary when they suffer seizures at home. For this, when a patient suffers seizures, an observer can do the following:
The observer should take care not to:
- Place the patient’s head on a cushion
- Loosen anything that is tight around the patient’s neck
- Make the patient lie on the side
- Make note of the patient’s seizure characteristics to inform the doctor
- Restraint the patient or hold the patient down
- Open the patient’s mouth by placing something in between the teeth
- Brain Surgery
Sometimes patients who have not responded well to medication may be able to attain immense success with surgery, and seizures can be successfully reduced by it. Epilepsy patients have been able to live improved lives after surgery. The different types of brain surgery include:
- Anterior Temporal Lobectomy
This is the most widely used brain surgery for adult epilepsy patients. A part of the brain’s temporal lobe is removed in this surgery, which reduces seizures.
This surgery is performed on children suffering from severe epilepsy. In this surgery the side of the brain that is damaged is removed.
- Corpus Callosotomy
This surgery is also commonly performed on children suffering from severe epilepsy. The two hemispheres of the brain are surgically disconnected to stop generalized seizures. This surgery is not helpful for partial seizures.
The type of treatment that a patient requires depends upon the type of seizures that a patient suffers. It also depends upon the patient’s health, age, and lifestyle. The doctor will recommend the type of treatment that is the most benefiting and the one that causes very few side effects. Epilepsy treatment is able to reduce or stop seizures in most patients.
How to prepare for surgery?
- After the patient is admitted to the hospital, the patient’s brain wave will be recorded using an EEG machine for several days.
- Monitoring period may take 3 to 7 days.
- A Wada test may be performed to find out if a temporal lobectomy can be performed on the patient without any risk to the memory of the patient.
- A cortical stimulation test may be done to determine which parts of the brain should not be operated.
Duration of procedure/surgery : Surgery for epilepsy treatment usually takes between 3 to 5 hours
Days admitted : Patients admitted for surgery, will need to stay at the hospital:
- 3 to 7 days before the surgery
- 4 to 7 days after the surgery
In total, the patient may need to stay for about 2 weeks at the hospital.
Anesthesia : Surgery for epilepsy treatment is done under general Anesthesia.
Recovery : Recovery from epilepsy surgery:
- Patients will be put in the ICU for 24 hours after the surgery.
- Antiepileptic medication is prescribed for most of the patients after a surgery. These medications are gradually reduced after a period of about 1 year. Medication is stopped if a patient becomes cured of seizures for a long period.
- Patients may be able to resume normal activities within 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the energy levels of the patient.
- Some patients may hear a clicking sound in their head after the surgery. This is due to a small portion of the skull that needs to be removed during the surgery and is put back when the surgery is over. This bone stays loose for some months before it is fixed with the remaining skull. For this reason the patient may hear the sound.
Risks : The risks involved in an epilepsy surgery include:
- Increased neurological problems
- Stoke may occur if there is bleeding in the brain.
- 5% of the patients who have undergone temporal lobectomy may have a noticeable loss of short term memory.
After care : After care of epilepsy surgery:
- To reduce the chances of injury due to seizures, the patient is recommended to carry identification, informing that he or she is an epilepsy patient.
- The patient’s family, friends and social acquaintances should know how to take care of the patient if the patient suffers a seizure.
- Medication should not be stopped without the doctor’s consent.
- The doctor’s instructions should be followed carefully.
Learn more about Epilepsy