Seizure and Epilepsy Treatment

Neurosurgical treatment for seizures and epilepsy can help bring down their frequency or intensity. In fact, it can sometimes help stop them entirely. While a neurosurgical approach may not be advised for every epileptic patient, it may be considered for those with intractable epilepsy.

Seizures and the persistent challenge of epilepsy have a deep effect on a patient’s life. At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we understand the impact of these conditions. We are dedicated to offering advanced, tailored solutions to empower our patients to reclaim control over their lives.

Understanding Intractable Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent, unprovoked seizures. A seizure is a sudden and temporary disturbance in the brain's electrical activity, which can manifest in various ways, from altered consciousness and unusual sensations to convulsions. 

Epilepsy can affect people of all ages and backgrounds, and its severity varies from person to person.

Intractable epilepsy, also known as refractory or drug-resistant epilepsy, refers to a condition where seizures persist despite treatment with multiple antiepileptic medications.

Patients with intractable epilepsy may not find success in managing the intensity and frequency of seizures through conventional medications alone, leading to a significant impact on their quality of life. In such cases, further evaluation and alternative treatment options, including surgical interventions or advanced therapies, may be considered to manage the condition effectively.

Treatment Options for Intractable Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the most prevalent neurological disorders affecting both adults and children. It impacts over 3.4 million people in the United States

A large number of these patients face the challenge of having intractable epilepsy and enduring seizures despite multiple attempts with various medications. They experience the most profound impact on their quality of life, affecting relationships, work, and the ability to drive. 

Patients with medically intractable epilepsy may find relief through diagnostic or therapeutic surgical procedures. 

Most patients with medically intractable epilepsy have typically exhausted trials with at least two antiepileptic medications. At this point, achieving freedom from seizures through medication alone usually proves to be highly challenging. 

Surgical intervention becomes a consideration, particularly for those experiencing severe medication side effects or harboring brain lesions, such as tumors or vascular malformations, which cause their seizures.

Our Approach

At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we conduct an exhaustive evaluation to assess the viability of epilepsy surgery. This non-invasive evaluation may include video-EEG, anatomical (MRI), functional (PET, SPECT, MEG) imaging, and neuropsychological testing. 

This comprehensive initial assessment aims to provide a detailed understanding of the seizure syndrome, laying the foundation for personalized and effective treatment strategies.

Possible diagnostic and subsequent surgical interventions for intractable epilepsy treatment may include:

  • Epilepsy Monitoring: Continuous observation of brain activity using electroencephalography (EEG) to diagnose and manage seizure disorders.
  • Subdural and Depth Electrodes: Electrodes are implanted to precisely monitor and map brain activity, aiding in the localization of seizure origins for surgical planning in severe cases of epilepsy.
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS): Implant electrodes in specific brain regions to deliver controlled electrical pulses, modulate neural activity, and reduce the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients.
  • Vagus Nerve Stimulator (VNS): Implantation of a device to stimulate the vagus nerve for seizure control.
  • Stereotactic Depth Electrode Monitoring (SEEG): Precise electrode placement for monitoring brain activity and identifying seizure origins.
  • EEG (Electroencephalography): Monitoring brain electrical activity to detect seizure patterns.
  • Electrocorticography (ECoG): Recording brain activity directly from the surface of the brain.
  • Intraoperative Ultrasound: Real-time imaging during surgery for enhanced visualization.
  • Neuronavigation: Using computer-assisted navigation for precise surgical planning.
  • Image-Guided Surgery: Surgical procedures guided by preoperative imaging for accuracy.

If the need for surgical intervention arises, our experienced neurosurgeons can employ a variety of procedures to offer targeted relief. We emphasize precision and innovation while prioritizing minimally invasive approaches whenever feasible.

Resective Surgeries

Resective surgeries involve the precise removal or alteration of specific brain regions contributing to seizures. Our neurosurgeons employ advanced techniques to reshape neural pathways and curb seizure activity.

  • Lesionectomy: Surgical removal of brain lesions causing seizures.
  • Temporal Lobectomy: Removal of a portion of the temporal lobe to treat temporal lobe epilepsy.
  • Amygdalohippocampectomy: Surgical removal of the amygdala and hippocampus, commonly for epilepsy originating in these regions.
  • Thalamotomy: Surgical intervention targeting the thalamus to control seizures.

Brain Mapping Techniques

Advanced brain mapping techniques play an essential role in our process. By identifying and understanding the brain's functional areas, our neurosurgeons can preserve crucial functions while targeting and addressing the sources of seizures.

These techniques contribute to effective seizure control with minimal disruption to essential brain functions.

  • Awake Brain Mapping/Surgery: Mapping or conducting surgery to preserve critical functions while the patient is awake.
  • Asleep Brain Mapping: Mapping brain function while the patient is under general anesthesia.
  • Motor Mapping: Identifying and preserving motor function during brain surgery.
  • Speech Mapping: Identifying and preserving speech centers during brain surgery.

Minimally Invasive Approaches

Wherever possible, we prioritize minimally invasive surgical approaches. These techniques involve smaller incisions, reduced impact on surrounding tissues, and faster patient recovery times. 

  • Robotic Brain Surgery: Utilizing robotic-assisted systems for enhanced precision in surgical procedures.
  • Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT): Minimally invasive laser therapy to treat brain abnormalities causing seizures.
  • Microsurgery/Microneurosurgery: Precise, microscopic surgical techniques for intricate procedures.
  • Responsive Neurostimulator (RNS): Implantation of a device to monitor and respond to abnormal brain activity.

Our commitment to patient-centric care extends to employing state-of-the-art methods that prioritize both efficacy and the overall well-being of our patients.

At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, our surgical interventions are tailored to each patient's unique needs and focused on providing lasting relief from the challenges posed by epilepsy. Beyond individual treatments, our care plans extend into the post-operative and rehabilitative phases, including ongoing support, education, and follow-up care.

Effective Interventions for Seizures and Epilepsy in Alabama

At Haynes Neurosurgical Group, we understand the challenges faced by patients struggling with seizures and epilepsy. Our commitment to advanced techniques, minimally invasive procedures, and patient-centric care ensures we find effective solutions and offer renewed hope.

Our seasoned neurosurgeons use highly advanced technologies and employ a patient-centric ethos at Alabama’s premiere neurosurgical practice.

To schedule a consultation with one of our experts, call us at (205) 787-8676 or request an appointment online. 

Phone: (205) 787-8676
Fax: (205) 785-7944

801 Princeton Avenue, S.W.
P.O.B. I, Suite 310
Birmingham, AL 35211

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