Epilepsy Surgery

Neurosurgeons at Boulder Neurosurgical & Spine Associates (BNA) can treat epileptic conditions through a variety of means including medications, vagal nerve stimulation or surgical resection of the lesion, including temporal lobectomy. Often seizures can be managed medically with anti-epileptic medications. However, these medications can have significant side effects and may not control seizures well. An uncontrolled seizure can cause cognitive deficits as well as even death. Patients with medically intractable seizures may be candidates for surgical resection of the area of the brain that is responsible for the abnormal electrical discharges. The BNA surgical team works with specialized epileptologists to determine the exact location in the brain responsible for the seizures. This is accomplished by using a combination of imaging modalities, surface electrodes and surgically placed recording electrodes placed both on the surface of the brain and deep into the areas of concern to record the onset of the abnormal electrical discharges. Once the exact location of the discharges is mapped, our specially trained neurosurgeons can resect the precise epileptic focus while leaving normal surrounding structures intact.

After surgery, patients will continue taking their anti-epileptic medications, but most can gradually decrease the dose or discontinue them all together with the help of their neurologist. Surgery for epilepsy has been shown to improve quality of life, decrease the need for seizure medications and allow some epileptic patients to be seizure-free with a return to activities such as driving and working full time.