Epilepsy surgery overlooked for seizure control

US researchers reviewed the cases of 361 patients who had the surgery between 1967 and 1990, concluding it was a safe and effective option for those in whom medical therapy failed to control seizures.

Eighty per cent of patients reported an improved quality of life and 48% were seizure-free.

Seizure and quality of life outcomes were analysed for all patients, while 117 also took part in follow-up interviews. Surgical complications and mortality following surgery declined over the long term, the authors said.

“Our findings demonstrate that the benefits of epilepsy surgery are sustained over long time periods,” the authors said.

“[And] despite the increase in the number of epilepsy surgeries performed, and reports in the medical literature of the success of surgery relative to medication, it remains an underutilised therapy for seizure control.”

Among an estimated four million people worldwide who