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  • EXCELLENT LONG TERM RESULTS from EPILEPSY SURGERY

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    Old 05-01-2004, 01:35 PM   #1
    Phoebe
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    EXCELLENT LONG TERM RESULTS from EPILEPSY SURGERY

    I read this on the main board I visit, and it is such good news that I wanted to post it here, especially since there are some here who are either scheduled for surgery or are considering it. It is written by a doc who says what many of us have been saying for a long time. A Great read! Phoebe

    Excellent Long-Term Results Obtained With Surgery for Seizure Control

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Excellent Long-Term Results Obtained With Surgery for Seizure Control



    By Martha Kerr

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Health) Apr 29 - With follow-up as long as 16 years in some cases, focal resective surgery for partial epilepsy is so effective it is considered the preferred treatment for selected patients at the Mayo Clinic.

    At the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, Dr. Gregory D. Cascino presented long-term outcomes of 491 patients with intractable partial epilepsy operated on at his institution between 1988 and 1998.

    Mean length of follow-up was 6.1 years. Average age at the time of surgery was 32, with an age range of 3 to 65 years. Nearly all patients (89%) had temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Long-term results show that 73% of patients are seizure-free after focal resection, Dr. Cascino reported. Many of these have been able to discontinue their antiepileptic drugs.

    Early response to surgery, within the first year, is the best predictor of a good outcome, he said. Age alone is not a contraindication for surgery, and selected patients less than 1 year of age can also have a good outcome, he added.

    "The goals of surgery are two-fold," Dr. Cascino told Reuters Health. "One is to stop the seizures, but also it is to increase quality of life, to return these people to employment, to school, to driving. We want to emphasize that."

    He added, "The decision to operate is a very individual one, but physicians are probably waiting too long to refer these patients for surgery. If they have failed the first one or two first-line drugs, that's a red flag."

     
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    Old 05-01-2004, 02:07 PM   #2
    Anna04
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    Re: EXCELLENT LONG TERM RESULTS from EPILEPSY SURGERY

    Thank you for that article. This quote is especially important to me because my doctor says it to me over and over again stressing how I many be eligible for surgery because I've tried all medications:

    "The decision to operate is a very individual one, but physicians are probably waiting too long to refer these patients for surgery. If they have failed the first one or two first-line drugs, that's a red flag."


    I am going for observation in either June or July to see if I qualify. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

     
    Old 05-01-2004, 02:54 PM   #3
    Phoebe
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    Re: EXCELLENT LONG TERM RESULTS from EPILEPSY SURGERY

    I am happy that you are making the move toward investigating all of your options. That is a giant step! YOu have a lot of research to do. The statictics re meds and seizure control are: Once one med fails to stop the seizures, there is only a 10%-15% that ANY meds will ever stop them. This is documented and proven. I went through most of the meds available before any doc mentioned surgery to me. This doc was not a general neuro! I also wasted a lot of life and potential, and the Quality of Life that I did have was greatly compromised by the meds! Phoebe

     
    Old 05-03-2004, 08:21 PM   #4
    tkdmom96
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    Re: EXCELLENT LONG TERM RESULTS from EPILEPSY SURGERY

    And we had the same situation with our daughter Katie. She has been on 6 different/combos of meds over the last 4 years alone, after having been on the same med for 12 years consecutively (Tegretol). We were also told by our Epi that Katie only stood a 10-15% chance of any new med ever working, going forward. She is currently taking Keppra and Lamictal and still has breakthrough seizure activity.

    Our Neurologist (general, that dealt with tumors, motion disorders, Epilepsy, MS, migraines, and other issues) decided exhausting med therapy was the way to go for years. He never referred us for surgery, we did this on our own. I started researching surgical options, after a post I read on this board about 2 years ago. (From the above board member) I located an Epileptologist in our area and went from there. An Epileptologist is a neurologist with a fellowship or extra training in the specific area of epilepsy. They are aware of new meds and new methods and tests that can help find the seizure focus area or help find a better way to control E. More often than not, it leads to a person being a surgical candidate.

    That is where we are with our daughter Katie. She will be having surgery on June 7th to remove the area of the brain where her seizures are focussing from. It is called a 'Left Temporal Lobectomy'. She has Complex Partial seizures that focus from the damaged left hippocampus area of the brain, also known as 'Mesial Temporal Sclerosis'.

    It has been a year long journey for us. Many tests and lots of prep. Don't jump in until you have researched and fully understand the possible outcomes.
    The monitoring you will have will be the first step, of a few. If you would like to read about our journey (tests/results) please look to the 3rd or 4th page of the archives under "EPILEPTOLOGIST: PLEASE help find a board member..."

    Good luck as you go forward,

    Vicki
    __________________
    Proud mom of Katie, the strongest and bravest person I have ever known! GBTG.

     
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