What are the most common surgical treatment options?

Dr. Barbara Phillips discusses the most common surgical treatments for epilepsy. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

   

There are two common surgical treatment options for epilepsy. The first is the vagal nerve stimulator. This procedure implants a pacemaker-like device in the chest. A wire is attached to a nerve in the neck. When the stimulator is turned on, it sends an electrical pulse on a regular basis to the nerve, which transmits the signal to the brain. This affects the ability of the brain to cause seizures. Over time, the vagal nerve stimulator can reduce the frequency of seizure activity.

The second common surgical treatment is epilepsy surgery per se. This procedure removes the part of the brain that's causing seizures. People with intractable seizures (seizures not controlled by medicine) are the best candidates for his surgery.

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