Epilepsy MUSC

Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Epilepsy Surgery: What to Expect

A Guide to Epilepsy Surgery at MUSC

Intracranial Monitoring:

Your electrodes will be placed on a Tuesday. We tentatively plan on removing your electrodes as well as a seizure source, if one can be found, after one week, however this is dependent on your seizure activity. There is a chance that you will not have enough seizure activity in one week, in which case we will keep the electrodes in place until we have enough data. This can go on for as many as three-to-four weeks. We have had cases where no seizures were recorded. In these cases, the electrodes still need to come out due to the increased risk of infection. In a very few cases, we are able to remove the electrodes and seizure source sooner than one week. Please remember that our goal is to make you seizure free. We understand that three-to-four weeks is a long time to spend in the hospital, but it is important to remember that the end goal is seizure freedom!

You will need a support person to be with you at all times while the electrodes are in place. Similar to your video EEG, it is for your safety that someone stays with you during this time period. Your support person(s) need to be prepared for the possibility of a lengthy stay. As previously mentioned, we have had people in the hospital for as long as 1 month. Please plan for this worst case scenario. Meals are provided for the support person during their stay.

Your second procedure will be the removal of electrodes and hopefully removal of your seizure source. Expect about a three day stay following this second procedure. You will no longer need a support person at this time.

You will be sent home with prescription pain medication to manage your headache. It is not unusual for patients to feel discomfort behind their eye, or down their jaw. The headaches will generally last at least two weeks, if not as long as a month or so. Please let us know if you are experiencing severe headaches that are unrelieved by pain medication, changes in your vision, nausea, vomiting, changes in strength or sensation.

We will see you approximately two weeks from the date of your second surgery to remove your staples. We will then see you for a 6 month follow up visit with an MRI the same day. You will leave the hospital on the same dose of seizure medications as you were taking prior to surgery. In general, your medication doses will remain the same for TWO years following surgery. Please follow up with your MUSC Neurologist as to when to being the taper.

A Lobectomy or Resection of a Lesion:

Expect about a 3 day stay in the hospital following your procedure. Typically, surgeries are performed on Tuesdays. Assuming all goes well, we expect to discharge you from the hospital by Friday.

You will be sent home with prescription pain medication to manage your headache. It is not unusual for patients to feel discomfort behind their eye, or down their jaw. The headaches will generally last at least two weeks. Occasionally patients will experience headaches for as long as a month or so. Please let us know if you are experiencing severe headaches that are unrelieved by pain medication, changes in your vision, nausea, vomiting, changes in strength or sensation.

We will see you approximately two weeks from the date of your second surgery to remove your staples. We will then see you for a 6 month follow up visit with an MRI the same day . You will leave the hospital on the same dose of seizure medications as you were taking prior to surgery. In general, your medication doses will remain the same for TWO years following surgery. Please follow up with your MUSC Neurologist as to when to being the taper. For any questions or concerns before surgery or after you get home, please do not hesitate to call.

 
 
 

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