If your child’s seizures are not well controlled with medications or are the result of a brain tumor or structural abnormality, epilepsy surgery may be an appropriate treatment. The Epilepsy Program at Atlantic Health System Children’s Health offers pre-surgical testing and procedures designed to restore neurological function and improve quality of life.
A neuropsychologist will perform a cognitive assessment of your child’s language, memory, attention span and problem-solving skills to identify if brain dysfunction is in the frontal or temporal lobe. These tests are repeated after the surgery to measure its effectiveness.
Intracarotid Memory and Speech Evaluation
The Wada Test helps us determine which side of the brain your child uses for language and memory. During the exam, we’ll inject anesthesia into each brain hemisphere and ask your child to perform a variety of tasks. Whether or not they succeed reveals the location of the brain function in question.
If our neurologists suspect epileptic activity is confined to a particular area, they may recommend implanting electrodes directly on the surface of the brain to record electrical activity from the cerebral cortex. It may take up to five days to obtain the necessary data, after which we remove the electrodes.
Types of Epilepsy Surgery
- – Removes a section of the temporal, parietal, frontal or occipital lobes where seizure activity is occurring
- – Removes most or all of the side of the brain responsible for seizures
- Corpus callosotomy
- – Treats uncontrolled, generalized seizures by separating the nerve bridge that connects the two halves of the brain
- Multiple sub-pial transection
- – Cuts nerve pathways when epileptic activity originates in areas of the brain that cannot be removed
- Vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) placement
- – Prevents seizures by sending electrical signals to the brain via a device implanted near the collarbone
- Functional brain mapping and awake craniotomy
- – Aids preoperative planning and allows surgeons to test neurological functions – such as sensory input, language and memory – during surgery
The normal recovery time after epilepsy surgery is two to eight weeks. Most patients experience less seizures or seizures that are not as intense and can reduce their medication. Some may have no seizures at all, but we still recommend taking anti-epileptic medication to prevent any recurrence of symptoms.
Atlantic Health Children’s Specialty Center at Morristown
Atlantic Health Children’s Specialty Center at Overlook
Medical Arts Center (MAC) II Building
11 Overlook Road, Suite 230
Summit, NJ 07901
- Monday through Friday, 8:30am to 5:00pm
- Medical Arts Center (MAC) II Building
Atlantic Health Children’s Specialty Center at Wayne
Atlantic Health Children’s Specialty Center at Flemington