We have been performing epilepsy surgery at HUS since the early 1990s. Nowadays, we perform 25 to 30 epilepsy surgeries per year. One third of these are on adult patients and two thirds on children.
In Finland, epilepsy surgery is performed at Kuopio University Hospital in addition to HUS. We treat children from across the country.
Epilepsy surgery is considered if the patient continues to suffer debilitating epileptic seizures when on medication. In children, severe epilepsy can hinder development, and therefore surgical treatment may need to be considered quite soon after the child presents with epilepsy.
For some patients with severe epilepsy, surgery offers the chance to stop the seizures altogether or at least alleviate them significantly. However, not all patients with severe epilepsy can be helped with surgery. But when investigating the potential for surgery, we can narrow down the type of seizure and thereby have a greater chance of finding the appropriate medication. In some cases, we can suggest dietary treatment or vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), where electric shocks are sent to the brain through a vagus nerve stimulator installed under the skin.