There will also be clinics that you will be asked to attend. These are to assess how your epilepsy is affecting you, what side of the brain some functions are coming from and how surgery may affect you. Clinics with the neurologists will be to help manage your epilepsy Pre/Post surgery and explain any procedure that is offered. If Surgery is an option you will also see Mr Walsh in clinic who will discuss the procedure, risks and the chances of success.
You will be asked to carry out some simple tasks. Some of them will be regarding your memory, some about your written skills, some about your speech skills and some about your number skills. Your parents will also have to fill in a questionnaire about how epilepsy has affected your life and skills. The idea of this assessment is to see whether the area within your brain that we are considering doing surgery on is responsible for any important functions. This assessment is also useful to determine if your epilepsy has left you with any memory or learning problems.
Depending where in your brain the seizures are coming from you may need to see an ophthalmologist to see whether your visual fields have been affected by your epilepsy and how much surgery would impact on this.
Depending on the type of surgery that you may go on to have and your age, it might be beneficial to have a Therapy assessment of your speech and mobility skills - before and after surgery. This is done by out Therapy team either as an inpatient just before your surgery or in an outpatient clinic depending on individual circumstances and condition. We do this assessment because after surgery you may feel weaker and you may feel like you need a bit of extra help to get you back to your original strength. When you’re sent home from hospital, the Therapy team will liaise with the teams that you may already be working with in your local area, to carry on with your different therapies. If you have a therapy assessment prior to surgery, this will be repeated 3 months and 12 months after you have had surgery.
You will have a clinic with the CESS Neurologists who will explain the results of the investigations and any options moving forward with surgery. They can give you advice on your epilepsy and manage your medication once you have been seen.
CESS Surgery Clinic
When you have had all the tests if surgery is an option you will have a CESS surgery clinic alongside the Neurologist CESS clinic . The surgeon will discuss the surgery with you and explain the risks and benefits and the chances of success. If you are happy with the proposed surgery you will then be put on the surgical waiting list.
Following surgery you will have follow up clinic appointments with both the neurologists and surgeon to check how you are doing and if you have had any seizures. If you have haven’t had any seizures 1 year post surgery they may be able to start weaning off your medication. If you have had seizures they will explore the other possible options like VNS, Ketogenic Diet or explore the possibility of further surgery.