Epilepsy is a common condition often described as recurrent seizures. Seizures are abnormal and uncontrolled brain activity, that often leads to a clinical deficit. Most patients that have epilepsy can control their disease with antiepileptic medications (AED) or a combination of medicines. Some people will continue to have seizures despite trying many different AEDs and combinations. Often, some patients can be on very high doses of AEDs with significant side effects. Metropolitan Neurosurgery, in association with the patientÛªs neurologist, can work together to help patients with surgical options to help get better control of their seizures. All surgical treatments for epilepsy are individualized for each patient. Most commonly, patients are discussed at a multidisciplinary conference where surgeons, neurologists, psychologists, radiologists, and others discuss each person in detail and can offer a possible surgical treatment that may help get better control of their epilepsy. These typically are patients that have tried all other medical treatments and still have frequent and debilitating seizures. Metropolitan Neurosurgery offers a number of surgical treatments to help with epilepsy. These treatments are often used, not to cure epilepsy, or to eliminate seizures, they are often used to decrease the frequency or intensity of seizure episodes. Most patients still remain on some of their AEDs even after surgery to get the best control over their epilepsy. We work in conjunction with neurologist to offer craniotomies where we do open brain surgery to locate and potentially remove parts of the brain where the seizures may be originating from. These areas are located before surgery, or sometimes even during the surgery in the operating room. Other individualized treatments include placement of Neuropace, which can recognize a seizure and interrupt the abnormal brain signals to stop the seizure. Many patients are not candidates for open brain surgery for many reasons, but can often get some relief from vagal nerve stimulation. Some patients are able to have a minimally invasive option using laser ablation treatments to remove the epileptic areas of the brain. Again, these options are always individualized for each patient based on their seizure types, frequency, and intensity, and all surgical procedures are meant to assist the AEDs in control of epilepsy. If you think you may be a candidate for an epilepsy procedure, discuss it with your neurologist and be seen by one of the neurosurgeons at Metropolitan Neurosurgery.
About the Author: Kyle S. Nelson, M.D.
Kyle S. Nelson, M.D., joined Metropolitan Neurosurgery in 2014. He is board eligible by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons, specializing in brain tumors, epilepsy, minimally invasive spine surgery, spinal and cranial trauma, and vagal nerve stimulation. Dr. Nelson’s undergraduate studies were at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and he received his M.D. from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2008. His residency was at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. A native of Maple Grove, Dr. Nelson enjoys downhill skiing in the winter and, in the summer, simply being outside. Dr. Nelson is a member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He regularly participates in the Abbott Multidisciplinary Tumor Conference and the weekly United Multidisciplinary Epilepsy Conference. Dr. Nelson is accepting new patients. He is on the medical staff at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Maple Grove Hospital, Mercy Hospital, North Memorial Medical Center, Ridgeview Medical Center, and Unity Hospital.