— Not an actual patient/physician

Follow-Up Therapeutic Treatments for Epilepsy

After you’ve tried diagnostic treatments for your epilepsy, your doctor may recommend a follow-up, therapeutic treatment. Here are a few common procedures.

Once you’ve tried diagnostic treatment for your epilepsy, your doctor may recommend a therapeutic treatment. Diagnostic epilepsy surgery is investigative. The purpose is to diagnose and identify where your specific seizures originate and provide information about your seizure network. The purpose of therapeutic treatment is to treat the cause of the seizures. There are many different therapeutic procedures, and only your epilepsy care team can determine which one is right for you.

Here are a few common follow-up therapeutic treatments for epilepsy:


Once your epilepsy team finds out where your seizures are coming from, they will determine whether or not it can be removed. If so, they may recommend removing the area of your brain that contains the seizure focus. This is known as a surgical resection. The most common type of resection is a temporal lobe resection.1

Laser ablation

Your doctor may decide you’re a candidate for a laser ablation procedure. This minimally invasive procedure involves inserting a fiber-optic catheter into a certain area of the brain, where it heats up and burns the surrounding tissue.2,3 This procedure is performed through small holes in the skull.

Responsive neurostimulation (RNS)

Responsive neurostimulation, or RNS, is a relatively new treatment option. The RNS system consists of one, or several, electrodes that are inserted into the seizure focus and connected to a small computer implanted into the skull. This computer is able to sense when a seizure is about to occur and stimulate along the electrode in order to stop the seizure.4 The computer also stores data from your seizures, which can be shared with your epileptologist to help improve the treatment over time. 

Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS)

Another treatment option for epilepsy is vagus nerve stimulation, or VNS. This involves implantation of an electrode to stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck. The electrode is attached to a signal generator implanted in the chest, similar to a pacemaker.5

Deep brain stimulation (DBS)

The FDA recently approved deep brain stimulation (DBS) for the treatment of epilepsy. This therapeutic treatment consists of stimulating an area of the brain called the anterior nucleus of the thalamus to stop seizures from occurring.6

These are a few of the more common therapeutic treatments for epilepsy; however, it’s not an exhaustive list. Talk to your doctor about which, if any, treatments are right for you.

Please let us know how useful this article was to you

Thank you for rating this article.

  1. Rath, L. (2021, Aug 25). Temporal Lobe Resection for Epilepsy. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/temporal-lobe-resection-epilepsy#1
  2. (2022). Visualase MRI-guided laser ablation. Medtronic. http://www.medtronic.com/us-en/healthcare-professionals/products/neurological/laser-ablation/visualase.html
  3. (2022). NEUROBLATE® SYSTEM. Monteris.  https://www.monteris.com/
  4. (2022). RNS System. Neuropace. http://www.neuropace.com/
  5. (2022). What is VNS Therapy and how does it work? LivaNova Epilepsy. https://www.livanova.com/epilepsy-vnstherapy/en-us
  6. Shafer, P. (2018, May 1). FDA Approval: Medtronic Deep Brain Stimulation for Medically Refractory Epilepsy. Epilepsy Foundation. https://www.epilepsy.com/article/2018/5/fda-approval-medtronic-deep-brain-stimulation-medically-refractory-epilepsy

Content reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Jiyeoun Yoo, MD, FAES, FACNS 

Here's more you can do

Share Your Story

People like you need to hear that they're not alone. Your story can make a difference in their life.
I Want to Share My Story

Be Informed. Be Prepared!

Sign up for personalized article recommendations in your email.
Get Updates

About Us

Learn more about who we are and our mission of helping patients find balance in their lives.
About Us

Find a Doctor

Search by speciality, location and more. Find the right provider for you.
Find a Doctor