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Talking To Your Epileptologist About Epilepsy Surgery

The prospect of having epilepsy surgery can be daunting. It can be hard to even know what questions to ask. Here’s a list to get the conversation with your doctor started.

The idea of discussing epilepsy surgery with your doctor can be intimidating. If you’re considering epilepsy surgery to help treat your seizures, it’s important that you understand the possible benefits and risks of the procedure before making your decision.

Plan to have an in-depth discussion with your epileptologist and come prepared with questions and a notebook. You can even print the below list and take it with you to your appointment. Remember that your epileptologist’s goal is to find the best treatment for you and your specific situation.

Here’s a list of questions to help start the conversation with your epileptologist:

About surgery…

1.      How long will my procedure take?

2.      Will my hair need to be shaved?

3.      What are the benefits and risks of my procedure?


About recovery…

4.      How will this procedure affect my life afterwards?

5.      How long will I need to stay in the hospital?

6.      How often will I need to return for check-ups?

7.      What kind of maintenance is required after I have this procedure?

8.      How effective will my procedure be at stopping my seizures?

9.      How long will it take to reach this effectiveness?

10.   Will I still need to take medication for my seizures after this procedure?


About returning to activity…

11.   Will I have any activity restrictions after the procedure?

12.   When can I shower after surgery?

13.   When will I be able to resume normal lifestyle activities (e.g., work, sports, housework, gardening, etc.)?

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

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