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Seizure surgery is considered when a person is known to have definite epilepsy (not one of its imitators) and there is a reasonable likelihood that the seizure onset is focal and limited to one part of the brain.
The candidate must be motivated for epilepsy surgery, and be able to achieve reduction of seizures that will make a difference in her or his life. The surgical candidate and family should understand the risks that can be in the range of a two percent chance for a serious surgical complication. Medication therapy should have been ineffective, defined as failure of a good trial of several standard seizure medicines, under guidance of a doctor familiar with epilepsy.
People with epilepsy should recognize that the new medications are not a replacement for epilepsy surgery, because only very rarely does a new medicine render a patient seizure-free. New medications can reduce seizure frequency, reduce the intensity of seizures, eliminate secondary generalization of seizures, and allow an adjustment of medications to give a better side effect profile.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.