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Dealing with Seizure after Brain Surgery? Learn the Treatments, Risks and Management

Brain surgery is a life-saving procedure for individuals with brain tumors, meningiomas or other brain disorders. Yet, seizures after brain surgery can occur and can be a cause of concern for patients and their loved ones. Seizures after brain surgery can occur as a result of the surgery itself. Or also as a complication of the underlying condition that prompted the surgery.

  • Neurosurgery Treatment

By Mitali Pawar

8th Mar '23

Are you or a loved one struggling with seizures after brain surgery? You're not alone.


According to a 2017 study published in the journal Neurosurgery, seizures occurred in 14-41% of patients who underwent brain surgery. The rate of seizures varied depending on the type of surgery; for example, the incidence was higher for seizures after epilepsy surgery (41%) than with tumor surgery (14%).


The risk of seizures after brain surgery is higher in patients with preexisting seizure disorders. Also in those who have undergone many surgeries. Other risk factors for postoperative seizures include age, the type of surgery, and the presence of residual tumors. one of the treatments for treating brain disease is Deep brain stimulation.


Other studies have shown the incidence of seizures is higher in patients who underwent open surgery compared to those who underwent minimally invasive or endoscopic surgery. Seizures are more likely to occur in the immediate postoperative period (within 2 weeks of surgery) and are usually self-limiting.

The incidence of seizures after brain surgery is low. Yet, one must be aware of the potential risk of seizures. And to take the appropriate precautions to minimize the risk.


Is it common to have a seizure after brain surgery?

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), seizures after brain surgery are not uncommon. But, the frequency of seizures varies depending on the type of surgery and the underlying condition. 

Seizures after meningioma removal or brain tumor removal may be more common than seizures after other types of brain surgery. The likelihood of seizures after craniotomy also varies depending on the location of the tumor and the extent of the surgery. 

In some cases, seizures may resolve on their own after brain surgery. In other cases, seizures may persist or even worsen. However, seizures can occur as a side effect of brain surgery, but it is not common.

An experienced Dr James Walker has quoted that - 
“The most common type of seizure seen after brain surgery is a partial seizure, which originates from a specific part of the brain. These seizures causes various symptoms, like muscle twitching, numbness, or changes in sensation. Generalized seizures that involve the entire brain can also occur after brain surgery.  Anti-seizure medications are used as treatment for seizures after brain surgery, like the phenytoin, carbamazepine, or levetiracetam.”

Do seizures go away on their own after brain surgery?

It is possible for seizures to go away on their own after brain surgery. But it depends on many factors including the underlying cause of the seizures, the type of surgery performed and the individual's response to the surgery. It usually takes a few weeks to a few months.
 

Seizures caused by brain surgery resolve on their own after the brain has had time to heal.  In some cases, brain surgery can successfully remove the source of the seizures. But in other cases, seizures may persist despite surgery or new seizures may develop.

It is important to note that while brain surgery can be an effective treatment option for seizures, it is not always a cure. But in some cases, surgeons prescribe anti-seizure medication to control seizures. Hence it is always recommended to connect with skilled neurosurgeons to monitor seizures and get proper personalized treatments.

Are you worried and looking for solutions to seizures after brain surgery?

 

Discover the causes, treatments and prognosis for seizures after brain surgery.


What would cause a seizure after brain surgery?

There are several possible causes of seizures after brain surgery. These include:

  • Damage to the brain tissue during the surgery
Brain tissue may get damaged or disturbed during the surgical process, leading to seizures.
  • Inflammation or infection in the brain
Inflammation or infection in the brain can lead to seizures as the brain's electrical activity gets affected.
  • Post-operative bleeding or hematoma
Bleeding or hematoma can cause pressure on the brain and lead to seizures.
  • Changes in the brain's electrical activity
The brain's electrical activity can be changed after surgery and lead to seizures.
  • The underlying condition that prompted the surgery
The brain tumor treatment that prompted the surgery, may cause seizures even after the surgery.

The cause of seizures may not always be clear and may need further diagnostic testing and evaluation by a neurologist.

Does this question arise to your mind as well?

How does the location of the surgery within the brain affect the likelihood of post-surgical seizures?

Dr James Walker, a clinical doctor with over 10 years experience says that -

The location of the surgery within the brain can affect the likelihood of post-surgical seizures. Surgeries that involve the temporal lobe or the frontal lobe of the brain are associated with a higher risk of seizures. In contrast, surgeries that involve the occipital lobe or the cerebellum are associated with a lower risk of seizures.

Symptoms of seizures after Brain Surgery

Symptoms of seizures after brain surgery varies depending on the individual and the underlying cause of the seizures.
 

Some common symptoms include:

  • Uncontrollable muscle contractions
Seizures often involve muscle contractions that can be  seen as convulsions or jerking movements.
  • Loss of consciousness
Some seizures can cause the person to lose consciousness or become unresponsive.
  • Confusion or disorientation
After a seizure, a person may feel confused or disoriented. He/she may have difficulty communicating or remembering what happened during the seizure.
  • Hallucinations or delusions
Some seizures can cause hallucinations or delusions too. They can be distressing for the person experiencing them.
  • Loss of motor control
Seizures can lead to a temporary loss of muscle control. It can result in a person falling or losing their balance.
  • Sensory disturbances
Some seizures can cause unusual sensory experiences, such as a feeling of déjà vu or an unpleasant smell or taste.

Seizures have different symptoms depending on the type of seizure and the area of the brain affected. Not all people will have the same symptoms.

Can you relate to any of the above symptoms? 

Then it is advisable to get help from an experienced medical professional at the earliest for proper diagnosis and treatment!

Brain surgery is a big step - but what happens when seizures become a hurdle?

Diagnosis of seizures after Brain Surgery

Diagnosis of seizures after brain surgery typically begins with a thorough medical history and physical examination. A neurologist may also perform an EEG (electroencephalogram) to measure the brain's electrical activity. Other diagnostic tests may include an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scan to assess the brain for any abnormalities.


The first step in diagnosing seizures includes getting information about the brain surgery, any symptoms they have experienced, and any other relevant medical conditions. The doctor will also perform a physical examination to check for signs of seizures, such as muscle contractions or changes in consciousness.


Diagnostic testing may also be done to help identify seizures and determine their cause. 

Some of the tests that may be used include:

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
This test records the electrical activity of the brain. It can help identify abnormal patterns associated with seizures.
  • Imaging studies
CT or MRI scans can be used to look for any abnormalities in the brain that may be causing seizures.
  • Blood tests
These can be used to check for any underlying medical conditions that may be contributing to seizures.
  • Video-EEG monitoring
This test records the person's seizures and the accompanying brain activity, allowing for more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Are you diagnosed with seizures after brain surgery? 

Do not worry as there is a solution to every problem! 

Treatment of seizures after Brain Surgery
Treatment

Treatment for seizures after brain surgery involves the use of anti-seizure medication. These medications can help to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove any abnormal brain tissue that is causing the seizures.


The treatment of seizures after brain surgery depends on the underlying cause of the seizures and the person's individual case.

Anti-seizure medication is the most common treatment for seizures after brain surgery. The type of medication prescribed will depend on the type of seizure and the underlying condition that prompted the brain surgery. The goal of anti-seizure medication is to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures and improve the person's quality of life.


In some cases, lifestyle changes may also be recommended to help reduce the risk of seizures. For example, if a person has a history of seizures triggered by sleep deprivation or alcohol consumption, they are advised to get enough sleep and avoid alcohol.


If the seizures are caused by an underlying condition that was not addressed by the brain surgery, further treatments may be necessary.


Surgery is considered in certain cases if the seizures are not controlled by medication or other treatments. This may include another brain surgery to remove or repair the area of the brain that is causing the seizures. Or to implant a device such as a vagus nerve stimulator, which can reduce the frequency of seizures.

For some reason, are you thinking of  ignoring the seizures and leaving them untreated? 


Well, don’t ,as this decision can turn too expensive and risky for you! 

What are the risks or complications of seizures after brain surgery?

Seizures can occur as a complication of brain surgery due to changes in brain function or injury to the brain due to surgery. It is also possible for patients to experience seizures or fits after brain surgery.  It can be a side effect or a risk of brain surgery, but it's not always predictable or preventable.

The risk of seizures after brain surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery and the underlying condition that prompted the surgery. For example, the risk of seizures may be higher after certain types of brain surgery. Such as brain tumor resection or brain trauma repair.


Seizures after brain surgery can have several risks or complications, including:

  1. Injury
Seizures can cause injury to the brain or other parts of the body, such as broken bones, bruises, or cuts.
  1. Prolonged recovery

Seizures can prolong recovery time and impede the healing process.

  1. Development of chronic seizures

Recurrent seizures lead to the development of chronic seizures and an increased risk of seizures in the future.

  1. Cognitive and emotional difficulties

Seizures can also lead to cognitive and emotional difficulties such as memory loss, confusion, depression, and anxiety.

  1. Medication side effects

Anti-seizure medications can have side effects such as drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, and nausea.

  1. Loss of Independence

Seizures can lead to loss of independence and a change in quality of life for patients and their families.

  1. Increased risk of mortality

Seizures can increase the risk of mortality due to injury or other complications.


While seizures after brain surgery can be a risk, they are not always predictable or preventable. Close monitoring by a neurosurgeon after the surgery is important.
 

Can seizures after brain surgery recur?

Yes, seizures can recur after brain surgery. But the severity of recurrence may vary depending on the individual case.

Seizures can occur as a result of many factors, including brain injury or damage, infection, inflammation or other medical conditions. In some cases, brain surgery may be necessary to treat the underlying cause of the seizures. Even after successful brain surgery, there is still a risk of seizures recurring.

Hence if you notice any symptoms or changes, it is important to report them to your doctor immediately.
 

Don't let seizures and their risks hold you back from undergoing brain surgery - learn how to take control of seizures with the preventive measures.

Preventing post brain surgery seizures

To prevent seizures after brain surgery, it is important to closely follow the post-operative care instructions provided by the surgeon. This may include taking anti-seizure medication as directed, avoiding activities that could put stress on the brain, and monitoring for any signs of infection or bleeding.


There are several measures that can be taken to prevent post brain surgery seizures:

  • Anti-seizure medication

One of the most effective ways to prevent post brain surgery seizures is to start taking anti-seizure medication before surgery and continue taking it after the surgery. The specific medication and dosage will depend on the individual case, including the type of seizure and the underlying condition that prompted the brain surgery.

 

It is also important to work with your doctor who prescribed the medication to watch for any side effects and adjust the dosage as needed.

  • Close monitoring
Close monitoring by a neurologist or neurosurgeon after the surgery is important to detect any seizures or other symptoms that may occur and to adjust the treatment plan as needed
  • Adequate recovery time
Giving the brain adequate time to heal after surgery can also help prevent seizures. This may include a period of rest and rehabilitation to help the brain recover.
  • Avoiding triggers
Identifying and avoiding known triggers of seizures, such as certain medications, alcohol, and stress, may also help prevent seizures.
  • Avoiding infection
Avoiding infection after surgery can help prevent seizures as well. This includes proper wound care, taking antibiotics as prescribed, and avoiding exposure to people with infections.
  • Nutrition
Adequate nutrition is important for the healing process, and a healthy diet can help prevent seizures.

Even with these measures, seizures may still occur after brain surgery. Close follow-up with a neurologist or neurosurgeon is important to monitor any seizures or other symptoms that may occur and to adjust the treatment plan as needed.

Brain surgery is just the beginning - learn how to manage seizures for a better recovery.

In some cases, seizures may not be completely preventable even with medication, and they may recur after brain surgery. Close follow-up with your surgeon is important. To check for any seizures or other symptoms that may occur and to adjust the treatment plan as needed.


Prognosis of Brain Seizures After Surgery

The prognosis for seizures after brain surgery can vary depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the seizures. In some cases, seizures may resolve on their own or with treatment. Yet, in other cases, seizures may persist or even worsen. Close monitoring and follow-up with a skilled surgeon are required. 

So, what are you thinking? 

 

Call today and get free Consultation!




References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov






 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the treatment for a stroke-associated seizure?

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