Brain Mapping and Epilepsy—When Is Surgery Worth the Risk?

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Brain Mapping and Epilepsy—When Is Surgery Worth the Risk (1)Epilepsy is a common and often debilitating brain disorder which can affect up to 4% of the country’s population. People who suffer from epilepsy are plagued by seizures, which can range from brief episodes which are barely noticeable to long, convulsive medical emergencies.

Epilepsy can be either genetic or acquired, meaning that the condition may have been present from birth or develop as a result of an injury or illness. Whatever the cause, the condition is always present and can seriously impact the affected person’s life.

For that reason, many people living with epilepsy are hopeful that new medical techniques can provide them relief from their symptoms. One of the most promising techniques is surgery through the use of brain mapping, which aims to provide patients with relief for seizures that cannot be controlled by medication.

Surgery on the brain is a delicate and dangerous operation. Before a doctor will perform this surgery, the different regions of the brain will be mapped and studied. The surgeon will examine the areas of the brain which are affected by the seizures, and will what the surrounding areas of the brain controls.

Because everyone’s brain is different, it is necessary for the surgeon to know exactly where to operate before the procedure starts. The surgeon will stimulate areas of the brain to determine where certain functions are controlled, and will use this map to excise the parts of the brain affected by the seizures.

During the surgery, the surgeon will remove the areas where seizure activity is concentrated while simultaneously attempting to avoid areas of the brain which control vision, speech, movement, or other important functions.

Every surgery, especially neurosurgery, carries with it risks. Electrical mapping of the brain could cause a seizure on its own, which may further injure the brain. There could also be complications from the surgery, like bleeding or infection, or the brain could swell or accumulate excess cerebrospinal fluid. Finally, if the surgeon incorrectly identifies areas of the brain or excises too much brain tissue, the patient could be left with permanent brain damage.

It is important for patients to fully understand the risks associated with this procedure. If a surgeon fails to advise a patient or the parents of the patient of all of the risks, that surgeon could be liable for a medical negligence claim. Similarly, if the surgeon makes a mistake during the procedure which causes an injury, he or she could also be liable for a lawsuit.

Choosing to undergo a dangerous surgery is a decision that every patient must make for themselves. At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, our knowledgeable medical and legal professionals know that patients should be fully informed about their decisicion, and should always be operated on by a competent medical professional.

If you or your child was injured by a doctor’s negligence, you may have a medical malpractice case. For a free initial consultation with a California medical malpractice attorney, call (310) 289-2600 today.

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