OBJECTIVE: Despite optimal medical treatment, approximately one-third of patients with epilepsy continue to have seizures. Epilepsy surgery is widely accepted as a therapeutic option in the selected subset of patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy. Here, we report the results of the Danish epilepsy surgery programme from 2009 to 2014.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 169 consecutive patients, operated at Rigshospitalet, were included. Information was gathered from digital patient records. Before 1-year follow-up, two patients were lost to follow-up and three were referred to new surgery.
RESULTS: The median years of drug resistance before operation were 11 years. At 1-year follow-up (n = 164), seizure outcomes were as follows: 65% Engel I (free from disabling seizures), 51% Engel IA (completely seizure free) and 9% Engel IV (no worthwhile improvement), and for patients operated in the medial temporal lobe (n = 114): 70% Engel I, 56% Engel IA, 5% Engel IV. The outcomes of the 53 patients needing intracranial EEG recording (ICR) were not significantly different from the patients only evaluated with surface EEG. None of the eight MRI-negative patients operated outside the medial temporal lobe after ICR were free of disabling seizures. 12% of MTLE patients developed de novo depression after epilepsy surgery despite good surgical outcome. Three patients required rehabilitation due to post-operative hemiplegia.
CONCLUSION: The outcomes of the Danish epilepsy surgery programme align with international results found in recent meta-analyses. Serious complications to epilepsy surgery are seldom. In accordance with international recommendations, Danish drug-resistant patients should be referred to epilepsy surgery evaluation at an earlier stage of the disease.