The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term results of resective surgery on children with difficult-to-treat epilepsy in Norway.
In the period 1995-2004, 64 surgical procedures (54 resections and 10 functional hemispherotomies) were performed in 54 children. The children's medical records were retrospectively reviewed at a minimum of 2 years after surgery. We sent a questionnaire regarding their epilepsy (seizures, usage of antiepileptic drugs) and general functioning (social situation, motor, language, cognition, behavioural or emotional problems, any remedial action) to the children/parents after a mean follow-up period of 7 years.
55.5% of the children were seizure-free. The success rate varied according to the type of surgery. Best results were found after functional hemispherotomies and temporal lobe resections, as nine of 10 (90%) and 10 of 19 (53%) of these patients, respectively, became seizure-free. In addition to a better seizure control, 71% of the children/parents reported of a better cognitive and psychosocial functioning.
The results of epilepsy surgery in this paediatric cohort are very edifying, and it is our impression that this treatment option is underused in Norway.