Epilepsy Surgery

Epilepsy surgery is a form of treatment to remove an abnormal part of the brain tissue to stop seizures.

In most patients with epilepsy, 1 or 2 medications control seizures. However, for a third of patients, seizures continue despite appropriate medicines.  Uncontrolled seizures can limit life significantly, result in serious injuries, and in some cases, even cause death. For patients who continue to have seizures that disrupt their lives despite adequate medication, evaluation for epilepsy surgery should be considered.

Types of epilepsy surgery now available include removing or disconnecting the source of the seizures in the brain, destroying it with radiation or inserting a brain ‘pacemaker’.

Before surgery, all patients undergo an extensive assessment to find out where the seizures are coming from in the brain and to make sure that that part of the brain can be removed without causing major problems. The evaluation usually involves a period of prolonged monitoring in hospital to observe and record seizures, brain scans, tests of brain functions like memory and mental health assessment.

All potential epilepsy surgical cases at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital are carefully reviewed by a large multidisciplinary team, consisting of epilepsy specialists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, and experts in brain imaging. This team approach allows us to consider all angles and give the best recommendation. A thorough evaluation of the risks and benefits of epilepsy surgery is developed for each case. The assessment is discussed at length with the patient and their family.

A dedicated team of specialist epilepsy nurses works closely with patients closely from pre-surgical evaluation, through to the operative period and in the months and years following surgery, to provide frequent, readily available and expert support.


Contact us

Location: Level 7, Ned Hanlon Building
Phone: (07) 3646 3111
Fax: 07) 3647 62632
Open: Monday-Friday 7.30am-4.30pm

Need help outside hours?

For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.

In an emergency call 000.

Refer a patient

To refer a patient to this service, view the Epilepsy referral guideline.

For an existing referral call 1300 364 938.