Neurosurgery. If you were a gambler, would you gamble your life away with such low odds

There are thirty percent of us who suffer from uncontrollable epilepsy, of which I am one. Sometimes we can go through good periods and then like a bolt of the blue reality suddenly kicks back in. Sometimes we receive an aura that we might be about to, or sometime later, to receive a visit from The Unwelcome visitor (Tuv), and likewise with no prior warning we just go into one. Horrific!

To try and categorise all patients suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy (tle) into the same grouping is completely and utterly wrong. Why? Well that is simply because, yes we suffer from (tle) and that is where it begins and that is where it ends... We all suffer in so many different ways that to try put down a figure would be too high a figure to seriously try to contemplate.

It has been said that nigh on fifty percent of people with difficult to control epilepsy remain seizure free five years after neurosurgery. Or put another way fifty percent of those going forward for neurosurgery are not epilepsy free.

Likewise it has also been said that of the one thousand people identified with suffering from epilepsy every year in the UK, as being suitable candidates for neurosurgery, nearly forty percent are risking a big decline in both their mental and physical abilities coupled with still having their epilepsy and indeed it could be in a much worse format than that prior to having their neurosurgery!

I speak not as a doctor or professional of any form, but as one who has suffered from epilepsy since I was very young. Would I put myself forward tor neurosurgery if I were a younger man etc. and the answer would be a tumultuous NO. E is a B that sadly we have to endure in some cases for the rest of lives, but the enemy that you know is better than the enemy that you do not know.

Like all surgery there has got to be a risk factor involved even for small operations. However we are talking about the brain, the most complex part of our whole body. The complexities of the brain are so great that no living man can possibly understand certain parts of it let alone all of it. Neurosurgery carries such a very high risk factor attached to it.

However for all those who have had and are yet to have neurosurgery, I hope and pray that the result is a successful one for all of you.

Richard Atterwill

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