Hi Cathy and Ron,
Welcome to HW! I haven't been on the boards much due to my recent surgery. As Jen said, I had surgery recently in Boston for a left temporal lobe resection. I understand your concerns totally! After just going thru the procedure myself, I can tell you it was an experience that you really have to research as much as you can.
A few years ago I was told about the possiblities of loss of memory and language ability. These were "uncommon" I was told. The more dangerous complications like having a stroke and death were "rare", less than 1 percent. But these facts didn't make me want to jump right in and sign up for the operation. I was fearful of the possibility of something going wrong. After all, it wasn't like they could put back what was taken out!!
If you read my posts you probably can see I did fairly well. I'm still recovering, but I feel pretty good so far. I still have a headache when I'm lying down, and I see these lines in my upper right visual field, but, if it eliminates my seizures, it's well worth it.
Hope the info helps! Glenda
Glenda and Jen,
Thanks for answering back. Glenda...Your personal experience means a lot. I'm glad you are recovering. How often are the headaches and how severe? Is that common as well?
I've been online researching and researching and the more I search the more confused I get as to where to go. We are located in Illinois but willing to travel to get the best care. I may sound untrusting of doctors and don't mean to be but I would rather consult with a doctor who has a lot of experience with left temporal lobe surgery than one who does only a few. Our neurosurgeon only does 6 or so brain surgeries a year and this is why we are wanting to go elsewhere. He may be very good but I would feel more comfortable with this if we went to someone who does 50-100 a year.
I did notice the website for the place that Jen mentioned in Minn. Is that facility better known for these surgeries than Mayo? Also, is there any type of website to get information on the ratings of the epilepsy centers? I know type IV is better and I found the 2005 ratings of neurosurgery hospitals but that still doesn't help as far as "left" temporal lobe surgeries. I've called around to a couple hospitals to get stats but they don't have them. What are some good questions to ask the doctor?
Glenda, can you give me some ideas on the type of research you did before surgery and tell me why you went to Boston. Do you live there or did your research take you there?
about my headaches- I had them before the surgery, and I continue to have them after the surgery, but they are probably due to two different things. I have headaches like I used to have before the surgery - I blame my meds. I wake up every day with a pounding headache in the back of my head ... The other kind of headache is from the surgery - the left side of my head hurts around the incision - I think in the areas where the titanium screws and little plates are holding the bone together. It sounds worse than what it is... mostly it's annoying compared to the other headache.
I went to Boston and wouldn't hesitate to go to the same neurosurgeon again in a heartbeat. He does 1-2 surgeries/week like mine, so I was sure he was the "right" doctor. Although I live in Colorado now, I used to live close to the Boston area, and I called my old neurologist for the referral, as I wanted to return to Boston. I did a lot of research as you are doing, and you really do have to go to an Epilepsy Center that has a lot of experience. Some important questions to ask the surgeon - how many surgeries/year, complications (and what kind), length of hospital stay, kind of incision, what is the follow-up care once released from hospital, how long to stay on meds after the surgery.
I talked to several people that had the same surgery I did before I had it done, and that really, really helped a lot.
Feel free to email me! firstname.lastname@example.org