Purpose: The short-term efficacy and safety of epilepsy surgery relative to medical therapy has been established, but it remains underutilized. There is a lack of data regarding the long-term seizure-control rates and quality of life outcomes after epilepsy surgery. This study represents the longest follow-up study to date, with a mean follow-up duration of 26 years.
Methods: We studied the seizure and health-related quality of life outcomes of patients who underwent epilepsy surgery by Dr. Sidney Goldring from 1967 to 1990. Retrospective clinical chart reviews gathered perioperative data and surveys obtained follow-up data. Seizure outcome was evaluated using the Engel classification system.
Key Findings: Of 361 patients, 117 (32.4%) completed follow-up interviews. Fifty-six patients (48%) were Engel class I. Mean overall Quality of Life in Epilepsy (QOLIE-31) questionnaire score for the cohort was 68.2 ± 16. Eighty percent of patients reported their overall quality of life now as being better than before surgery. Seizure freedom was associated with better quality of life. We did not observe a statistically significant association between postoperative complications and long-term outcome. Patients who underwent temporal lobe resection achieved better seizure outcomes than those who underwent other types of procedures. Astatic seizures and bilateral surgery were associated with a worse Engel class outcome.
Significance: Our study demonstrates that the beneficial effects of epilepsy surgery are sustained over decades, and that these beneficial effects are correlated with an improved quality of life. The confirmation of its durability makes us optimistic that the outcomes from modern epilepsy surgery will be even better and that our present enthusiasm for this treatment modality is not misplaced.