Surgery technology - this is how doctors call surgical treatment of epilepsy, because without state-of-the-art equipment, even the most professional doctors can do nothing. These are complex brain operations in which accuracy must be calculated to a millimeter. In Ukraine, a few years ago, they were single, but now our capabilities are much greater, according to TSN.
Five-year-old David is preparing for surgery. His attacks began 2 months ago suddenly. "It just started to freeze, numbs the body, leads to the side," says the mother.
They immediately went to the hospital, where everything happened again. "On the same day we had 2 more attacks, one of them serious. He wasn't breathing anymore," his mother recalls tearfully.
David was prescribed anticonvulsants, but the seizures did not stop. Doctors from their native Kherson sent them to the capital's Okhmatdyt, where, after several examinations, doctors immediately ordered an operation.
In the world, epilepsy has long been treated through surgical interventions. In Ukraine, these were isolated operations until the necessary equipment appeared. "If neuro-oncology, birth defects is really a team surgery, then here it is both team and technology surgery. Here, without technology, some surgical interventions are impossible," says Pavlo Plavsky, Head of the Department of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Okhmatdyt.
These operations are performed on those whom the drugs do not help, such patients are called pharmacoresistant and, according to the American Epilepsy Foundation, a third of them. The percentage of those who are eventually prescribed surgery is even smaller. "Unfortunately, not all patients with pharmacoresistant epilepsy can be treated successfully surgically, because if we have several lesions, or very common foci, we may not have such success," says neurologist Iryna Holovatiuk.
The focus of attack is the place from which the impulses come. Finding it is one of the most difficult stages of preparing for surgery. Patients undergo several studies, then the images are superimposed on each other, and only after that the team of doctors decides whether it is possible to perform the operation so as not to disrupt vital functions. "Sometimes we see them more clearly, that is, it is not even necessary to have high-quality MRI, because they are clearly visible, and sometimes, this is such a challenge for us, because we cannot clearly say, but due to the fact that we have such multidisciplinarity, we discuss such cases among ourselves," the doctors say.
Each patient is prescribed surgery individually, there are up to 10 types of them. But the results are such that after 4 out of 5 patients, the number of attacks is reduced to zero and people begin to live a full life. Like Darynka, who is now on a walk alone, although a year ago, this was impossible. Her life was under constant surveillance. On the playground, I had to be close to my parents, not friends, not to run with classmates at school. Do not go to the dances that I dreamed of. "One attack can be per month, one attack can be in six months, and we had if the attack came one after another more than 200 times a day. Maybe a break of 2 minutes, maybe 15. You can't predict how it will be," says the mother.
Dozens of examinations and various doctors, all just shrugged. In desperation, the family turned to Okhmatdyt, where they finally received an answer - an urgent operation was needed. "On the second day after the operation, we went for a walk. Then they fed the pigeons," the child's mother recalls.
A year has passed since then. "No attack, none. Compared to what was, earth and sky," the woman convinces.
The only discomfort that remained in the girl's life is pills. It will not be possible to forget about them for at least a few more years. Although her parents are still accustomed to holding her hand constantly, they are gradually learning to let Darynka go from their round-the-clock care, because they themselves have finally become calm for her.
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