Seizures Following Craniotomy

Craniotomy can provoke seizures in a small proportion of patients. Some patients may already be experiencing seizures as a symptom prior to surgery. You may be required to start taking anti epileptic medication if you are at risk of suffering a seizure or already experiencing seizures. The anti epileptic medication is meant to prevent seizures during and immediately after surgery. This medication may be stopped before discharge if your risk of suffering a seizure was low, but is often continued for at least six months. The amount of medication you take would be altered or stopped depending on your seizure activity.

What happens during a seizure?
There are different types of seizures. It is helpful to understand the seizure types you are likely to suffer following craniotomy and the various signs and symptoms.

Tonic-clonic seizure
This is the most common type of seizure and the easiest to identify.
The muscles contract forcing the air out of your lungs, your body stiffens and then jerks uncontrollably.
Because of the muscles contracting you may let out a cry as you fall down unconscious.
For the same reason, you may bite your tongue, be unable to swallow saliva normally, or be incontinent.
Your breathing may be irregular, your face may look very pale with a bluish tinge around the lips due to lack of oxygen.
The jerking movements nearly always slow down and then stop within five minutes, periods of drowsiness, confusion, headache and sleep often follows.
When you come round, you cannot remember what has happened. Recovery time varies.

Patient Information

Focal seizures, also known as partial seizures

Simple partial seizures
These are examples of what you may experience during a simple partial seizure, but there are many other symptoms. They may last for several seconds or minutes and your awareness or consciousness does not get affected.
Abnormal jerking or twitching
pins and needles