Epilepsy Treatment in India
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the brain. This chronic neurological disorder affects 1 out of every 200 people in India. It is estimated that as many as 50 million people around the world currently live with epilepsy.
Epilepsy treatment in India is available at some of the globally renowned hospitals in the country. Seeking epilepsy treatment in India seems like a fair option to medical tourists as high-quality treatment is available at an extremely affordable cost.
Epilepsy treatment in India
is conducted by a team of highly experienced doctors and surgeons who strive to deliver the best results that ensure an improved quality of life to the patient. The best neurosurgeons in India are well known for their skills, knowledge, and experience of working with the some of the best neurosurgery hospitals in the world.
The best hospitals for epilepsy treatment in India provide the best medical care to patients, including to the epileptic patients coming from abroad. Epilepsy treatment in the Western countries is highly expensive and a patient typically saves thousands of dollars by choosing India as a healthcare destination for the treatment of epilepsy.
Epilepsy treatment in India is primarily delivered through medications and surgical intervention. The latter is advised to patients whose symptoms are not relieved with the help of medications and other non-surgical therapies.
There is no dearth of compassion and care in the staff that works at some of the top epilepsy treatment hospitals in India. The medical and paramedical staff at these hospitals are completely empathetic and warm towards the patients, who feel like they are being treated in their home country and not in a foreign land.
Epilepsy Treatment Hospitals in India
Epilepsy treatment hospitals in India offer world-class medical services to patients. The quality of medical treatment offered by these hospitals is comparable to a majority of the Western countries, including the US and the UK. The best hospitals in India have turned no stones unturned when it comes to conforming to international standards of medical care and services.
The best epilepsy treatment hospitals in India are accredited by the National Accreditation Boards for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) and Joint Commission International (JCI). These regulatory bodies make sure that the hospitals consistently maintain their standards of medical treatment and that patients continue to remain satisfied with the quality of services and the behavior of the hospital staff.
The top hospitals for epilepsy treatment in India possess well-trained medical staff who are fluent in English as a language. Therefore, they are capable of assisting international patients with all their queries and concerns.
In addition, the infrastructure maintained at the best neurosurgery hospitals in India is one of the best in the world. The availability of all facilities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and experienced medical staff under one roof are some of the reasons why an increasingly large number of medical tourists choose India for medical treatment.
The epilepsy surgery hospitals in India
offer revolutionary diagnostic and therapeutic care to patients from different parts of the world. The availability of latest diagnostic tools, equipment, and instruments makes it easier for the neurosurgeons to diagnose the disease and conduct treatment with complete accuracy.
Best Epilepsy Treatment Hospitals
Some of the best hospitals for Epilepsy Treatment include the following:
Epilepsy Treatment Cost in India
Epilepsy treatment cost in India is one of the best in the world. In fact, affordable cost of epilepsy treatment in India is one of the reasons why both insured and uninsured patients prefer to come to the country for specialized treatment of this condition.
The low cost of epilepsy treatment in India does not mean that the quality of treatment offered by the hospitals in the country is not good. If not better, the quality of medical care offered at the best hospitals for epilepsy treatment in India is at par with some of the leading neurosurgery hospitals in the world.
Epilepsy treatment cost in India is five to six times cheaper as compared to some of the developed countries, including the US, UK, and Canada. Therefore, many patients from these countries prefer to choose India to undergo epilepsy treatment.
However, the overall epilepsy treatment cost depends on several reasons. For example, the cost hugely depends on the course of treatment advised by the neurosurgeon. Sometimes, patients are relieved after taking a course of medicines. On the other hand, some patients may be advised to undergo surgical treatment, which may or may not include deep brain stimulation (DBS) or vagus nerve stimulation.
Epilepsy surgery cost in India used to treat focal seizures usually range between $5,000 and $7500. Deep brain stimulation cost in India for the treatment of extreme epilepsy starts from $16000 in India and may go as high as $20000 in some of the best hospitals for epilepsy treatment in India. Whereas the same treatment if availed in the US, will cost much more than what it does in India. The cost of epilepsy surgery in India ranges from $25000 to $40000. The cost of DBS is estimated to be around $70000, more than three times of its cost in India.
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Epilepsy Surgeons in India
The best surgeons for epilepsy treatment in India are associated with some of the top neurosurgery hospitals in the country. Epilepsy treatment in India is collaboratively delivered by a team of highly experienced neurosurgeons and paramedical staff.
The top doctors for epilepsy treatment in India are highly-skilled and hold a great experience in working with some of the most elite brain and neurosurgical centers in India and abroad. Their vast exposure to different categories of patients and extremities of epilepsy make them stand tall among the list of most esteemed neurosurgeons in the world.
Moreover, the best neurosurgeons in India are globally renowned for their success rates. Some of the best epilepsy surgeons in India have achieved a success rate of more than 90 percent when it comes to the treatment of patients using the surgical approach.
A majority of neurosurgeons in India are educated and trained from some of the top-notch medical universities in the world. In addition, they hold several certifications from different professional organizations around the world for completing a special course or training in the field of neurology.
The best epilepsy neurosurgeons in India are making great efforts to develop new surgical techniques to treat epilepsy. Prof. P. Sarat Chandra from AIIMS, one of the best epilepsy neurosurgeon in India, developed a novel minimally invasive technique for the treatment of epilepsy called hemispherectomy. This technique is especially used in young children who cannot undergo open surgery because of the associated risks.
What is epilepsy?
Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterized by a tendency to have repeated seizures over a time. Seizures are spontaneous episodes of disrupted brain activity leading to changes in the part of the brain that controls movement, awareness, sensation, or behavior. It may also lead to convulsions or loss of consciousness.
A seizure episode can affect any age group but it usually affects patients aged between 5 and 20 years. People who experience more than one seizure at a gap of at least 24 hours are regarded as epilepsy patients.
Causes of Epilepsy
Epilepsy results because of some changes in the brain leading to a disturbed activity. The most common causes resulting in epileptic episodes include the following:
- Traumatic injury to the brain
- Stroke or transient ischemic attack
- Loss of brain function and dementia
- Congenital brain disorders
- Brain tumours
- Cerebral infections including meningitis, encephalitis, and brain abscess
- Abnormal blood vessels in the brain
- Metabolic disorders such as phenylketonuria
- Bleeding or hemorrhage of the brain
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Types of Seizures
A patient with epilepsy may experience any of the following two types of seizures:
Focal seizures: This type of seizure usually starts in just one part of the brain. The seizure thus experienced is named after the part of the brain that it initiates in. Focal seizures are also known as partial seizures and more than 60 percent of the epilepsy patients experience this type of seizure. Focal seizures affect the way how the patient feels, sees, or hears things. It can produce an emotional and physical effect and could be mistaken for a nerve disorder or mental illness.
Generalized seizures: Generalized seizure affects both the hemispheres of the brain and may lead to muscles spasms, fall, or a complete black out. These are further categorized into different types of seizures, including tonic-clonic, clonic, tonic, atonic, and myoclonic seizures.
Epilepsy: Diagnosis and Treatment
Epilepsy in India is generally diagnosed through a multi-step approach. This approach usually involves the following steps:
- Epileptic seizures are confirmed in the patients with the help of medical history, blood tests, and other clinical tests and neurological exams such as EEG, CT scan, 3 tesla MRI, functional MRI, SPECT, and PET imaging.
- The type of seizure that the patient is suffering from is identified from the test results.
- A clinical evaluation is conducted to know the cause of epilepsy.
- Most appropriate therapy is selected on the basis of above findings.
Treatment Options For Epilepsy
Epilepsy treatment in India is initiated only when the patient experiences a second seizure within 24 hours. It is possible for an individual to have just one seizure in his lifetime and such patients do not need any treatment.
The treatment options for epilepsy in India include the following:
Anti-epileptic drugs are used as the first line of treatment against seizures to prevent the recurrence. These medicines cause a change in the electrical or chemical transmission in the brain to decrease the chance of seizure. Over 70 percent of patients suffering from epilepsy either experience a great reduction in seizure episodes or they become seizure-free with medications.
Vagus nerve stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation is used for the treatment of epilepsy when:
- Medicines are unable to control epileptic seizures
- The patient experiences certain side effects after taking medications
- The patient is rendered unfit to undergo any other surgical treatment
During vagus nerve stimulation surgery, a pacemaker known as vagus nerve stimulator is implanted underneath the chest. This is done with the help of a wire which is wrapped around the vagus nerve on the left side of the neck. Vagus nerve receives a continuous dose of the electrical impulse from the device placed underneath the chest. This surgical procedure helps reduce seizure frequency by 20 to 50 percent. Seizures in some patients are completely managed with the help of this therapy.
Deep brain stimulation
This procedure involves stereotactical implantation of a medical device known as a neurostimulator. This device sends electrical impulses to specific targets in the brain through electrodes. The idea is to stop or control the abnormal brain signals resulting in seizures or other symptoms of epilepsy. Stimulation of these targets reduces the frequency of seizures.
It is a neurosurgical procedure in which one half of the brain hemisphere causing epilepsy is removed or disabled. This procedure is suggested to patients in whom epilepsy is confined to a broad area of a single hemisphere of the brain. Hemispherectomy surgery is reserved for the most complex cases of seizures episodes which cannot be controlled with the help of medications or any other less invasive surgery.
The ketogenic diet is usually preferred for the treatment of epilepsy in children as it involves eating a diet rich in fats but low in proteins and carbohydrates. This is done to alter the chemical balance of the brain to reduce the seizure episodes.
Advanced Surgical Methods for Epilepsy Treatment in India
The following are the most advanced, yet less common epilepsy treatment options available in India:
Anteromedial temporal lobectomy
This surgery is preferred in patients suffering from temporal lobe epilepsy and anti-convulsion drugs are unable to control the seizures. During this procedure, the anterior portion of the temporal lobe of the brain is removed with the help of the surgical procedure.
This surgical procedure is used only in the case when all other treatment options have failed to resolve the episodes of epileptic seizures. It involves the removal of amygdalae and hippocampus, the two components that form a part of the limbic system of the brain. This treatment option is effective with most of the patients but it may cause adverse effects such as impaired memory and defects in visual perception.
Electrocorticography guided resections
This surgical approach is used to treat patients with severe epilepsy. Electrocorticograph is used to identify the epileptogenic zones in the cortex of the brain. These zones are then removed surgically from the cortex during resectioning. This technique destroys the brain tissues where epileptic seizures originate.
Posterior quadrantic resections
This method is used in the case of patients with the Sturge-Weber syndrome. They need epileptic surgery for seizure control and prevention of psychomotor deterioration.