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Michele Cukiert, Arthur Cukiert, Ana Regina Caner, Viviane Ferreira, Cassio Forster, Leila Frayman.
Epilepsy Surgery Program- Hospital Brigadeiro and Sao Paulo Epilepsy Clinic, Sao Paulo SP, Brazil
RATIONALE- Refractory epilepsy often causes severe psycho-social effects on patients. Successful epilepsy surgery leads to quality of life improvement in the majority of the patients. This paper describes the effects of successful epilepsy surgery on the familial psychological dynamics.
METHODS- One-hundred consecutive patients submitted to epilepsy surgery and who were rendered seizure-free were studied. Forty patients were children (under 12 years) and 60 were adults. All were submitted to ECoG-guided cortical resections. All patients had access to the Clinical Psychology Department.
RESULTS- Six families spontaneously sought the Clinical Psychology Dept for psychological help after successful epilepsy surgery. In all families, the subject submitted to surgery was an adult. No family in which a child was operated spontaneously sought psychological help. Familial psychological dynamics disruption was centered on new familial roles demanded by the subjects rendered seizure-free by surgery.
CONCLUSIONS- A minority of families spontaneously sought psychological help after surgery. On the other hand, the same disruption of familial dynamics may have happened in other families. Our data suggest that familial psychotherapy may be useful in many cases. Familial dynamics disruption seems to be more prevalent in families in which an adult member has been submitted to surgery.