Despite the new advancements in antiepileptic drug development, thousands of people with epilepsy will remain intractable to medication. For a considerable proportion of these people, epilepsy surgery is a consideration for better control of their seizures. Resective surgery is now standard practice for patients with medication-refractory epilepsy. Temporal lobectomy continues to be the most common surgery performed. Once patients fail 2 to 3 optimal trials of antiepileptic medication, further drug therapy offers a minimal number of patients freedom from seizures. In contrast, temporal lobectomy in carefully selected patients may result in seizure-free outcomes in more than 70% to 90% of patients with intractable seizures. As technology and drug availability increases in the new millennium, it is important for the primary care physician to be aware of epilepsy surgery as a means to treat patients with antiepileptic drug-refractory epilepsy.
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