The goal of epilepsy surgery is not merely to control previously intractable seizures, but also to improve quality of life (QOL). Our goals were to assess, in our Middle Eastern population, the QOL of adults with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) 3 years after temporal lobectomy as compared with matched TLE patients who did not undergo surgery and with healthy individuals in the same community.Methods
Twenty consecutive TLE patients who underwent temporal lobectomy 3 years previously were matched in the following variables: age, sex, seizure frequency, seizure duration, age at onset of epilepsy, duration of epilepsy, and number of medications, with 17 TLE patients who underwent the presurgical evaluation and subsequent optimization of medical therapy but did not undergo surgery. They were also matched for age, sex, educational level, income, and residence with 20 healthy individuals. All groups were interviewed by using the ESI-55 questionnaire.Results
Compared with the nonsurgery group, QOL was significantly better in the surgery group (85% seizure free) in the well-being, functioning, and role-limitation domains. QOL was similar in the surgery and healthy control groups in all domains and scales. The nonsurgery group scored significantly lower than healthy controls in the functioning and role-limitation domains.Conclusions
Intractable TLE was associated with marked impairments in QOL despite continued attempts to optimize medical therapy. Three years after temporal lobectomy QOL in our patient population achieved levels similar to those of matched healthy individuals. To our knowledge, this is the first study to report normalization of QOL after temporal lobectomy, in any population.