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Can I Pursue Medical School after lobectomy?

I was accepted to medical school (before epilepsy diagnosis). In my final year of undergraduate, I started having seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy.

Since then I have deferred admission till this Fall.

Under medication, me seizures are limited to "auras". Doctor still thinks surgery is a good option. Is thinking of left temporal lobectomy. Personally, I am terrified of side effects of lobectomy, worried that I may lack the cognitive ability to proceed with medical school. My rote memory is already very bad.

On the other hand in my current state, under medication, and auras, I believe medical school/residency and life as a doctor would be ten times tougher, given the limited sleep and long hours, so surgery seems to be an attractive opportunity to get over epilepsy once and for all.

I would appreciate any insight on proceeding to medical under my current medications and just "dealing" with Epilepsy, or proceeding with the risks of surgery?



I think it depends on a lot

I think it depends on a lot of things: how many auras do you have per day/week/month? What is the aura like, how much does it disrupt you?What medication are you on? How much do the side effects bother you if any?What does the doctor give you as your chance of a cure if you do the surgery? 60%?What are your chances of being able to come off medication after surgery? 30%?Although it might feel as though your temporal lobe epilepsy is stable, some think that temporal lobe epilepsy progresses over time. Auras are seizures, so you still have extra electrical activity that is going on in your brain that could develop into new pathways of seizures. Some think that seizures beget seizures, so you are not really technically controlled on medication.What kind of seizures did you have before medication? Did you have any generalized seizures?You should be able to get some accommodations for your disability in medical school. You should ask for limitations on hours due to your epilepsy. You need to sleep.There is no reason that you cannot go to medical school in either scenario. In general, temporal lobectomies do not worsen cognition, but you would want to do a functional MRI to see what things you are doing with your left temporal lobe that might be affected. You will want to understand this. You also want to know what your dominant side for language is: most people are left, so you want to know how language will be affected. Surgery is not a decision that you should rush into. On the other hand, once you weigh up the pros and cons, get second and third opinions, etc., if you decide it is worth it--there is no reason to delay it, as there are advantages to doing the surgery while you are young and have not had epilepsy for too long. Be careful in thinking of surgery as an "attractive opportunity" -- it's more like an attractive gamble. Surgery might not work for you, but many people decide that it's worth going for it because even if there is no change in seizures, it was worth going for the possibility of a cure. Most people who undergo temporal lobectomy will experience an improvement. It's important for you to try to weigh up your pros and cons and risks individually.Good luck!

Hey,First off, CONGRATS on

Hey,First off, CONGRATS on being accepted into medical school. That is a huge accomplishment! I had a left temporal lobectomy when I was 18 right after high school in July of 2012 and was able to slowly start college classes the following month of August 2012. Though it was for my undergrad degree and nothing at all compared to medical school I was able to get back on my feet real quick. I just graduated with honors with my bachelors degree in speech language pathology and audiology and tbh I could not see myself to have gotten this far and with such high grades without my surgery. My fiancé is in his first year of medical school right now and he is constantly studying and has tests every other week. If you find your seizures or auras are constant and not controlled by medication and they're keeping you from being able to retain information or focus on subjects that you need to learn then maybe surgery would be beneficial for you. I wish you the best! I will say the 2 years after my surgery were the hardest I had insomnia and mild depression but it was all worth it. Also, my memory has actually improved a lot since the surgery and recovery! I am still taking medication but I will be 1 year seizure free on October 5th of this year :) I'm now working a full time job as a therapist for kids with special needs. I hoped this helped! Med school is great But your health should come first! Best,Mallory

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