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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Epilepsy Surgery Service

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Prehabilitation

Prehabilitation (short for pre-emptive rehabilitation) is rehabilitation that happens before surgery.

Prehabilitation is the process of learning and practising techniques and strategies before surgery to help you adjust better to changes you may experience after surgery, and help you feel more prepared and in control of your situation. The same techniques can also be used after surgery as rehabilitation.

These techniques can be used by anyone, with or without a diagnosis of epilepsy, who is experiencing memory or mood-related difficulties.

For details of other services offering support, please see 'Resources'

Confidence

Living with epilepsy and the unpredictable nature of seizures can have a significant impact on self-confidence. This can mean that people become socially isolated, particularly if they are not working due to epilepsy. People can struggle to regain their social confidence following surgery even if they become seizure-free.

We recommend discussing confidence and social isolation before surgery. The team can help you identify supports or services that can help you start to build your confidence.

For advice and support, please see 'Resources: Wellbeing'

Memory

Many people with epilepsy report memory difficulties, and temporal lobe surgery can often be associated with a deterioration in memory.

The purpose of the neuropsychological assessment is to investigate current memory functioning and predict whether decline is likely. If so, we recommend developing and practising strategies to support memory.

When thinking about strategies, consider that:

  • the most helpful strategies are ones that fit in with your current life and interests; if you don't get on with technology, a diary or notebook and pen may be easier to use than an electronic device
  • strategies you have used before will be easier to implement; if you previously used a diary to keep track of appointments, it may be helpful to re-start this.

For more information please see the Epilepsy Action website:

Epilepsy Action: Memory - www.epilepsy.org.uk

There are also general brain training apps that may help improve attention and concentration skills - please see 'Resources'

Mood

Many people with epilepsy experience mood-related difficulties. These may be related to epilepsy itself, medication or a psychological reaction to living with a long-term condition.

Mood And Epilepsy - www.epilepsysociety.org.uk

It is important for us to assess mood-related difficulties before surgery, to predict whether you may be at risk of deterioration. Problems with mood will not stop you from having surgery, but if we have a good understanding of your difficulties we can put in place some strategies to help. It is helpful to practise strategies to improve mood before surgery.

These resources may be helpful:

Epilepsy and wellbeing: how are you feeling? - www.epilepsy.org.uk

There are also wellbeing apps - please see 'Resources'