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Epilepsy Surgery Service

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After Epilepsy surgery

Expect to stay in hospital for four to five days to recover from surgery, but length of stay differs between people.

What to expect after surgery

Common early after-effects

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Low mood
  • Bruising or swelling to the face
  • Constipation
  • Pain when chewing and yawning

These tend to improve over time.

We have produced a leaflet which includes some advice from a patient who has experienced neurosurgery. It includes a guide to signs to look out for, and when to contact the team if you are concerned.

After Cranial Surgery (pdf)

If you have a seizure following surgery this does not necessarily mean that the surgery has been unsuccessful; it could be due to the direct stress of surgery on the brain. If this does happen please contact the Epilepsy Specialist Nurses.

If you have concerns after surgery please see 'Concerns'

Later effects of surgery

The recovery process differs between people, however in all cases physical and mental activity may take several weeks to return to pre-operative levels. Start to increase daily activity gradually as and when you feel able.

For more information please see 'Prehabilitation'.


People may consider returning to work after two to three months, but this will depend on how you feel as well as the nature of your job.

If you are experiencing significant employment difficulties following surgery, speak to a member of the team who can refer youto our Occupational Health Practitioner for specific advice.


After being discharged from hospital, you will remain under the care of the Epilepsy Surgery Team for about five years.

You will have meetings with different professionals in the multidisciplinary team (MDT) including the Consultant Neurologist in charge of your care, Consultant Neurosurgeon and Consultant Neuropsychiatrist.

You will also have follow-up neuropsychological assessments at approximately six months, two years and five years after surgery, to assess cognition and emotions.

Your follow-up may also include additional brain scans, such as MRI.


If you have symptoms needing immediate medical attention, such as signs of an infection, please go to your closest A&E or dial 999.

Otherwise, if you have concerns after surgery during working hours, please contact the Epilepsy Specialist Nurses.

For urgent advice out of hours, call switchboard on 0300 304 7777 and ask the operator to bleep one of the Neurosurgical Registrars on call.

Epilepsy Specialist Nurses

Tel: 01865 234222
Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm