Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 120-123

Economics of epilepsy surgery

Department of Neurosurgery, Loma Linda University Health System, Loma Linda, California, USA; Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Venkatraman Sadanand
Department of Neurosurgery, Loma Linda University Health System, 11234, Anderson Street, Loma Linda, California, 92354, USA

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.128685

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Objective: Surgical decision-making is a complex process. First, a medical decision is made to determine if surgery is necessary. Second, another medical decision is made to determine the type of surgery. Third, a corporate decision is made if such a surgery is financially feasible. Finally, a legal decision is made to proceed or refuse the chosen surgery. This paper examines these issues in the case of surgery for medically intractable epilepsy and proposes a method of decision analysis to guide epilepsy surgery. Materials and Methods: A stochastic game of imperfect information using techniques of game theory and decision analysis is introduced as an analytical tool for surgical decision-making. Results: Surgery for appropriately chosen patients suffering from medically intractable epilepsy may not only be feasible, but may be the best medical option and the best financial option for the patient, families, society and the healthcare system. Such a situation would then make it legally or ethically difficult to reject or postpone surgery for these patients. Conclusions: A process to collect data to quantify the parameters used in the decision analysis is hereby proposed.

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