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Evidence to Improve Care

Epilepsy Surgery


Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Recommendation

Less than 2% of patients who might benefit from epilepsy surgery do so because of the lack of a systematic approach to this problem.

  • The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee recommends that the report of the Expert Panel on a Provincial Strategy for Epilepsy Care on improving access to the necessary diagnostic testing for surgical candidacy for epilepsy surgery be used as a resource in developing a provincial approach to addressing this issue

Read the full OHTAC Recommendation Report



In Ontario, about 30 percent of people with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite optimal drug treatment. Good evidence shows surgery is an effective and safe option to try to control the number of seizures for some patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. Patients are carefully selected for surgery on the basis of the frequency, location and type of their seizures.


Health Quality Ontario Reviews Epilepsy Care

The Programs for Assessment of Technology in Health Research Institute performed a field evaluation with the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto to explore the barriers to accessing epilepsy surgery. Subsequently, an Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee Expert Panel on a Provincial Strategy for Epilepsy Care in Ontario was created. This panel developed recommendations for a provincial strategy for epilepsy care.


Epilepsy Surgery: An Evidence Summary(PDF)
July 2012

Epilepsy Care in Ontario: An Economic Analysis of Increasing Access to Epilepsy Surgery (PDF)
July 2012

Related Resources

Diagnostic Evaluation of Infants, Children and Adolescents With Epilepsy for Surgery Candidacy and the Role of Magnetoencephalography (MEG) (PDF)
October 2011


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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has accepted this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry provided additional based funding for epilepsy care in 2012/13.




Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee (OHTAC) — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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