Epilepsy Foundation

What can scar tissue cause and can it get worse over time..

Is it possible for the scar tissue on my brain to grow resulting in more seizures?

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Hi Anthony,

My Son has Epilepsy and my Nephew does too. My Nephew has a shunt in his brain, for release of fluid and has allot of scar tissue it does grow, he also has scar tissue in his stomach. He has been seizure free for sometime now but is experiencing bad headaches. Take care of yourself and be sure to ask your Dr.
I don't think the scar tissue necessarily grows in itself, but that it gets worse due to the presence of more seizures. I could be wrong on that though. I do seem to recall hearing about it being removed to prevent future seizures, but I imagine details like that are unique to each individual

Do you currently have scar tissue? I have had over a thousand seizures in my lifetime and my MRI's are still normal.
Curious about a couple things written. First, Peter I wonder why scarring doesn't show on your MRI's. My scarring could be seen on my MRI's but don't think I had as many seizures as you. I only question how many I had before my surgery because they found during my internal graphs that I was having seizures every ten minutes while sleeping, so maybe I had more than I think about.
The other thing is about the scarring. I wonder if my scars will ever go away more. I know that after my surgery, the scar was very wide(about an inch wide) and would not grow hair. Slowly I have seen more hair in this area. I do wear my hair pretty short and is still hard to cover areas of where the scar is at. It is almost like my hair is growing in the wrong direction there. When I look at an old photo that was taken before my hair grew out, I see the worst looking areas of my incision is where it is worse now. (two surgeries) what irritates me most now is the deep "craters" that have been created from the surgery. With hair covering these large holes, they can not be seen. In front of the top part of my ear, it is a hole that feels like a chunk of my cheek bone was removed and at the top of my ear is a hard area of my skull with a big round hole(sore if I touch the inside of it.
I have noticed that I had what felt like a "bee bee" under the skin at the bottom of the "question mark" of the incision. It has gotten smaller. It feels like if there was no skin over it, that I could pull a beebee out. lol I cover most of the scar pretty good. I have to use some makeup in front of the ear and sometimes on the top of the question mark. Some days I say I am going to try growing my hair all out and see if it will just cover it up. :)
I was seeing a different dr. when it was mentioned that the tissue could have grown resulting in more seizures. I'm still waiting for my next appointment to ask the neurologist that question. As far as the location of the scar tissue it's located on my brain and not my head.
I have scar tissue from encephalitis at age 4. I don't think the scar tissue exactly grows over time (although I am not a doctor, and I don't know the answer to this for sure.) However, yes your seizures can get worse over time. After the illness at age 4, I had no seizures at all until my early 20's. They were all very mild at first - petit mal, and I didn't even recognize what they were for a while. That all changed at age 26 when a grand mal struck and they have been difficult to control ever since. It now requires a mix of two medications to do the job. So yes, seizures can get more difficult to control over time, whether or not the scar tissue itself changes.

Anthony, sorry, I did not mention the scars from the seizures as much as the scars from the incision area. I did have scarring on the brain where my seizures were hitting. These internal brain scars were removed during my surgery. I am guessing this is the area that is having the seizuring area removed also. I only question the scarring from my Spinal Meningitis being removed. I do not believe this is where the seizures were coming from, and if it was necessary to remove this area also.???? I have wondered about the scarring from the Spinal Meningitis being removed so that it wouldn't cause seizures later. Posts like this adds up the questions I would love to have the chance to ask the surgeon who did my TLS. Live so far from there, I will probably never know.
Do you know what caused the scar tissue?

I do not think scar tissue grows unless it is caused by some underlying condition that is still present.

In my case after I had a seizure the MRI revealed a single scarred area about 1 cm in diameter and 2 cm long and a few other 1 or 2mm scarred areas scattered around. My neurologist thinks a stroke I never noticed is the most likely cause but since strokes are very uncommon for people with my age and risk factors there were lots of tests for other possible causes.

After the initial MRI I had one done 6 months with contrast both to check for restricted blood vessels and to check for changes. Two years later my neurologist requested another to make sure nothing had changed. But I think the last one was more due to the uncertainty of the diagnosis than to check for the scar tissue growing on its own accord.
Atldoug, I was told that the scars are where the seizures are "sparking". My scarring was shown at the same place that the EEG's were showing where the seizures were taking place. I had damage in a different area of my brain, which was also discolored. The internal graphs were put in because the doctors wondered if the seizures were "ricoshaying" (sp)lol from the area that was all gray. This gray area was also seen on the MRI. They took some of the gray area out so that it could be tested. This is when they came back and said it was from Spinal Meningitis. If an area is "damaged" from this, does this mean it all should of been removed so it doesnt spread the damage??? I always wonder this. I was told there was a high percent chance that the seizures could return. Why??? If they removed the area of scarring where they saw the seizures hitting was removed, is it the Spinal Meningitis area that causes a warning??? One of these days, I am going to get enough nervous to call the doctors where I had the surgery and ask.

I was actually responding to the original poster. I am not a doctor and am not qualified to answer your question.

You might want to see if the doctor that did the surgery can be contacted by email if you would rather not call. My HMO makes it possible to contact my general practitioner by email but not my neurologist.
Hi AtlDoug, as for your question do I know what caused the scar tissue. I was told that at age 4 I had a very high fever which resulted in me having a seizure that lasted so long that it caused the brain damage/scar tissue.
I believe so, I read that people with tumor surgery in cases of cancerous or benign it can come back. I guess that might be true true cause I have had surgery for a tumor causing seizures. I have had it done twice once to remove it, the second one to remove some from the scar lining. did in fact have seizures after the first surgery but, controlled with medication. the tumor spread over to the other side. which, surgery is not really a option anymore. I plan to find out more with my appointment in february with a new neurologist . I have been recording questions on micro-cassette recorder to write them down and have them prepared for the doctor.
Hi. I have scar tissue on the right side of my brain because I was a forcep delivery. It hasn't changed, but it is the cause of my SPs. I often complained of an odd feeling in the back of my head even as a kid, but nobody could diagnose it. When I was 14, I had 1 or 2 TCs--that's when they began doing EEGs, and I had an SP during one, allowing diagnosis. They saw the scar tissue during a CT scan after the TC.
Seizures can get worse as a person grows older. Around 2000, I began having CPs, which have been very scary and dangerous. Mine occur w/o warning, and twice I've severely burned myself.


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