Lara Jehi, MD: Cost-Effectiveness of Epilepsy Surgery

August 19, 2020

The chief research officer and epilepsy specialist at Cleveland Clinic detailed her most recent findings on the cost-effectiveness of epilepsy surgery for drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy.

“Even before you put a patient through the surgical testing, you have to identify if they’re a surgical candidate. Still, your most cost-effective option is to send them to get that evaluation so that you can see if they’re a surgical candidate.”

A recently published study that evaluated the cost of epilepsy surgery and surgical evaluation found that both are cost-effective for eligible patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (DR-TLE). Furthermore, epilepsy surgery was cost effective compared to medical management in surgically eligible patients by virtue of being cost saving ($328,000 vs $423,000) and more effective (16.6 Quality Adjusted Life Year [QALY] vs. 13.6 QALY) than management in the long run.

Senior author of the study, Lara Jehi, MD, has always been a major advocate for epilepsy surgery and has stated that she feels as though the results only confirm the positives for those eligible to make that decision. Epilepsy surgery is often underutilized and not recommended to a large number of patients despite multiple studies proving its effectiveness and long-term benefit for those with DR-TLE. Jehi hopes that her study can help demystify some of the preconceived notions that surround epilepsy surgery.

Jehi, who is also the chief research officer and an epilepsy specialist at Cleveland Clinic, explained why her results are informative and could ultimately have a big impact on those who are fearful of opting for epilepsy surgery or even a surgical evaluation in an interview with NeurologyLive.

REFERENCE

Sheikh SR, Kattan MW, Steinmetz M, Singer ME, Udeh BL, Jehi L. Cost effectiveness of surgery for drug resistant temporal lobe epilepsy in the US. Neurology. Published online July 8, 2020. doi: 10/1212/WNL.0000000000010185