Initiating a new national epilepsy surgery program: experiences gathered in Georgia


  • T. Dugladze
  • P. Bäuerle
  • S. Kasradze
  • G. Lomidze
  • N. Gzirishvili
  • Vl. Tsikarishvili
  • G. Khurtsidze
  • I. Vida
  • D. Schmitz
  • U.C. Schneider
  • M. Holtkamp
  • T. Gloveli


  • Epilepsy & Behavior


  • Epilepsy Behav 111: 107259


  • Surgery is the most effective therapeutic approach for medically refractory epilepsies and a safe and cost-efficient treatment in terms of long-term expenses of direct, indirect, and intangible costs. Georgia is a Caucasian low- to middle-income country with a remarkable effort to deal with epileptic diseases, but without an appropriate epilepsy surgery program. To address the needs for such a service in this country, two joint German-Georgian projects were initiated in 2017 and 2019. In the framework of these projects, a productive exchange program involving German and Georgian experts was undertaken in the past two years. This program included training and mentoring for Georgian clinical colleagues, as well as joint case conferences and workshops with the aim of optimizing presurgical diagnostics and preparing for an epilepsy surgery program in Georgia. Finally, a postsurgical medium- and long-term follow-up scheme was organized as the third component of this comprehensive approach. As a result of our efforts, the first patients underwent anterior temporal lobectomy and all of them remain seizure-free up to the present day. Hence, epilepsy surgery is not only feasible, but also already available in Georgia. In this report, we aim to share our experiences in the initiation and implementation of surgical epilepsy intervention in Georgia and illustrate our recent endeavor and achievements.