What are the Main Types of Epilepsy Surgery?

The type of neurosurgery offered depends on the type of seizures you have and where in the brain they start. People of any age, including infants, may be considered for surgery.

Types of epilepsy surgery include:

  • Focal resection. This surgery, also called a focal lobectomy, involves removing the portion of the brain where seizures originate; most commonly one of the lobes or a lesion. This is the most common type of epilepsy surgery.
  • Hemispherectomy. This type of rare surgery is only suitable for a very small number of people, mostly children. A hemispherectomy involves removing all, or almost all, of an entire side of the brain. It is generally only performed if the hemisphere to be removed is already functioning very poorly, which means that after removal the person loses little or no additional function.
  • Corpus Callosotomy. The corpus callosum is a band of fibres located deep in the brain which connects the two halves (hemispheres) of the brain. It assists the hemispheres to share information, but also contributes to the spread of seizures from one side of the brain to the other. A corpus callosotomy is a surgery generally only offered to children. This surgery involves cutting the corpus callosum, thus interrupting the spread of seizures from one hemisphere to the other. Seizures generally do not stop after this surgery but usually become less severe as they cannot spread to the opposite side of the brain.
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