This type of surgery is used to improve or cure seizures. The surgery takes a few hours. After that, your child would spend a few days in the hospital. Recovery at home will take 4 to 6 weeks. There are two types of therapeutic epilepsy surgery.

Focal Resection

A doctor removes the part of the brain where the seizures start. This type is for patients who have focal epilepsy. Focal epilepsy means it is coming from a specific part of the brain. Resection means surgery to cut out the abnormal part of the body. This is mainly used when seizures come from an area of the brain that is not critical to normal body function. Critical areas of the brain include ones that control speech, movement, memory, and vision.

Chances of success can depend on things in the brain that are not normal and where your seizures start in the brain. More than 8 out of 10 (80%) people who have their temporal lobe removed get better. Only about 4-5 out of 10 (40 to 45%) people who have their frontal lobe removed get better.

There are 2 types of focal resection:

  • Lesionectomy: Your doctor removes a lesion in the brain with some brain tissue. A lesion is an area of abnormal or diseased tissue.
  • Lobectomy: Your doctor removes a lobe of the brain.

Hemispherectomy and Hemispherotomy

This is a surgery mostly for children that have seizures on one side of their brain. Your doctor will separate the area in the brain where seizure starts from the rest of the brain. This surgery takes several hours, sometimes most of the day. After that, your child will stay in the hospital at least 5-7 days (may need inpatient rehabilitation as well). Recovery at home will take couple months. About 8 out of 10 people (80%) have better seizure control after this type of surgery. Many do not have seizures any more.

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