Corpus callosotomy is a surgical procedure that cuts the corpus callosum, a band of tissue that transmits messages from one side of the brain to another. The procedure may not eliminate seizures completely, but it prevents a seizure from spreading from one side of the brain to the other. It also may stop drop attacks, a type of seizure that causes muscles to go limp and often results in a fall and injury.
Grid and strip placement help determine what part of the brain seizures are coming from. Grids are sheets or strips of electrodes embedded in a thin, flexible sheet of polyurethane that are implanted directly on a specific area of the brain to monitor brain activity and seizures. Grids are used to monitor a more precise area of the brain. Strips are used to monitor a larger area of the brain.
After the electrodes are in place, you’ll stay in the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) where brain and seizure activity will be monitored to determine where the seizures occur and what functions they impact. That information is used for a second surgery to remove the grids and the area of the brain causing the seizures.
Hemispherectomy is a surgical procedure to eliminate seizures by removing one side of the brain. It’s usually performed on young patients who have severe seizures coming from only one side of the brain, or older patients who suffered a large brain injury during childhood.
After surgery, the remaining side of the brain can take over the functions from the part of the brain that is removed.
Temporal lobectomy is the most common surgery performed for epilepsy. During this procedure, our neurosurgeon removes part of the temporal lobe (the front part of the brain used for memory, speech, emotion and visual senses) where seizures begin.
Lobectomies are effective in significantly reducing, if not eliminating seizures, and people who have them are able to lead normal lives.
If medication isn’t effective in controlling your seizures and surgery isn’t an option, implanting a vagal nerve stimulator is another treatment available. The device, like a pacemaker, is implanted under the skin on your chest and a wire runs from it to the vagus nerve in your neck. The stimulator sends regular, mild electrical impulses to your brain.