Your risks may vary, depending on which variety of epilepsy surgery is used and the portion of your brain involved:
Oct. 19, 2012
- Memory problems. The temporal lobe handles memory and language functions, so surgery on this part of the brain may cause difficulties with remembering, understanding and speaking.
- Motor skills and language problems. Surgery to the frontal lobe may also cause language problems and difficulty with certain motor skills.
- Double vision. Temporary double vision sometimes develops after temporal lobe surgery. Vision problems may also occur with occipital lobe surgery.
- Increased number of seizures. Corpus callosotomy — severing the neural connections between hemispheres of the brain — stops seizure activity from spreading throughout the brain, but it doesn't stop the seizures. In fact, it can sometimes increase the number of seizures you experience, but they should be less severe.
- Reduced visual field. Hemispherectomy, or removing the outer layer of half the brain, usually results in a reduced visual field.
- Partial, one-sided paralysis. After a hemispherectomy, you may have limited ability to move on one side of your body. Intense rehabilitation often brings back nearly normal abilities, particularly in children.
- Brunicardi FC, ed., et al. Schwartz's Principles of Surgery. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=50. Accessed Sept. 19, 2012.
- Ropper AH, et al. Adams & Victor's Principles of Neurology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=54. Accessed Sept. 19, 2012.
- Rowland LP. Merritt's Neurology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2010. http://gateway.ovid.com/ovidweb.cgi?T=JS&MODE=ovid&PAGE=main&D=baov&PCOSTART=merritt. Accessed Sept. 19, 2012.
- Seizures and epilepsy: Hope through research. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/epilepsy/detail_epilepsy.htm. Accessed Sept. 19, 2012.
- Surgery. Epilepsy Foundation. http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/aboutepilepsy/treatment/surgery/index.cfm. Accessed Sept. 19, 2012.
- Engle J, et al. Early surgical therapy for drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy a randomized trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2012;307:922.
- Wirrell EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept 27, 2012.