Traditional Epilepsy Surgeries

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If you have any questions, please contact Karen Secore, Nurse Navigator for the Cottage Epilepsy Center at: 805-832-3633

If the region of seizure origin is identified and can be safely removed, then a surgical resection is recommended. Various resections are possible.


A lobectomy is the removal of part of the brain. Almost 80 percent of partial seizures in adults begin in the temporal lobes, which are located on both sides of the head just above the ears.

A portion of one of the temporal lobes can be removed if tests consistently show that seizures originate there. The success rate for becoming seizure-free after a temporal lobectomy is approximately 70 to 90 percent.

Your doctor may perform other surgeries such as removal of tumors, abnormal collections of blood vessels, and congenital lesions. Lesions and their surrounding tissue will be removed if monitoring shows that seizures begin in that area.

Corpus Callosotomy

During this operation, the doctor temporarily removes a portion of the skull to gain access to the brain. Nerve fibers that connect one side of the brain to the other, called the corpus callosum, are severed.

This is done to keep seizures from spreading from one side of the brain to the other. No tissue is removed. This is most helpful for grand mal seizures and drop attacks. Seizures are not usually stopped entirely by this procedure; however, the effects are generally less severe. Often patients may have a seizure on only one side or the other.

The operation is done in two stages. In the first procedure, the corpus callosum is cut two-thirds of the way. If this adequately controls seizures, then no further surgery is likely needed. If it does not significantly reduce the frequency and/or intensity of your seizures, then you will be evaluated for further surgery.

Risks from Epilepsy Surgery

Although epilepsy surgery is considered relatively safe, there are certain risks which may include:

  • Bleeding or infection at the surgical site
  • Risks associated with anesthesia
  • Minor vision loss or weakness opposite the side of surgery
  • Difficulty remembering or speaking certain words

Cottage Locations

Support Group

Doctor speaking with a patient

Cottage Epilepsy Center offers a support group for patients and their families to discuss issues related to the condition and the effect that it has on the patient and family. For more information call, 805-832-3633.

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