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Surgical Treatment for Epilepsy

While the physicians associated with the Inova Functional Restoration Program strive to optimize medication for those having seizures, about 40 percent of people with epilepsy are not able to manage their disease with medication alone. In these cases, surgery may be the best treatment.

Surgical interventions performed by Inova's experts include:

  • Temporal lobectomy. The most common type of surgery is the temporal lobectomy, in which part of the temporal lobe is removed in those with temporal lobe epilepsy.
  • Extratemporal resections. This surgery involves removing areas of the brain outside of the temporal lobe. A grid electrode is implanted over the brain which records the seizures and the area from which they are coming. Then, if a specific area can be identified and mapped for safe removal, surgery takes place. This surgery is most commonly performed for focal epilepsy in the frontal lobe (at the front of the head), parietal lobe (at the top of the head) or occipital lobe (at the back of the head).
  • Multiple subpial transections. If seizures originate in a part of the brain that cannot be safely removed, a small instrument is used to make a series of shallow cuts through the brain's cerebral cortex and disrupt local interconnections to stop seizures.
  • Corpus callosotomy. The surgeon separates the nerve bridge that connects the two halves of the brain to confine the epileptic discharge and reduce generalized seizures.