Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy, accounting for about 60-70 percent of cases. Located on either side of the brain above the ears, the temporal lobes are involved in short-term memory and sensations.
When medications fail to control a patient’s seizures, a temporal lobectomy – also called a temporal resection – may be the next step. During this type of procedure, a portion of the temporal lobe of the brain is removed. This is the most common type of epilepsy surgery and has a high rate of success. About 70 – 80 percent of patients will see significant improvement in their seizures.
The temporal lobectomy is performed by a neurosurgeon, who will first perform a craniotomy to expose the epileptic area of the brain. Depending on your specific case, intraoperative EEG recording and stimulation with subdural electrodes may be performed to map brain areas or reconfirm the epileptic zone, particularly how much of the lateral temporal cortex is involved.
The neurosurgeon performs the procedure while looking through an operative microscope. After removing the area of the brain where seizures occur, the neurosurgeon will close, replace the bone flap removed during the craniotomy and secure it with titanium plates and screws, then suture the muscles and skin back together.