Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
There is a slight risk of infection or hemorrhage from the surgery, usually less than 1%. Disconnection of the two hemispheres of the brain can cause some neuropsychological impairments such as decreased spontaneity of speech (it may be difficult to...
bring the right words into one's mind) and decreased use of the non-dominant hand. These problems usually improve over time. Complete cutting of the corpus callosotomy produces more long-lasting, but very subtle deficits in connecting words with images. These are usually not significant, or even noticed, by the patient.
Corpus callosotomy (or less frequently, callotomy) is a surgical procedure that disconnects the cerebral hemispheres, resulting in a condition called split-brain.
Most modern callosotomies involve only the anterior portion of the corpus callosum, reflecting the fact that the frontal and temporal lobes are the most commonly involved in the genesis of seizures. The deficits from this modified procedure are milder; side-effects have not been found in some patients (although it is very unlikely that none exist).
The corpus callosum is usually severed in order to stop epileptic seizures. Once the corpus callosum is cut, the brain has much more difficulty sending messages between the hemispheres. Although the corpus callosum is the largest white-matter tract connecting the hemispheres, some limited interhemispheric communication is still possible via the anterior commissure and posterior commissure. When tested in particular situations, it is obvious that information transfer between the hemispheres is reduced.
Surgery for removal is generally advised for patients with limited cancer elsewhere in the body and a single brain metastasis.
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