Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Hemispherectomy may be "anatomic" or "functional." In an anatomic hemispherectomy, a hemisphere is removed, while in a functional hemispherectomy, some tissue is left in place, but its connections to other brain centers are cut so that it no longer...
Several variations of the anatomic hemispherectomy exist, which are designed to minimize complications. Lower portions of the brain may be left relatively intact, or muscle tissue may be transplanted in order to protect the brain's ventricles (fluid-filled cavities) and prevent leakage of cerebrospinal fluid from them.
Most surgical centers perform functional hemispherectomy. In this procedure, the temporal lobe (that region closest to the temple) and the part of the central portion of the cortex are removed. Additionally, numerous connecting fibers within the remaining brain are severed, as is the corpus callosum, which connects the two hemispheres.
During either procedure, the patient is under general anesthesia, lying on the back. The head is shaved and a portion of the skull is removed for access to the brain. After all tissue has been cut and removed and all bleeding is stopped, the underlying tissues are sutured and the skull and scalp are replaced and sutured.
The body's ability to maintain balance and purposeful movement depends on complex processes. This narrated animation explains how the brain and inner ear structures work together to maintain balance and proper orientation of the body.
Hemispherectomy is a surgical procedure where one cerebral hemisphere (half of the brain) is removed or disabled. This procedure is used to treat a variety of seizure disorders where the source of the epilepsy is localized to a broad area of a single hemisphere of the brain. It is solely reserved for extreme cases in which the seizures have not responded to medications and other less invasive surgeries.
Surgery for removal is generally advised for patients with limited cancer elsewhere in the body and a single brain metastasis.
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