Lobectomy is the most common operation for epilepsy. During this procedure, a neurosurgeon removes the portion of one temporal lobe that is causing the seizures. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and the recovery time in the hospital is usually 24 hours. Much of the brain can be operated on without causing any permanent neurologic deficits. However, there are a few very important areas that cannot be removed without causing loss of certain functions, such as weakness, decreased sensation in part of the body, or difficulty with speaking or vision. These areas can be mapped out in the brain with a technique called cortical mapping. It involves sending small amounts of electrical current through electrodes on the surface of the brain across one centimeter at a time. If stimulating a certain location causes any symptoms, doctors know that removal of this area may cause a deficit. This information helps to map out exactly what part of the brain can be safely removed in surgery, and what part should be avoided.
UAB Medicine is home to some of the nation’s finest epilepsy specialists, with expertise in all types of epilepsy. Our history of innovative patient diagnosis, treatment, and management of this condition has helped the UAB Epilepsy Center achieve a designation from the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a Level IV Center, the highest designation available.
Epilepsy specialists at the UAB Epilepsy Center use advanced imaging technology to evaluate patients who may have epilepsy. UAB is the only center in Birmingham that offers such a comprehensive range of advanced technology, including magnetoencephalopathy (MEG)-based magnetic source imaging, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), combined EEG and functional MRI, single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), and positron emission tomography (PET) scanning.
At UAB, the neurologists and neurosurgeons who treat you collaborate to develop a plan of care specific to your case. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that you are treated with the most modern and advanced tools to fight epilepsy.
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