Topic Overview

The left and right sides of the brain are called hemispheres. Hemispherectomy is the removal of one side of the brain. This procedure is sometimes done on children who have severe forms of epilepsy, such as Rasmussen syndrome and Sturge-Weber disease. These conditions badly damage one side of the brain, cause frequent seizures and problems with physical and mental development. And these conditions do not respond well to drug treatment.

Hemispherectomy may stop seizures completely in children with severe epilepsy. There are risks with surgery. Many children can walk independently after surgery, but problems with reading and speaking are common. Most school-age children will need help in school after the surgery.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven C. Schachter, MD - Neurology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015