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.