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 completely prevent seizures and reverse delays in
development that occur with some forms of epilepsy.
More than 2 million people in the United States have some form of epilepsy, a group of related disorders marked by
recurrent seizures. WebMD asked epilepsy experts your most frequently asked
The surgery always causes some loss of movement and sensation on one
side of the body and sometimes causes partial loss of vision in half of the
visual field of each eye. But most children with a large epileptic area on
one side of the brain already have these problems before the surgery.