Brain and Spine Surgery

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The corpus callosum, a structure in the brain made up of white-matter fiber tracts, is the most important connection between the two halves of the brain.

In this procedure, the surgeon severs the nerve fibers that connect the hemispheres of the brain to each other. This procedure is used to treat uncontrolled generalized tonic-clonic seizures, complex partial seizures with drop attacks, and other generalized seizures. Reduced seizure activity usually continues on one side of the brain.

Corpus callosotomy is used to treat epilepsy that is unresponsive to drug treatments. In some cases, a corpus callosotomy is done in two stages. In the first operation, the front two-thirds of the structure is cut, but the back section is preserved. This allows the hemispheres to continue sharing visual information. If this does not control the serious seizures, the remainder of the corpus callosum can be cut in a second operation.

After the corpus callosum is cut, the dura and bone are fixed back into place, and the scalp is closed using stitches or staples. The patient generally stays in the hospital for 2 to 4 days. Most people who have a corpus callosotomy will be able to return to their normal activities, including work or school, in 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.

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