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Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy and Hemispherotomy: Minimally Invasive Surgical Solutions for Epilepsy

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Endoscopic corpus callosotomy and hemispherotomy are minimally invasive surgical procedures for treating epilepsy.

Written by

Hemamalini. R

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Arun Tungaria

Published At February 12, 2024
Reviewed AtMarch 7, 2024


Epilepsy is a neurological condition distinguished by recurrent seizures that can profoundly affect individuals. In severe, medication-resistant seizures, surgical options like endoscopic corpus callosotomy and hemispherotomy are promising solutions to enhance seizure management and overall well-being.

What Is an Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy?

An endoscopic corpus callosotomy is a surgical approach to address severe epilepsy resistant to medications. Through minimally invasive techniques, a neurosurgeon employs specialized instruments and a small camera (endoscope) to reach the brain via minor incisions. The main goal is to deliberately isolate the corpus callosum, a cluster of nerve fibers linking the brain's hemispheres. This intervention curbs the spread of anomalous electrical signals responsible for seizures, resulting in diminished seizure intensity and occurrence. This procedure is considered for individuals whose epilepsy originates in one hemisphere but affects both sides of the brain.

What Is an Endoscopic Hemispherotomy?

An endoscopic hemispherotomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to address severe epilepsy originating from a single brain hemisphere. Through a small incision, a slender endoscope with a camera guides the surgeon in disconnecting or extracting a portion of the affected hemisphere. This strategy aims to halt the spread of epileptic signals, lessening seizure frequency and intensity. The procedure's advantages include shorter hospitalization, the fastest recovery, and the potential for enhanced results compared to conventional open surgeries.

What Is the Difference Between an Endoscopic Callosotomy and an Endoscopic Hemispherotomy?

In epilepsy treatment, endoscopic callosotomy and endoscopic hemispherotomy are surgical interventions. They differ in objectives and the brain structures they address.

Endoscopic callosotomy entails the division of the corpus callosum, a network of nerve fibers bridging brain hemispheres. This procedure aims to halt the transmission of epileptic activity between hemispheres, thus diminishing the impact of seizures originating in one hemisphere on the other. Primarily explored for generalized seizures with limited medication response.

Conversely, endoscopic hemispherotomy zeroes in on severe epilepsy originating from a single hemisphere. During this procedure, a portion of the affected hemisphere is disconnected or removed to stop the spread of epileptic activity. Unlike a callosotomy that maintains both hemispheres, a hemispherotomy aims to isolate the hemisphere generating seizures, reducing frequency and intensity. This procedure is typically considered when the seizures are not well controlled with medication and severely affect the patient's quality of life.

In summary, while both procedures involve endoscopic techniques and are used to treat epilepsy, an endoscopic callosotomy severs the corpus callosum to prevent the inter-hemispheric spread of seizures, whereas an endoscopic hemispherotomy disconnects or removes part of a hemisphere to halt seizure activity originating from that specific hemisphere.

Who Is a Candidate for These Procedures?

Individuals who might be suitable candidates for endoscopic corpus callosotomy and endoscopic hemispherotomy are those who have severe epilepsy resistant to medication. These procedures are typically considered when seizures significantly diminish the patient's quality of life, and alternative treatments prove ineffective. Thorough assessments by medical experts are conducted to weigh potential benefits against risks, factoring in epilepsy type, seizure location, overall health, and the extent of impairment caused by seizures.

What Are the Advantages of Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy and Hemispherotomy?

The advantages of Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy and Hemispherotomy include the following:

Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy:

  • Interrupting Seizure Pathway: Through the division of the corpus callosum, the propagation of seizure activity between brain hemispheres is disrupted, resulting in decreased seizure spread.

  • Less Invasive Technique: Utilizing small incisions and an endoscope equipped with a camera minimizes the requirement for extensive surgical openings, contributing to a more streamlined approach. This results in smaller scars, less pain, and a quicker recovery than traditional open procedures.

  • Reduced Hospitalization Period: The minimally invasive approach of endoscopic corpus callosotomy frequently results in shorter hospital stays, enabling a quicker reintegration into daily routines.

  • Enhanced Quality of Life Possibility: Through diminished seizure frequency and minimized inter-hemispheric activity, individuals have the potential to enjoy an elevated quality of life, marked by improved cognitive abilities and enhanced daily functioning.

Endoscopic Hemispherotomy:

  • Seizure Control: Endoscopic hemispherotomy aims to disconnect or remove the hemisphere causing seizures. This can significantly reduce seizure frequency and intensity, improving the patient's overall well-being.

  • Minimally Invasive Techniques: Similar to the callosotomy, endoscopic hemispherotomy employs minimally invasive approaches, leading to smaller incisions, reduced pain, and quicker recovery times than traditional open surgeries.

  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Successfully reducing seizures through hemispherotomy can substantially improve the patient's quality of life. This can include increased independence, improved cognitive abilities, and better social interactions.

  • Shorter Hospitalization: The procedure's minimally invasive nature often results in shorter hospital stays, allowing patients to resume normal routine sooner.

  • Potential Cognitive Gains: By isolating the hemisphere causing seizures, the risk of cognitive decline due to ongoing seizures is minimized, potentially leading to cognitive improvements over time.

What Are the Potential Risks and Complications Associated With Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy and Endoscopic Hemispherotomy Surgeries?

The potential risks and complications associated with endoscopic corpus callosotomy and endoscopic hemispherotomy surgeries:

Endoscopic Corpus Callosotomy:

  • Infection: As with all surgeries, there is a possibility of infection at the surgical site or within the brain.

  • Bleeding: Additionally, there is a risk of bleeding during or after the procedure, potentially necessitating further medical attention.

  • Neurological Deficits: The surgery might result in sensory or motor deficits due to damage to adjacent brain structures.

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leakage: The protective fluid around the brain might leak, leading to complications.

  • Changes in Cognition or Behavior: There could be changes in cognitive function or behavior due to the impact on brain connectivity.

  • Seizure Recurrence: While the procedure aims to reduce seizures, there's a possibility of seizures continuing.

  • Hemiparesis or Hemiplegia: There might be partial or complete weakness on one side of the body.

  • Anesthesia Complications: Complications related to anesthesia can manifest as unfavorable reactions, potentially impacting breathing and heart rate.

  • Hydrocephalus: Moreover, there is a chance of hydrocephalus involving abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain.

Endoscopic Hemispherotomy:

  • Infection: Infection risk exists at the surgical site or within the brain tissue.

  • Bleeding: Bleeding might occur during or after surgery, necessitating further medical attention.

  • Neurological Deficits: Damage to surrounding brain structures could result in neurological deficits.

  • Changes in Motor or Sensory Function: Due to the manipulation of brain tissue, there is a chance of altered motor or sensory function.

  • Hemiparesis or Hemiplegia: Weakness or paralysis could occur on one side of the body.

  • Seizure Recurrence: While the procedure aims to reduce seizures, complete seizure freedom might not be achieved.

  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Leakage: Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid is possible, requiring intervention.

  • Cognitive Changes: There might be alterations in cognitive abilities or memory due to brain resection.

  • Anesthesia Risks: Adverse reactions to anesthesia could impact the patient's well-being.

  • Hydrocephalus: Abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid might develop post-surgery.

What Is the Success Rate of These Procedures?

The success rates of endoscopic corpus callosotomy and hemispherotomy surgeries vary due to factors like epilepsy type, procedure specifics, patient health, and individual response. Generally, these procedures offer promising results in lessening seizure frequency and intensity, especially for severe, medication-resistant cases. Success rates range between 50 to 90 percent, considering seizure reduction and enhanced quality of life rather than complete seizure freedom.


Endoscopic corpus callosotomy and endoscopic hemispherotomy represent cutting-edge surgical solutions for individuals with severe epilepsy. These minimally invasive techniques promise to enhance seizure control and overall quality of life. However, deciding on these surgeries necessitates comprehensive evaluation and consultations with medical experts to weigh potential benefits against inherent risks.

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Dr. Arun Tungaria
Dr. Arun Tungaria



epilepsyminimally invasive intervention
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