The film below shows surgeons from the Neuroscience Institute at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center perform a hemispherectomy on a 6-year-old girl with epilepsy. This involves removing a large part of the girl’s left hemisphere; the corpus callosum, the bundle of approximately 100 million nerve fibres connecting the two hemispheres, is then severed.
One of the surgeons in the film describes epilepsy as “an electrical storm” in the brain. The procedure is performed to remove the eye of this “storm”. The corpus callosum is then severed, just in case the tissue which is the source of the abnormal electrical activity has not been removed in its entirety. This would prevent any remaining abnormal activity spreading from its source, in the left hemisphere, to the right hemisphere.
The film is not for the squeamish.