It's Not Like This is Brain Surgery, er, Right?
I ordered the Doodle a medical i.d. bracelet today. It was hard when I had to decide what to have engraved on it. It felt so permanent and hopeless. I put his name and our phone number and then I had to list his conditions: seizures and autistic nonverbal; in case he ever gets lost someone would know that he can't talk. I wanted to engrave other things on the bracelet like how much he is loved, how he loves to be cuddled, that he's ticklish but likes his knees rubbed, and how cute he is but there just wasn't room.
I never thought I would want (or wish) brain surgery for my child; especially at this age. It is such a drastic option that the Doodle might not even be a candidate for. Having the tonsils and adenoids removed was a hard enough decision...but with the severe sleep apnea, we didn't have much choice in the matter. I remember being a complete freak and second guessing my decision for him to have the somewhat basic and non-life threatening surgery. Now, I'm wondering if brain surgery is going to be in our future and I am actually hoping for it. I would do almost anything at this point to get these seizures to stop or slow down. These doctors swear that this is not something he will eventually grow out of. They are different and because they coming from all over his brain like a constant electrical storm with varying degrees of spikes, there is very limited treatments for his type of epilepsy. One might be corpus callostomy.
What Is a Corpus Callosotomy?
The corpus callosum is a band of nerve fibers located deep in the brain that connects the two halves (hemispheres) of the brain. It helps the hemispheres share information, but it also contributes to the spread of seizure impulses from one side of the brain to the other. A corpus callosotomy is an operation that severs (cuts) the corpus callosum, interrupting the spread of seizures from hemisphere to hemisphere. Seizures generally do not completely stop after this procedure (they continue on the side of the brain in which they originate). However, the seizures usually become less severe, as they cannot spread to the opposite side of the brain.
Who Is a Candidate for a Corpus Callostomy?
This procedure, sometimes called split-brain surgery, may be performed in patients with the most extreme and uncontrollable forms of epilepsy, when frequent seizures affect both sides of the brain. A serious type of seizure--called a drop attack--often results in the person having sudden falls with a high risk of injury. In addition, people considered for corpus callosotomy do not experience improvement after receiving treatment with anti-seizure medications.