Chat and Community Forums Closed

Due to the popularity of social media, we have seen decreasing engagement on our forums and chat. Please know we want to keep talking to you about epilepsy, seizures, and what you need. We want to stay connected with you.

Community Forum

Is memory loss common after temporal lobectomy?

I had a right temporal lobectomy about one week ago. I have had some short term memory loss since I left the hospital. I actually do not remember much of my stay (I had depth electrodes right before my temporal lobectomy). I do not even remember my doctor coming in my room to tell me that I was a candidate for surgery. My doc did come in at one point and tell me that I had some peripheral vision loss. My WADA test showed that my left side was my dominant side of my brain. Anyway, will my memory loss get better with time? I have asked my mom about fifty questions over and over and over again about what happened during the trip. I HOPE this gets better because it is very agrivating right now. Any help will be great! Thanks!


Re: Is memory loss common after temporal lobectomy?

Hello Pan06. My name is Scott and I also had a Right Temporal Lobectomy about 2 weeks after you did. 11/12/2007.

I have had the same memory issues that you did after surgery. I would be riding into work with a co-worker of mine and tell him about how our current boss used to be my old boss at this store that we would pass every day on the way into work. One day he turned to me and started laughing and said * do you realize thats the 4th time youve told me that*  We both got a good laugh of out that.

Its been 6 months now and it does get better as time goes on. Its almost like as your brain heals it re-organizes its intake and storage processes. So as the brain gets better your ability to store and retain information also improves.

Hopefully your doing better now and your memory is improving. Good luck in your continued healing.         Scott.

Right temporal loboctomy

I had a right temporal loboctomy in 2001.   I think it's natural to expect some temporary side-effects from brain surgery.   I too coped with this issue but,  it was a , 'limp' for awhile.  It's gotten better.

Where do you draw the line between 'side-effects from surgery & 'age'?  

I had a 'dead flat zone' removed the size of a large plum.   Deep inside of the dead mass of cells a 1" scar 1/2" around from side to side was discovered.   MRI, CAT Scan could not identify the focal point for 25 yrs..  I'm glad I had the surgery.    Apparently, my left side of the brain started performing the functions the right side wasn't doing when I was very young.   I have no problem with my vision.  I'm left handed but,  the Wada test revealed my right side was the dominant.   

 Cold winter weather & winds tend to bother my holes in my head.   Alot of movement (physical hard work)as when raking or working in the gardens, makes my head ache some. 

However,  after 3 1/2 yrs. of seizure control I suddenly developed a 'cluster' of seizures'.    I'm not on AED (medication)    Has anyone else experienced re-occurance of seizures after brain surgery.??? (loboctomy) 


It is very aggravating to me

It is very aggravating to me too. I had a left temporal lobe tomy about 4 weeks ago. I forget names, memories, etc. I saw my neurologist last week and they told me that it takes about 6-8 weeks to start slowly getting better but it does last for a long while after as it gets better. He said about 6-8 months before you may still have it occasionally but not all the time. He suggested to me to do memory games on my phone and it does stimulate the memory in the brain and it will aid in the memory center to hold onto current and stimulate the ability to remember past stuff. It frustrates me as well. I am even still having some problems with talking as my brain slows or doesn’t remember what I was about to say a lot either.  

Re: Is memory loss common after temporal lobectomy?

I was told way back in 1990 when I had my surgery that short term memory would be an issue.  Though I have no seizures now, my memory has been affected.  To this day if I don't SEE it I don't REMEMBER it.  I write list after list after list and even have a bristol board that lists all the chores I need to do in my home or I'd forget.  I was part of the research of the hospital that did the surgery.  It was only 5 years old at the time.  Yes, memory issues can be a result of a RTL.  I was told that by the best of the best.

Jesus Is My Rock, Music Is My Sanity. Sheri L. Adams

Re: Right temporal loboctomy

My MRI, CT, PET scan did not reveal anything on me (I only had scar tissue on my temporal lobe and hippocampus). It did show that my left temporal lobe was smaller than my right. I wonder why that is since my RTL was the side that was causing my seizures. I dunno. My WADA test turned out kind of wierd. As you know most left hand people's dominant side is the right side and right hand people is their left side. Anyway, I am left handed and my WADA test told me that my dominant side was my left side. I dunno; I guess I am wierd or something HAHAHA! Deannieon, please don't tell me that I have more seizures to look forward to. My doc said that he may take me completely off of my meds eventually (I am on high doses of keppra and lamictal now) but I am not too sure about that. It will make me feel less worried if I am on a small dose of one med the rest of my life. =)  Anyway, thank you so much for you help. I am really glad that my memory is getting better. I still have some side effects left from surgery, but it has only been 3 months so I hope they get better. The right side of my face has been real tender since surgery. Has anyone had that side effect? I don't know if it is from the nerve coming back or what? Thanks again for all of your input. =)    ^j^ ^j^ ^j^

Re: Right temporal loboctomy

Don't rush the 'memory' part.  You just had major open brain surgery.  Would you expect to see a person recovering from open heart surgery back at work in a week doing physical labor as previously?   The answer is obvious !  

 I think my problem was the Neuro. Surgeon told me brain surgery was an operation with a speedy recovery rate.   Prior to the surgery that concept stuck in my head & for some unknown reason,  I convinced myself I  HAD to be better in that week.    Recovery in a week is ideal however,,, it's NOT REALITY.    It's a challange to not let 'emotions over-rule logic' isn't it.?!  

 Most serious surgeries are followed up by 'physio therapy'.    In my opinion,  some sort of 'physio/brain therapy' should be initiated after brain surgery. 

 I can't remember things from the hospital either infact,  my family wrote it out so I could re-read the answers to my questions.   Another suggestion,,,  tape record the answers to your questions & play it back periodically.   I had problems remember things too.   Comes with the territory & brain surgery.   It's a temporary limp.  

Play games or do activities that prompt you to use your brain whereby, improving your memory.  I use to work in an office hence,  filing in alphabetical order or numeric order was a challenge for awhile.   I can perform this task quite well now.  In my opinion, filing was like, physio-therapy for me.    I still can't mult-task as before.   I still can't sleep on my right side.   My holes hurt.  

Remember too,, part of your brian is missing. Anti-epileptic drugs will  magnified the limp. (Medications alone make you less alert, tired & your concentration is thrown off).  Give your brain a chance to recuperate.  I've seen some people limp around on a twisted ankle for wks. !!  You' ve had major brain surgery.   Expect a 'limp' for awhile.  

Be kind to yourself & take it easy.  May you heal well.

Hope this helps.

Re: Right temporal loboctomy

Thanks for the reassurement. I work at a doctors' office, and things can get quite hecktic around the office. I work in medical records so I do have to use my brain a lot (we have 20 doctors and 3 nurse practioners). My memory has improved some. I have noticed that since surgery, I like to read a lot. In three months time, I have read eight books. Before surgery, I would read like one book a year (if I had to. HAHAHA!!!). But, things are getting better with time. I am ready to get back to my old self, though. I guess I will have to be patient and let things heal. Thanks again.

Re: Right temporal loboctomy

After the loboctomy, the Neuro weanned me off Lamactial over a period of several months.   I went one wk. & had a grandmal.   He put me back on Lamictal.   I wonder if the Neuro. took me off AED(anti-epileptic drugs)  too soon.   Perhaps they hadn't given my brain enough 'healing time'. 

Regarding the seizures that suddenly errupted.   One Neuro phychiatrist observed that,, in some post-surgery patients, AED appeared to  provoke seizures after brain surgery.  Almost as tho the synapapsis are protesting the NEED for AED.  However, that isn't  a proven fact.   Each person is their own unique character. 

I wouldn't worry too much about whether you'll have a re-occurance of seizures in the future.   Each day brings it's own anxieties  hence,, don't add to it by worrying about something in the future that may never transpire.  Live each day to the full.   Find joy & cherish moments.

Remember,, Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair.  It requires energy & gets you nowhere.

Hope this puts your mind at ease,


Re: Is memory loss common after temporal lobectomy?

Hi there

After 7 yrs. I still can't sleep on the right side of my head.   Pressure from the pillow or mattress make my temporal area ache.  The 4 holes are still sensitive .   But,,, the desired goal of 'no AED'  has been achieved thus,  I can live with this minor side-effect.      In July it'll be a yr. since I had a grandmal.   I'm still on no AED (anti-epilepsy drugs).   I've gone about 5 mos. no petite seizures.     I have auras every month which serves to remind me I've got to be balanced.  

Tho't for the day,    "Worry is like sitting in a rocking chair.   Uses energy & gets you nowhere." 



Re: Is memory loss common after temporal lobectomy?

I have recently experienced a horrible memory loss, and have not had a right temporal lobectomy. I also was not taking very good care of myself either, not eating right, not taking my meds regularly, and not getting enough rest. I guess this kind of thing happens at any time, to any one of us. I am finding that the better I take care of myself, the better things are getting. Make sure you and your Dr are on the same page, and make sure you eat right, and get enough rest.

hi. i had right temp.lobe

hi. i had right temp.lobe surgery done in august of this year. like you my left side was the dominant side. i didnt experience any memory loss, but i did lose some peripheral vision. my nuro., told me that it would get better, but would not return. i recently saw my primary eye doctor, and after a few tests he also told me that it would get better, but their was also a good chance that it would fully restore. if it has only been a week, i wouldnt stress to much about the memory loss. it should improve over time. you have to stay strong and have faith. and that alone can overcome any obstacle.

Re: hi. i had right temp.lobe

Thanks for your help. It has slowly gotten better so far. At first I could not keep up with my med doses. My sister keeps joking with me and telling me that is because I do not need to be on meds anymore. HAHAHAHA! Hey Becky, just out of curiousity, where did you have your surgery done? I had mine at UAB. I was just curious.
Thanks again for your help!

Re: Re: hi. i had right temp.lobe

glad to hear its getting better. i use post its to remind me to take my meds:) i had my surgery done in kansas where i live. my nero doc is the only one in the state. becky

I had the right temporal

I had the right temporal lobectomy sugery in april of this year and I get frustrated with my short term memory loss, but my nuerosurgeon & neurologist told my mother that it would take a while and she has to remind me of that sometimes when I get down and out over that. I can ask my mom or grandma a question, and I am asking them the same question again maybe 5 to 10 minutes later and I may ask that question again or repeat myself with something that I have said previuosly because I have already forgotten if I have asked that question or said something already.It can get frustrating but I am keeping a positive attitude.

Re: I had the right temporal

I am glad to hear these things do get better with time. I have asked my mother 50 times what happened when I was in the hospital. I hardly remembered what happened during my whole stay. I do not even remember getting admitted (that is kind of bad). My mother does tell me that I do repeat myself and ask simple question over and over again. This is getting kind of old. I go back to my neuro at the end of the month. He is going to start reducing my meds to see if the surgery actually worked. I hope it did. I am ready to live a normal life and start school. Thanks for all the help!

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

24/7 helpline