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Regarding Left Temperal Lobe Seizure Surgery

I am new here, but wanted to let others know who may be looking into the surgery or have recently had it done. My surgery was performed on me back in November 1986. I have been totally seizure free since it was performed. Three or four years after the surgery, I was removed completely from meds, and have remained totally seizure free. I had been told for over ten years everything from nothing was wrong to it was all in my head to a shrink telling me it was due to lack of sex... Yes you read it right. In the end, I was diagnosed by a doctor who was new in the field and had finished his residency the year before and took an opening at the hospital he did his internship at. He specialized the prefious year in learning temperal lobe readings... and then he got me as a patient. All these years later he is now a Professor at Harvard. Preparing for the surgery was not easy, and the testing for me, was not easy either. The WADA test was fairly new, and my system is never normal as they say. The first time it was done, my artery went into a muscle spasm and refused toe medication to go into my brain, I went blind for a few seconds and experienced the worst pain in my life. The doctors said I hit the highest frequency note ever heard... and had glass been in the room I would have shattered it. So much for being a 1st soprano singer!!! The second test went well, and surgery was perfomed on me a few weeks later. I had a lot of pain and swelling in my face. As for how much hair was cut off... When the intern came in and asked; "Do you want half of it or all of it cut off?" I looked at him and said very simply, " If you can promise me a half price hair cut great.. otherwise you can shave it all off!" I got it all back in a ziplock bag in my bedside table later. Funny part was after the surgery, that style of half shaved came into view... and I missed it!! I had troubles with spelling and also with balance a bit of the time, but otherwise I did well. Looking back I am happy to have gone through it. I still remember it each year, and can still remember the surgery... but I would never regret having it. If anyone has question, just let me know. Munchkins mum


Re: Regarding Left Temperal Lobe Seizure Surgery

Hi Munchkins mum

I am going for tests at the moment to see if I will become a candidate for surgery. I had the EEG 24/7 monitoring test back in Feb this year, and last Friday I got a phone call from the hospital saying I am now on the waiting list for the Wada Test. I am also on the waiting list for the psychology test too. Been told these should take place by end of the summer.

I have to do 2 Wada tests because my scar in the barin where they want to operate is bang in the middle of where my speech area is. I dont have any speech problems so they need to know where am i actually using my language skills in the brain.

Can you tell me a bit about the Wada test please and psychology test?
Any info would be very much appreciated.

And, one other thing if you dont mind me asking, how did your family react to you having surgery? My family are not keen on me having surgery so I haven't mentioned it since my EEG. I dont want to mention it again until I know if I am actually a candidate or not. How did you handle it?

Thanks in advance,

Re: Re: Regarding Left Temperal Lobe Seizure Surgery

The Wada Test is a very important test that needs to be done on both sides of the brain. If nothing has changed, since Ihad it done, I will share what it is. You will have a catheterization put in from the groin to the base of one side of your brain thru a major artery. They will numb the area the go in thru, so you are not in pain. Before this is done, they will hook you up to a EEG maachine to record the process of things.
Once this is all done, they will inject a dye into the tubing, to highlight the arteries and veins to and in your brain.. as this is done a rapid set of CAT will be done so they have it all mapped out in case of surgery.
Then the Neurophyscologist will come up with a board,(at least this was how mine was) with words on it, there will be a set number of them. You will be asked to look at it and memorize them, in that order. You will have a set amount of time for this. Then another board will be shown with figures, lines, circles dots etc, some in one another some not, try hard to look at them all and memorize as best you can the order you see them. You will have a set time for this as well.
Once that is done, they will inject a drug to put half your brain to sleep. Once it is in they will show a large board with words; you have to find the words on it, and do it in order you saw them. The same is done after for the figures. Just do your best, don't get upset if you mess up, as this all plays a part in the findings.
Once this is done, the Catheter is removed and pressure is put on to stop the bleeding and the test is done. The next day, they will do the other side the same way, and I am sure the words and forms you get shown will not be the same.
The reason all of this is done is to give the doctor a idea of what side of the brain controls what function. For me, my speech and word recognition was on my right side, not my left.. which was a surprise. It was not known until once I was open for surgery that I had a fore shortening of the Temperal Lobe due to brain damage that had never shown up on my CAT Scans.
When this test is done, there will be a good deal of doctors there, they work as a team on all of this. If you have questions during the test, do not be afraid to ask.
My surgery had been mentioned to me as a possibility on my first visit with the Neurologist who finally diagnosed me correctly. I informed my folks of the chance of it being the direction things were heading and I was laughed at and told I must have heard it wrong. When I finally was in for a big conference meeting with my husband, and my folks as well as the parents sat there trying to decide who's side of the family the problem came from. It was tough for them to accept the fact I had to have this brain surgery. They supported me through it, but it was not easy for them I am sure. My husband I had then, had a hard time with it as did my friends.
If you have questions never be afraid to ask the doctor. If you want some good books to read about people who have epilepsy that you can suggest to the family.. have them look for the series by Steven C. Schachter,MD. All of the books were done with help from the patients sharing their stories. Mine is in two of them. The first one is Brainstorms:Epilepsy in our own Words.
Going thru the surgery is not easy on anyone, not the patient or the family. It is a scary time for all, but I do know that if the doctor thinks there is a good chance it can be of help after the testing, it is a wonderful thing to consider. Just make sure that you have a good support system set up to help you through all of the process as well as the after surgery time.
If you want to e mail me direct you can. I hope I have been some help.
Munchkins mum

Re: Re: Re: Regarding Left Temperal Lobe Seizure Surgery

hi Munchkins mum

thank you very much,
you have been very helpful indeed!

very informative :)

And only yesterday, I got news from from my neuro that I am actually a canditate for surgery, the tests I still have to do will simply give a percentage on how successful and safe the operation will be for me and i can then make my own decision on whether to go ahead with it or not.

Isn't that fantastic?
I'm all excited and delighted.

thanks again for your information,
Very much appreciated,


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