Appropriately chosen candidates with medically refractory epilepsy may benefit from hemispheric disconnection. Traditionally, this involves a large surgical exposure with significant associated morbidity. Minimally invasive approaches using endoscopic assistance have been described by only a few centers. Here, the authors report on the feasibility of endoscope-assisted functional hemispherotomy in a cadaver model and its first translation into clinical practice in appropriately selected patients.
Three silicone-injected, formalin-fixed cadaver heads were used to establish the steps of the procedure in the laboratory. The steps of disconnection were performed using standard surgical instruments and a straight endoscope. The technique was then applied in two patients who had been referred for hemispherectomy and had favorable anatomy for an endoscope-assisted approach.
All disconnections were performed in the cadaver model via a 4 × 2–cm paramedian keyhole craniotomy using endoscopic assistance. An additional temporal burr hole approach was marked in case the authors were unable to completely visualize the frontobasal and insular cuts from the paramedian vertical view. Their protocol was subsequently used successfully in two pediatric patients. Full disconnection was verified with postoperative tractography.
Full hemispheric disconnection can be accomplished with minimally invasive endoscope-assisted functional hemispherotomy. The procedure is technically feasible and can be safely applied in patients with favorable anatomy and pathology; it may lead to less surgical morbidity and faster recovery.