✓ The indications for and the risks and outcome of reoperation for medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy have not been well documented. A retrospective review is presented of 40 patients who underwent reoperation on the temporal lobe for recurrent seizures. The mean patient age at the first operation was 22 ± 7 years (± standard deviation). Electrocorticography during the first operation showed interictal epileptic abnormalities from surface electrodes in 97% of the cases and from depth electrodes in the mesiotemporal structures in 38%. The seizures recurred with the same pattern within 6 months after the first operation in 60% of patients and within 2 years in 90%. Postoperative neuroimaging studies showed residual mesiotemporal structures in all cases. The mean time between the two operations was 5.5 ± 5 years and the mean patient age at the second operation was 28 ± 8 years. The second operation involved focal resection of the mesiotemporal structures in 30 cases. The mean postoperative follow-up period was 4.8 ± 2.7 years (range 2 to 11 years). After the second operation, 63% of the patients were seizure-free or had rare seizures (one or two per year). There were no permanent neurological complications. Patients who did not benefit from reoperation had electroencephalographic abnormalities in multiple brain areas.
Reoperation for temporal lobe epilepsy effectively controls seizures in the majority of patients, and the procedure is safe if rigorous technical rules are observed. More complete resection of mesiotemporal structures during the first operation, even in the absence of intraoperative electrographic abnormalities, could prevent the need for reoperation in defined cases.