Split Brain Operation

In a normal brain, stimuli entering one hemisphere is rapidly communicated by way of the corpus callosum to the other hemisphere, so the brain functions as a unit. When the corpus callosum of an individual is severed, leaving a split brain, the two hemispheres cannot communicate. In some forms of epilepsy a seizure will start in one hemisphere, triggering a massive discharge of neurons through the corpus callosum and into the second hemisphere. In an effort to prevent such massive seizures in severe epileptics, neurosurgeons can surgically sever the corpus callosum, a procedure called a commissurotomy. If one side of the brain can no longer stimulate the other, the likelihood of severe epileptic seizures is greatly reduced.


In a cerebral commissurotomy the surgeon opens the skull, lays back the brain's coverings and, with a tool called a cerebral retractor, exposes the corpus callosum between the two hemispheres. The doctor snips through the corpus callosum, severing communication between the hemispheres and preventing the transfer of seizures .

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