Epilepsy Surgeries Requiring an Operculoinsular Cortectomy

Neurosurgery 81:602–612, 2017

Epilepsy surgeries requiring an operculoinsulectomy pose significant difficulties because the perisylvian area is highly vascular, deep, and functional.

OBJECTIVE: To report the operative technique and results of epilepsy surgeries requiring an operculoinsular cortectomy at our institution.

METHODS: The data of all consecutive patients who had undergone an epilepsy surgery requiring an operculoinsular cortectomy with a minimum follow-up of 1 yr were reviewed. Tumor and vascular malformation cases were excluded. Surgical techniques are described based on findings during surgery.

RESULTS: Twenty-five patients underwent an epilepsy surgery requiring an operculoinsular cortectomy: mean age at surgery was 35 y (9-51), mean duration of epilepsy was 19 y (5-36), 14were female, and mean duration of follow-up was 4.7 y (1-16).Magnetic resonance imaging of the operculoinsular area was normal or revealed questionable nonspecific findings in 72% of cases. Investigation with intracranial EEG electrodes was done in 17 patients. Surgery was performed on the dominant side for language in 7 patients. An opercular resectionwasperformed inallbut2patientswhoonlyhadan insulectomy.Engel class I seizure control was achieved in 80% of patients. Postoperative neurological deficits (paresis, dysphasia, alteration of taste, smell, hearing, pain, and thermal perceptions) were frequent (75%) but always transient except for 1 patient with persistent mild alteration of thermal and pain perception.

CONCLUSION: Surgical treatment of operculoinsular epilepsy is effective in achieving seizure control and is associated with an acceptable long-term complication rate.