• Frontal lobe epilepsy;
  • Neurosurgery;
  • Progress;
  • Reoperation

Summary: Between 1929 and 1980, 284 patients with refractory nontumoral frontal lobe epilepsy (FLE) underwent operation at the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). We studied 39 patients (14%) who required reoperation. Mean age at the time of first operation was 18 years and at reoperation was 22 years. Clinical manifestations were similar to those of patients with “a pure culture of frontal lobe epilepsy” as reported by Rasmussen in 1983. At the time of first operation, large epileptogenic zones were noted in most patients. Resection was confined to the frontal lobe. Continuing seizure activity was due to residual areas of epileptogenesis, and reoperation with more extensive resection of cortex increased the number of seizure-free patients. Twenty-six patients underwent further frontal resection, and in 13 surgical removal was extended to the temporal lobe. Residual electrocorticographic (ECoG) spiking was documented in 15 of 23 (65%) of the reoperated patients. Thirty-five patients were followed for periods ranging from 4 to 46 years. One fifth became seizure-free, and 31% had significant seizure reduction. Thus, half of these patients had a good result. Patients with residual postexcision ECoG spiking had poor outcomes and evidence of large epileptogenic zones. None of the patients who underwent frontotemporal resections became seizure-free. Reoperation should be considered if initial resection does not lead to a satisfactory result and may convert an initial failure into a good surgical result.