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What are the risks of performing an anatomic hemispherectomy?

Dr. Aria Fallah, MD
Neurosurgeon

A main risk of performing an anatomic hemispherectomy is blood loss. Anatomic hemispherectomy involves anatomically, actually removing an entire half of the brain. A large operation on the brain can result in a large amount of blood loss. The brain is very vascular. There's a lot of the blood supply that goes to the brain. In removing an entire half of the brain, blood loss becomes a critical issue, especially in very, very young kids. The children most commonly undergoing this procedure are less than two years of age. A very small child has very little blood volume, so even losing a little bit of blood can make a large difference for that child and in certain cases surgery can be unsafe if a lot of blood is lost.

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