Aggressive versus limited resection is an often-debated topic in epilepsy surgery. There are two inherent questions within this debate: (1) Can a more limited resection yield seizure freedom rates similar to those afforded by wider/more aggressive resection, with lower rates of neurological complications? (2) Does wider/more aggressive resection increase seizure freedom rates, with tolerable neurological complications rates? Further, if more limited resection has a lower seizure freedom rate, but fewer complications, is quality of life better or worse than that following a wider/more aggressive resection that increases seizure freedom rate but yields a higher complication rate? Here, we review the literature to address these questions. Because most studies are retrospective observational studies, with limited statistical power to draw strong conclusions, there is a need for more randomized prospective multicenter clinical trials incorporating advances in technique for identifying the seizure onset zone (e.g., subtractive ictal SPECT) and tissue at risk (e.g., diffusion tensor imaging) to inform this discussion. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.