Preoperative and postoperative cognitive and memory functions, psychiatric outcome, and EEGs were evaluated in 32 epileptic patients who underwent temporal lobe surgery. The presence and location of preoperative slow wave focus in routine EEG predicted memory functions of the non-resected side after surgery. Neuropsychological tests of the function of the frontal lobes also showed improvement. Moreover, psychiatric ratings showed that seizure free patients had significantly less affective symptoms postoperatively than those who were still exhibiting seizures. After temporal lobectomies, successful outcome in postoperative memory functions can be achieved in patients with unilateral slow wave activity in preoperative EEGs. This study suggests a new role for routine EEG in preoperative evaluation of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.