Texas Children’s Hospital pioneers new MRI-guided laser surgery
July 20, 2011
Epilepsy Foundation Funding Furthers New Options to Treat Epilepsy
Texas Children's Hospital is the first hospital to use real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to eliminate lesions in the brain that cause seizures. This new less invasive surgery offers a safer alternative to craniotomy, currently the most frequently used cranial surgery for epilepsy.
For patients considered high-risk with lesions deep in the brain, this new technique will be particularly beneficial because the MRI-guided laser probe uses a less invasive, smaller pathway through the brain to the lesion. The probe is inserted through a 3.2 mm hole in the skull while the craniotomy procedure consists of removing a large piece of skull bone. Patient recovery time from MRI-guided laser surgery is shorter because it is a less invasive procedure.
The first MRI-guided laser surgeries were performed by Dr. Daniel Curry, director of pediatric surgical epilepsy and functional neurosurgery at Texas Children's and assistant professor of neurological surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, with Dr. Angus Wilfong, director of Texas Children's comprehensive epilepsy program and associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.
"The benefits of this new approach in reducing risk and invasiveness while providing instant therapeutic effect may open the door for more epilepsy patients to see surgery as a viable option," said Dr. Curry.
To date, there have been five successful MRI-guided laser surgeries at Texas Children's Hospital on pediatric epilepsy patients ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old, all with varying types of brain lesions. Most of these patients were released within one to five days and all have been seizure-free since surgery.
The Epilepsy Research Foundation, a partnership between the Epilepsy Foundation and Epilepsy Therapy Project, funded the research that helped advance this cutting-edge surgery.
An estimated 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy and up to ten percent of the population will experience at least one seizure at some time in their lives. While available treatments help many people with epilepsy, about one million Americans have persistent seizures despite existing therapies.
Source: Texas Children's Hospital
Please view a great story featured on CBS Early Show about this new surgery: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7373747n&tag=cbsnewsMainColumnArea;cbsnewsMainColumnArea.0