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Texas Children's Hospital Pioneers Use of MRI-guided Laser Surgery for Revolutionary New Epilepsy Treatment
Date:7/18/2011

e use of MRI-guided laser surgery will change the face of epilepsy treatment and provide a life-changing option for many epilepsy surgery candidates -- both children and adults," said Dr. Angus Wilfong, director of Texas Children's comprehensive epilepsy program and associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.

The first surgeries were performed by Dr. Daniel Curry, Texas Children's director of pediatric surgical epilepsy and functional neurosurgery and assistant professor of neurological surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, with Wilfong.

Five surgeries using this MRI-guided laser procedure have been successfully performed at Texas Children's Hospital on pediatric epilepsy patients ranging in age from five to 15 years old, with widely varied types of brain lesions.  In all cases, patients have been seizure-free since surgery and most were released within one to five days.

"While we have been successful in curing epilepsy through open cranial surgery for quite some time, 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 Curry.

The surgery is performed by first mapping the area of the brain where the lesion is located using magnetic resonance imaging. The catheter is inserted through the skull in the operating room and then the patient is transferred to an MRI unit where the ablation of the lesion is performed. The MRI confirms probe placement in the target, and the magnetic resonance thermal imaging allows the surgeon to see the ablation of the lesion by the laser heat as it happens with an automatic feedback system that shuts the laser off when the heat approaches nearby critical brain structures.

Wilfong noted that MRI-guided laser surgery has be
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SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital
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