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Lazer Surgery to Help Kids with Epilepsy 

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Old 07-18-2011, 04:13 PM
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Lazer Surgery to Help Kids with Epilepsy

Laser Surgery Helps Treat Children With Epilepsy
Surgery Only Being Performed At Texas Children's Hospital
By Mariza Reyes

POSTED: Monday, July 18, 2011

HOUSTON -- A new laser surgery has been shown to significantly improve epilepsy patients' quality of life.

The first surgeries were performed by Dr. Daniel Curry and Dr. Angus Wilfong of Texas Children's Hospital. They said the MRI-guided laser probe utilizes a much smaller pathway through the brain to reach a deep lesion that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures.

Since last August, five surgeries have successfully been performed at Texas Children's Hospital. One success story is 8-year-old Keegan Dysart. He had this surgery in March, and his mom said it has made a big difference in their lives.

"It's night and day, and we're learning more and more about the new and improved Keegan because he's just so much more relaxed," said Robin Dysart, Keegan's mother.

Wilfong, director of Texas Children's Hospital's comprehensive epilepsy program, described the procedure as "just a 2-millimeter opening and through that, a small laser probe that can reach deep parts of the brain without hurting the overlying brain to destroy the lesion that's causing the epilepsy."

According to hospital experts, this new surgical approach offers a safer and significantly less invasive alternative to craniotomy, which is the most commonly used cranial surgical treatment for epilepsy.

Texas Children's Hospital is the only hospital in the world to be performing these surgeries on children.

Doctors said a typical hospital stay for patients before was five to seven days, but now with this less-invasive alternative, patients can usually go home the day after surgery. They have not performed this procedure on adults yet, but they plan on doing it soon.

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