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Texas Children's Hospital Pioneers Use of MRI-guided Laser Surgery for Revolutionary New Epilepsy Treatment

Mon, 07/18/2011 - 10:52am
Bio-Medicine.Org

HOUSTON, July 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Hospital is the first hospital in the world to use real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to destroy lesions in the brain that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures.  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110718/DC36561-a)

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110718/DC36561-b)

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110718/DC36561-c)

According to hospital experts, this new surgical approach offers a safer and significantly less invasive alternative to craniotomy, currently the most commonly used cranial surgical treatment for epilepsy.   For high-risk patients with deep brain lesions, this new technique can be particularly life-changing because the MRI-guided laser probe utilizes a much smaller pathway through the brain to reach a deep lesion. This reduces the risk of patient complications related to contact with surrounding brain tissue.  In addition, the MRI-guided laser probe is inserted through a hole in the skull that is only 3.2 mm (about the diameter of a pen) versus the removal of a larger area of skull bone for a craniotomy.  Because it is a less invasive procedure, patient recovery time is much shorter.

More than three million people in the U.S. are affected by epilepsy, including about 300,000 children under the age of 14. Uncontrollable seizures can affect a child's memory, concentration, motor skills, school performance and quality of life.  Drug therapies control seizures in about 60 percent of those with epilepsy. Invasive craniotomy, nerve stimulation and special diets are treatment options for patients who do not respond to medication.

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