Epilepsy remains the second most common neurologic condition that impacts children, and pediatric epilepsy surgery can play an important role for those patients who do not respond to medication. Due to numerous scientific and technological advances, pediatric epilepsy surgery is safer and more effective than ever before. The same advances also mean that surgical options are available to a wider range of children whose seizures cannot be controlled medically.
Families with a child who suffers from epilepsy not controlled with medication are advised to undergo an evaluation at a comprehensive center like Children’s of Alabama. The Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) at Children’s of Alabama is the only Epilepsy Center (NAEC) level 4 program for children in the state of Alabama. It is home to the comprehensive multi-disciplinary program with pediatric neurology that offers complete medical and surgical care in a state-of-the-art facility. The multi-disciplinary team includes pediatric neurologists, pediatric epileptologists, and a board certified pediatric neuropsychologist. The team works together to determine an individualized care plan for each pediatric epilepsy patient that optimizes potential outcome and minimizes risk.
Surgical options for localization of the seizure focus include Stereo-EEG using depth electrodes implanted using a ROSA robot and craniotomy for implantation of grid/strip electrode arrays. Once precisely localized, the seizure focus may be removed via craniotomy (i.e. "open surgery") or destroyed using MRI-guided laser ablation (Visualase). For children whose epilepsy is not localizable or multi-focal, we may offer vagus nerve stimulation or corpus callosotomy.