Laser Surgery May Reduce Seizures and Length of Hospital Stays
An emerging laser surgery technique appears to be safe and effective and to reduce hospital stays to one or two days, according to two research reports presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the American Epilepsy Society. The technique is more precise and entails fewer complications than conventional resections, according to the investigators. The laser surgery method requires a small scalp incision and twist drill hole in the skull.
Both studies were conducted on pediatric patients with refractory focal seizures. Five patients between ages 11 and 18 underwent laser ablation surgery at Miami Children’s Hospital between May 2011 and June 2012. Two patients, one of whom required a second ablation, were seizure-free after surgery. A third patient’s seizures were decreased. One patient subsequently underwent conventional resection and became seizure-free. The fifth patient had little improvement.
In the other study, which was conducted by the Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento and the Epilepsy and Biomagnetic Imaging Centers at the University of California, San Francisco, four pediatric patients between ages 8 and 19 with intractable seizures had laser ablation surgery between November 2011 and June 2012. All four patients were pain-free, able to eat, and ambulatory at six to eight hours after surgery. The participants were discharged from the hospital in less than 24 hours.