Epilepsy Surgical Program

Epilepsy can occur at any age, but is most frequently seen in the very young and the elderly. If your child has suffered two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she may have epilepsy, a brain disorder involving repeated, spontaneous seizures.

If your child has a seizure, it’s important to have your child tested to determine the cause and possibly prevent recurrent seizures. Epilepsy is detrimental to a child’s normal development of a child and may result in irreversible damage if left untreated. The Comprehensive Epilepsy Surgical Program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children offers state-of-the-art testing and treatment for children who have experienced seizures. Specialists may include neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, radiologists and physical or occupational therapists. Our program treats all types of epilepsy, including juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, a form of epilepsy that starts in childhood or adolescence.

Testing

For children being evaluated for epilepsy surgery, video EEG monitoring is used to find the brain location where seizures begin, determine seizure type and quantify the number of seizures occurring over a longer period of time. Other tests may include WADA testing, which is used to localize the language and memory function, and more invasive monitoring including the use of grids and strips to assess the course of action for surgery.

Surgical Treatment

The range of surgical options for seizure disorders includes:

  • Focal resections: excision of areas responsible for seizures
  • Hemispherotomy: disconnection of a cerebral hemisphere
  • Corpus callosotomy: disruption of the connection between the brain’s two hemispheres
  • Vagus nerve stimulation: the insertion of a pulse generator that sends electrical impulses to the brain to reduce the frequency of seizures.
  • Multiple subpial transections: interruption of the electrical impulses along a segment of the lobe of the brain 

For More Information 

For more information about the Comprehensive Epilepsy Surgical Program, call (215) 427-5196.