A new minimally invasive laser-based tool for epilepsy surgery offers a quicker recuperation time for patients.
For more than 50 years, the standard effective treatment for medication-resistant epileptic seizures has been open brain surgery. The goal is to remove the small areas of scar tissue where the errant nerve signals begin that can trigger epileptic episodes. The operation, known as a temporal lobectomy, is effective in up to 80 percent of patients when the seizures are localized. However, the recovery period can be lengthy, involving several days in the hospital and one to three months of recuperation.
Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon, W. Richard Marsh, M.D., is co-author of a study presented recently to the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Marsh says the pinhole laser approach, as it's often called, has made a dramatic difference for patients.
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Journalists: Animation and edited sound bites with Dr. Marsh are available in the downloads. Additional sound bites with neurologist Jerry Shih, M.D., from Mayo Clinic in Florida, are also available.