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Expert Epilepsy Treatment and Care with State-of-the-Art Technology

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Robotic neurosurgery provides a completely new direction in management of complex epilepsy care and offers benefits for patients living with epilepsy.

As one of the most common neurologic disorders, epilepsy affects up to 1% of the United States population. The chronic medical condition is characterized by recurrent seizures known as epileptic seizures - an event of altered brain function caused by abnormal or excessive electrical discharges from brain cells. 

When epilepsy is diagnosed, it is essential to begin treatment as quickly as possible. Our team of epilepsy specialists offers specialized care for epilepsy and seizure disorders to help improve patients’ quality of life. Our team creates a comprehensive and personalized treatment plan that may include medications and dietary and or surgical solutions with state-of-the-art technology. Surgery should be considered as a possible alternative treatment when medications are not able to stop the patient's seizures. Between 30 to 40% of people have drug resistant epilepsy, which means epilepsy non responsive to medications. In those patients it is extremely important to do a proper formal assessment in an accredited epilepsy center, to diagnose the exact type of epilepsy they have. Surgery is possible only in specific forms of epilepsy, therefore a precise diagnosis is extremely important.  

UI Health is accredited as a Level 3 Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers for evaluating, monitoring, and treating patients with complex epilepsy. Our multidisciplinary team includes epileptologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, as well as specialized nurses and EEG technicians. Our team of epilepsy experts now uses state-of-the-art technology that includes an innovative cranial robotic guidance platform. This robotic guidance platform is used for stereotactic placement of intracranial depth electrodes. These electrodes will allow intracranial EEG recording of the patient’s seizures. 

"Thanks to this less invasive method of evaluating intracranial epileptic activity, it will be possible to perform a better assessment of patient's epilepsy and most importantly, a better pre surgical evaluation. More patients will be able to get surgery and achieve seizure freedom thanks to this new technology" says Dr. Serafini, head of the Epilepsy Center at UI Health. 

“Robotic neurosurgery opens a completely new direction in management of complex epilepsy patients; it allows us to make our surgery much less invasive and gives an opportunity to gather much more useful information about sources of seizure activity throughout the patient’s brain, says Dr. Konstantin Slavin, head of functional neurosurgery at UI Health. “We expect the neurosurgical robots to become an integral part of our interventions at every stage of epilepsy surgery.” 

The robot-assisted positioning of electrodes allows for more precise localization of seizures within the brain. The robotic-assisted technology helps our team confirm the location for seizures, which will then allow the surgeon to remove the small portion of the brain responsible for seizures. This highly precise resective surgery will lead to seizure freedom. 

The Epilepsy Program at UI Health is committed to providing patients living with epilepsy a comprehensive care plan that not only meets their needs but can provide the best outcomes and quality of life possible. Our program offers patients living access to more options and solutions for their care by utilizing this technology. 

Benefits of robotic surgery include:

  • Lower risk 
  • Minimally invasive approach 
  • Fewer complications 
  • Shorter duration of procedures 
  • Shorter hospital stays, faster recoveries 
  • More precision and accuracy for position electrodes  

To learn more about the Epilepsy Program and its services, visit Epilepsy.UIHealth.Care