Epilepsy is a brain disorder which causes people to have recurrent seizures and oral medications are mainstays in controlling these epileptic seizures. Surgical procedure is another dimension in the treatment of epilepsy.
Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) are now treating it with an advanced minimally invasive technique using laser. This surgical procedure involves making small holes measuring 3.2 mm in the skull through which a thin fiber-optic cable is introduced into the area causing epilepsy. A laser is then passed to destroy the area. Doctors have successfully carried out this procedure in three patients, including a four-year-old, suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy. The surgery team claimed that India is the second country where this 'minimally invasive technique using laser' was performed after the US.
Dr. P. Sharat Chandra, a professor of neurosurgery, said, "The area causing epilepsy is destroyed using a unique thermographic images, under MRI guidance. The target is then burned using the laser. Unlike traditional laser, this equipment has a cooling system and every bit of abnormal epileptogenic tissue burned inside the brain is completely visualized and controlled."
Dr. Ashwini Sharan, a leading US-based epilepsy neurosurgeon, said, "The surgery requires a single stitch and the patient usually gets ready to be discharged the next day itself."
Dr. Chandra said, "People suffering from various types of epilepsy till now needed conventionally open brain surgery, but using this technique, only one stitch will be used and the patients may be treated even as an out patient procedure ready for discharge the same day evening. It has all the advanced equipment and expertise required for a tertiary level center."
Dr. Manjari Tripathi, professor of neurology and part of the surgery team, said, "The technology would be ideal for a country like India where there are thousands of patients waiting for surgery."