Norton Children’s neurosurgeons are leaders in epilepsy treatment and care for more children than any other provider in Louisville, Kentucky or Southern Indiana. Our neurosurgeons perform more than 750 operations every year with precision, expertise and skill.
Thomas M. Moriarity, M.D., Ph.D., leads a team of board-certified and fellowship-trained neurosurgeons with deep experience. Our physicians have the sophisticated tools and skill to give you and your child a precise diagnosis and a treatment plan for epilepsy that minimizes risk, so your child can get back to being a kid.
Our pediatric neurosurgeons team includes neurologists, plastic surgeons, oncologists, orthopedic surgeons and other specialists to provide unsurpassed care.
A precise diagnosis guides a customized treatment plan for your child that minimizes risk of side effects, so your child can get back to being a kid.
Epilepsy affects about 1 percent of children. It’s a complex condition but with treatment, most children manage seizures and live without major disruptions to their everyday lives.
State-of-the-art neurosurgery equipment
Norton Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in Kentucky with the ability to perform minimally invasive neurosurgery in cases that in the past would have been inoperable.
Using Visualase technology, Norton Children’s neurosurgeons thread a tiny instrument about the width of a piece of spaghetti into the patient’s brain. Real-time MRI guides the tool along a precise path, and once it reaches the source of your child’s seizures, a small amount of heat eliminates the lesion.
The procedure usually takes only minutes, and most patients go home the following day.
Fewer than two dozen pediatric hospitals in the U.S. offer this technology.
Surgery previously wasn’t an option for lesions deep in the brain, because damage to surrounding tissue would have been too great.
Functional hemispherectomy and corpus callosotomy
When larger parts of the brain are involved, team members can perform procedures such as a functional hemispherectomy or corpus callosotomy.
In a functional hemispherectomy, the surgeon removes the part where seizures start. In a corpus callostomy, to prevent a seizure from spreading from one side of the brain to the other, the surgeon may cut the corpus callosum that sends signals from one hemisphere to the other.
Vagus nerve stimulation
Norton Children’s also uses vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), which can reduce the frequency of seizures. A surgeon places the stimulator under the skin on the left side of the chest. Electrodes connect to the vagus nerve on the left side of the neck.
The VNS device sends regular pulses of electrical energy to the brain to prevent seizures. The pulses are so mild, the patient typically doesn’t notice.
VNS devices are FDA approved for children age 4 and older.
Responsive neurostimulation (RNS) involves placement of a battery-powered device within the skull and one to two electrodes in areas of the brain. When the device detects unusual electrical activity that could lead to a seizure, it sends a small pulse within milliseconds to help brainwaves return to normal.
The stimulation doesn’t cause pain or unusual feelings.
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