Epilepsy Surgery

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

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.

Neuroscience

Contact Us

Connect to the Norton Children’s Hospital Neurology team
(502) 588-3650

Connect with Norton Children’s Neurosurgery team
(502) 583-1697

Helping girls with self-esteem

Remember that little girl who bounded through the day wearing a bathing suit, a glitter-frosted tutu, a superhero cape, a fire chief helmet and rain boots— all at the same time? Has your brave young […]

Read Full Story

Coming out: How family can support an LGBTQ child

Coming out is not a one-time event for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex children and teens. It’s a journey of understanding, acknowledging and sharing one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity with others. It […]

Read Full Story

Safe sleep practices can help prevent SIDS

It’s a startling fact, but one that parents, family members and caregivers need to be aware of: Nearly 3,600 babies die each year in the U.S. due to sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), defined as […]

Read Full Story

What you need to know about eating disorders in children

For parents, a child’s eating habits can be a concern from infancy through the teen years and even adulthood. From the picky toddler who will eat only a specific food for days on end, to […]

Read Full Story

World Health Organization identifies gaming as a diagnosable mental health condition

Jay spent the start of summer glued to his Xbox. When his mom brought him to Healthy Living Workshops, a wellness series sponsored by Kohl’s Cares and held by Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness at […]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.