Swedish Medical Center December 20, 2019

Epilepsy patients looking for minimally invasive procedures for brain surgery now have a new option at Swedish Medical Center's level 4 epilepsy center. This week, the neurosurgery team performed the hospital's first minimally invasive robotic stereoelectoencephalography (SEEG) to identify the source of a patient's seizures. This surgical navigation and positioning system uses robotic technology that allows surgeons to place seizure monitoring electrodes without having to open a patient's skull with a craniotomy.

"Thirty to forty percent of patients with epilepsy continue to have seizures despite medications," said Matthew Mian, MD, the functional neurosurgeon at Swedish Medical Center who performed the procedure. 1 "For this group of patients, seizures can impact quality of life, and they even carry a risk of sudden death. Using minimally invasive procedures such as SEEG to help characterize a patient's seizures can be an important step in treating them. In some cases, it allows us to select a therapy that can even be curative. "

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in America there are 3.4 million people that currently either take medication to try to control seizures, or have had at least one seizure in the past year.

Robotic SEEG allows surgeons to reduce operating time and to spare patients the more invasive procedures that have been offered traditionally for epilepsy.

"We're excited to bring this advanced surgical robot to our level 4 epilepsy center," said Brian Thomas, VP of Neurosciences at Swedish Medical Center. "Now patients with epilepsy have another option for brain surgery that offers more precision and a faster recovery."

The surgeon uses the robot and its planning software to create both a three dimensional map of the patient's brain and a surgical plan. The robot is aligned to the trajectories in the surgical plan, and the surgeon performs the surgery using it as a guide.

The robotic platform also facilitates other minimally invasive neurosurgical procedures including deep brain stimulation (DBS) - often used for treating movement disorders such as Parkinson's Disease and Essential Tremor - as well as laser ablation, a novel therapy offered at Swedish Medical Center.

Find out more information about Swedish Medical Center and its level 4 epilepsy program.