Laser Ablation Surgery Growth as an Epilepsy Treatment Option
Epilepsy surgical treatment options
Epilepsy is one of the most common disorders of the nervous system, affecting almost two million people in the United States. Many patients can control their seizures with medication or changes to their diet, but 20 to 30% of patients do not respond to medication. For those needing an alternative treatment, a recent University of Chicago Medicine story describes how surgery is a highly effective option. 
The standard surgery for temporal lobe epilepsy is an invasive, open-brain surgery. Several medical centers in the United States are beginning to offer a less invasive, more targeted surgical treatment for epilepsy. Combining images from a computed tomography (CT) scanner or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine, surgeons guide a laser through a small, three-millimeter opening in the skull. The laser ablates, or basically burns away, the troublesome nerve cells causing the seizures. Using 3D images of the brain as a guide, they insert a laser fiber (less than 2 mm thick) through a small incision and position it next to the target area of the brain. Then, they take the patient to an MRI machine and send a laser beam through the fiber to heat up the tissue. 
This laser ablation surgery process is illustrated in the following video from the Seattle Children’s Hospital :
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 Details of this new treatment come from this University of Chicago Medicine story: Image-guided laser surgery becoming go-to option for epilepsy
 Image source and laser surgical ablation from the Seattle Children’s Hospital: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMENvNN_Nt8
 Another laser ablation reference: Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo offering MRI-guided laser ablation