AIIMS doctors develop novel surgical procedure to treat epilepsy

Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, have developed a novel and minimally invasive endoscopy-assisted surgical procedure to treat epilepsy.

Dr P Sarat Chandra

According to Dr P Sarat Chandra, professor of neurosurgery, AIIMS, New Delhi, the new surgical procedure is minimally invasive and it involves using endoscopy to create a complete unilateral hemispheric disconnection of the brain.

“The technique is especially helpful for young children in whom large incisions and the resultant blood loss becomes difficult to bear,” Dr Chandra told India Medical Times.

The endoscopy-assisted interhemispheric transcallosal hemispherotomy was performed in five children between April 2013 and June 2014.

Dr Chandra said, “Typically, hemispherotomy is a very complex surgical procedure, performed on some children with quite severe epilepsy, which involves a large cranial incision, followed by a major surgery where an entire affected hemisphere is either removed or disconnected from the healthier opposite side.”

“The conventional opening is around 15 cm large; our method has converted this into an endoscopic procedure by making the incision size 3X4 cm. Moreover, the entire surgery is performed using neuronavigation, a sophisticated computer aided device along with the use of brain suite, where MRI is performed immediately after surgery to confirm complete disconnection. This has made the procedure more effective, safer and reduced the duration of surgery,” he said.

The details of this technique have been published in the international journal Neurosurgery. This technique was also demonstrated during a workshop held on epilepsy surgery at AIIMS, New Delhi on April 9-10, 2015.

“The technique is very significant because it represents a revolution in the world of epilepsy surgery. It has brought in the use of endoscope and minimally invasive surgery into the realm of epilepsy surgery,” Dr Chandra added.

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