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North Shore-LIJ Epilepsy Center is 1st on LI to Offer Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy to Treat Epileptic Seizures

May 31, 2012

MANHASSET, NY –The Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center at North Shore- LIJ’s Cushing Neuroscience Institute (CNI) is the first center on Long Island to offer Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT), a new MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology developed by Visualase, Inc. that was recently used to treat seizures associated with temporal lobe epilepsy in a 25-year-old Massachusetts woman.

Ashesh Mehta, MD, PhD, director of epilepsy surgery at the Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center who recently performed the procedure, said, “Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common form of epilepsy for which patients undergo brain surgery.  LITT technology is useful in patients with a type of temporal lobe epilepsy called mesial temporal sclerosis, where there is a loss of neurons and scarring of the deepest portion of the temporal lobe.  This scarring is often the cause for seizures that cannot be controlled by medications alone.  LITT allows the neurosurgeon to simultaneously deliver and monitor the treatment while the patient undergoes MRI imaging.  Furthermore, a minimally-invasive procedure is performed to accurately position the probe rather than traditional surgery, which requires a more invasive craniotomy.”

The procedure involves a one-quarter-inch incision through which the LITT probe is placed.  LITT delivers energy produced by a laser to heat the diseased, seizure-producing regions deep within the brain.  The treatment is focused and MRI temperature maps provide neurosurgeons with a real-time view of the diseased tissue being destroyed, which eliminates damage to healthy tissue.  The laser probe is then removed and the small incision is closed. Patients who undergo traditional open-craniotomy typically spend three-to-four days in the hospital with a three-to-six--week recovery period.  On the other hand, after the minimally invasive laser therapy, patients typically go home the following day and recover much faster.

About CNI’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center:
The Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center is a truly integrated and multidisciplinary endeavor, with epilepsy neurologists, nurses, pharmacists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, social workers, technical staff and an administrative team, all working together to provide care and support for both adult and pediatric epilepsy patients. It is the largest and most comprehensive program on Long Island for the evaluation and medical and surgical treatment of epilepsy in children and adults. Patients and families benefit from a unique and multidisciplinary model of care, integrating the expertise of clinical staff and the availability of cutting-edge technology to enable accurate diagnosis, effective treatment and improved quality of life.  For more information about the Comprehensive Epilepsy Care Center, go to www.neurocni.com or call (516) 325-7060.

About Visualase MRI-guided Thermal Imaging and Laser Technology:
Visualase, Inc. is focused in product development, clinical evaluations, manufacturing, and marketing of advanced laser and image-guided technologies for thermal ablation markets. The goal of Visualase Inc., is to provide physicians with a superior platform for minimally invasive thermal tumor therapy and merge existing diagnostic and therapeutic environments for improved patient care.  For more information, go to www.visualaseinc.com.

  • Media Contacts:

    Michelle Pipia-Stiles, Director, Communications
    516-719-3175
    mpipiastil@nshs.edu
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