The NHS has announced the launch of laser beam brain surgery to treat patients with epilepsy. Part of the NHS Long Term Plan commitment is to ensure the most effective treatments are rolled out across the country, and this pioneering laser beam treatment is its lastest example.
Epilepsy patients who not have responded well to other forms of treatment will now be able to benefit from fiber optic laser therapy.
The laser necessitates a 1.5mm wide probe into the skull. At the tip of the probe is a fibre optic laser that targets, heats and destroys the brain tissue that is responsible for causing epilepsy.
Carried out in an MRI scanner, clinicians are able to navigate through the brain with high accuracy, targeting the parts of the brain causing epilepsy, while safely ensuring healthy brain tissue does not overheat.
The cutting-edge laser therapy not only reduces the risk of complications, but also allows patients to recover swiftly as the wound heals faster. Thus, patients can leave from hospitals the next day with minimal risk of side effects.
Professor James Palmer, NHS medical director for specialised services, said, “This innovative laser therapy is a game-changing breakthrough for patients who have not had success with traditional forms of treatment to control their seizures and will give those with epilepsy a real chance to live a normal life”.
Individuals with focal epilepsy that has not been controlled with two or more anti-seizure
medications and have been assessed at an Epilepsy Surgery Centre will be eligible to receive this treatment. In addition, a multi-disciplinary team will assess an individual’s suitability.
Overall, this laser therapy is a breakthrough for patients who have not had success with other forms of treatment to control their seizure. The first surgeries will take place in 2023, with the potential to benefit up to 150 NHS patients each year.
Source. NHS News
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