New Procedure A Breakthrough In Epilepsy Treatment

NEW YORK (CBS) Keagan Dysart used to have uncontrollable giggle fits two or three times every hour.

Sometimes the 9-year-old would also suddenly become stiff and unresponsive.

“With his seizures you never knew when or where it would happen it was very scary for us,” Khris Dysart, Keagan’s father, said.

Doctors diagnosed Keagan with epilepsy. Medication didn’t work, so recently he became one of the first patients to undergo a new, minimally invasive surgical procedure at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

“A very exciting breakthrough that we think can transform the lives of people living with this devastating disease,” Dr. Angus Wilfong with Texas Children’s Hospital, said.

In the past, patients like Keagan would have undergone a craniotomy, which involves cutting open part of the skull, but the new technique allows doctors to enter the skull through a much smaller hole, lowering the risk of infection and severely reducing the recovery time.

“Let that laser light into the target destroy the lesion without having to create a corridor to get to that lesion,” Dr. Daniel Curry, also with Texas Children’s Hospital, said.

More than three million Americans have epilepsy, including about 300,000 children. Uncontrollable seizures can affect a child’s memory, motor skills and school performance.

Keagan’s family says the procedure has changed their son’s life.

“He’s noticing things he never noticed before like a sunset,” Robin Dysart, Keagan’s mother, said.

Since his surgery in March, Keagan is seizure free. His doctors say he’s cured.

RELATED LINKS
More Health News
American Epilepsy Society
Texas Children’s Hospital: Laser Cell Ablation For Epilepsy

Comments

One Comment

  1. SANDY says:

    THIS STORY WAS TO AIR ON THE NEWS ON MONDAY 07/18/2011, HOWEVER WE WAITED 5 TO 7 PM AND THE STORY NEVER AIRED. WE ARE LITTLE UPSET WITH THE FACT THAT IT WAS TO BE ON AND NEVER AIRED.

  2. abk says:

    I also watched the TV for 2 hours without seeing this piece. Why advertise it if you know you aren’t going to air it? I am disappointed in the KDKA staff for dangling this information in a “teaser”, and then not even mentioning it during the news.

  3. Katrina says:

    I sent them an email expressing the same disappointment last night. I received a reply today with this link. However, I hope that these comments from more than one individual make a point to KDKA about epilepsy, the affect it has on individuals in our area, and the need to follow through on covering a story that affects so many people.

  4. Kate says:

    You’re not the only one! My husband, who has epilepsy, and I watched for 2 hours as well but all we saw was the man in the car stuck in the water on Washington Ave. For someone who has epilepsy, they want to see the report that can possibly change their lives – not if a salad chopper does its job or not. Priorities, priorities. Way to go KDKA!

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