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.