In a European premiere, the CHUV in Lausanne treated a patient suffering from epilepsy by burning the brain region responsible for seizures with a laser fiber. The operation, called thermoablation, went well and the patient was fine.
The surgery was performed in early August by Professor Jocelyne Bloch, who specializes in stereotactic and functional neurosurgery. It consists of implanting a laser probe exactly in the middle of an epileptic focus
Once placed, the probe delivers energy to increase the temperature in a defined manner and destroy the diseased brain area. This thermal ablation is very precise: Temperature measurements around the probe allow real-time progress of the treatment to be tracked by magnetic resonance imaging.
"This procedure has been clearly identified in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy whose seizure focus has been identified." Philippe Ryvlin, head of the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, CHUV, was quoted by Keystone-ATS as saying "
" , 65 mm diameter through a small perforated hole in the skull can aim at hard to reach places. This is an alternative to conventional ablative surgery, "says Jocelyne Bloch.
Compared to conventional surgery, the length of hospital stay is shortened, the patient has returned home and is fine, but we still can not tell if she has healed It takes a few weeks to know if epileptic seizures recur.
This technology has recently been approved by the European Union and Switzerland as a medical device, and the CHUV is the first European hospital to use it. [1