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Premier Health First in Greater Dayton to Offer Minimally Invasive Epilepsy Surgery

Technology eliminates need for open skull procedures while delivering same benefits

DAYTON, Ohio (August 5, 2019) – Premier Health’s Miami Valley Hospital has become the first treatment facility in greater Dayton to utilize the Visualase™ MRI-Guided Laser Ablation system for epilepsy patients.

The hospital is one of only 110 locations throughout the United States to gain access to this advanced technology, which enables specialists to use a less invasive option to ablate seizure-causing tissue in epilepsy patients while monitoring the procedure’s progress in real time.

“The Visualase™ system allows us to successfully target and ablate specific areas within the brain using minimally invasive tools,” said Daniel Gaudin, MD, Ph.D, a neurosurgeon at Miami Valley Hospital. “We can avoid open surgery while delivering similar results, and decreasing risk of infection and damage to healthy tissue. Patients also experience a quicker recovery time, with some receiving treatment and being released the same day.”

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, one in 1,000 individuals with epilepsy die from sudden, unexpected death – also known as SUDEP – each year. In SUDEP cases, no other cause of death is found when an autopsy is done. The best way to reduce the risk for SUDEP is to take steps to control seizures. Surgery – like that which is offered with Visualase™ – is one such step.

“This tool lets us work with great precision while avoiding many of the risks that can come with open surgery,” said Dr. Larry Hall, a neuroradiologist at Miami Valley Hospital. “This provides us with a level of accuracy that is truly special since we can deliver treatment to a specific area and monitor the results in real time.”

The Visualase™ system primarily works as surgeons insert a 1.65-millimeter flexible catheter and shallow bone anchor through a small incision and 3.2-millimeter burr hole in the skull. This provides specialists with precise surgical access to the brain without the need to open the skull through extensive surgery.

The catheter is then able to ablate tissue found to be responsible for seizures by delivering light energy to the targeted area, all while being closely monitored and mapped through MRI thermographic imaging. This type of precision sets Visualase™ apart from other types of surgery options for epilepsy patients.

Miami Valley Hospital is a Level 3 Epilepsy Center accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. The center’s team works together to determine if patients are a good candidate for the Visualase™ system.

“We have a multidisciplinary approach to the way we serve our patients and their families,” said Dr. Gaudin, who practices with Premier Physician Network’s Clinical Neuroscience Institute. “For example, our neurological epileptologists will meet with patients to evaluate their condition, and they may also receive a neuropsychological, and neurosurgical evaluation depending upon their specific need.”

This one-on-one approach allows the team to create a tailored treatment for each patient with optimal outcomes. Dr. Gaudin said it is important for epilepsy patients to seek evaluation to see if this minimally invasive tool can provide the relief they need from seizures.

“Visualase™ gives us yet another outstanding resource to offer patients if there is a fit within their plan,” Dr. Gaudin said.

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