Three patients, including a four-year-old, suffering from uncontrolled epilepsy successfully underwent an advanced minimally invasive technique using laser at the AIIMS, doctors said here on Tuesday.

The patients aged 4, 23 and 24 were admitted to All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on April 7 and underwent the surgery between April 9-10.

The treatment was also part of technology transfer in a unique two-day live operative workshop at the institute. Explaining about the new technology, doctors said during the surgical procedure small holes measuring 3.2 mm are made in the skull though which a thin fibre-optic cable is introduced into the area causing epilepsy. Laser is then passed to destroy the area.

1. Sharat Chandra, a professor of neurosurgery, said, “The area causing epilepsy is destroyed using a unique thermographic images, under MRI guidance. The target is then burned using the laser.” “Unlike traditional laser, this equipment has a cooling system and every bit of abnormal epileptogenic tissue burned inside the brain is completely visualized and controlled,” Chandra told IANS.

According to the doctors, India is the second country where the “minimally invasive technique using laser” was performed after the US. “The surgery requires a single stitch and the patient usually gets ready to be discharged the next day itself,” said Ashwini Sharan, a leading US-based epilepsy neurosurgeon. According to the health ministry, AIIMS is the largest centre in the country that has witnessed over 1,500 surgeries for epilepsy.

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