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Mater Neurosciences Centre Brisbane’s team has performed 50 Stereotactic EEGs (SEEG) for epilepsy patients, a significant milestone to add to their impressive list of firsts.
Since the team began in 2016, they have performed Queensland’s first (SEEG), Australia’s first surgery for epilepsy using a robot and treated Queensland’s youngest SEEG patient.
Stereotactic EEG is an advanced monitoring and diagnostic procedure that involves mapping of the brain and localisation of areas of potential epileptic activity.
In the operating theatre, neurosurgeons, with the assistance and guidance of the neurologist, implant deep brain electrodes through strategically drilled holes in the skull. The electrodes have many contacts that record very small areas of brain tissue for activity, allowing up to 256 channels of activity to be monitored, in comparison to the 20 channels recorded through conventional scalp EEG.
Peter Upton, Mater’s first patient to undergo the procedure was reviewed by Mater’s Advanced Epilepsy Service. Peter suffered his first seizure in 2012 while hiking, with no memory of the event. Peter’s epilepsy escalated until he was involved in a work accident, driving a boat into a pontoon with no recollection of the event afterwards.
Following a successful SEEG, the decision was made to undergo a left anterior temporal lobectomy on 17 November 2015. Peter recovered well, with a short inpatient stay working with Mater’s speech therapists and occupational therapists to develop and strengthen Peter’s memory.
Nearly four years on, Peter has his life back―seizure-free―and has been discharged from the service.
Mater Epileptologist Dr Sasha Dionisio said the milestone was a significant achievement for the team.
“We’ve been able to change the lives of patients who are unresponsive to medication,” Dr Dionisio said.
“This isn’t necessarily a service that will work for everybody but this is a pathway for a number of people who assume there is no pathway at all,” he said.
Mater is one of only two hospitals in Australia who offer the SEEG procedure.
Australia’s first Stereotactic Electroencephalogram (SEEG) international conference was recently held in Brisbane, bringing together the world’s leading epilepsy practitioners to discuss the management and surgical treatment options available for those with drug resistant epilepsy.
The Fundamentals of Stereo-EEG Conference’s three-day workshop developed by clinicians from Mater Neurosciences Centre Brisbane brought together epileptologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuroscientists and researchers to increase collaboration not only in epilepsy surgery but in the evaluation of patients and research for the future.
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