There are nearly 500,000 children in the U.S. living with the seizure disorder known as epilepsy. For children, epilepsy is more complicated than it is for adults and potentially more harmful—seizure activity is often found in more than one part of the brain and can be part of many different syndromes or conditions. And it is critical to control seizures in children to not only ensure their safety and improve their quality of life, but to protect normal cognitive development, as untreated seizures can lead to developmental delays.
For about two-thirds of children, medication can eliminate or control their seizures. But a third will experience refractory epilepsy, which does not respond well to medication. In these cases, surgery is a more effective treatment.
I am excited to be a part of the first pediatric program on Long Island (at Northwell Health’s Cohen Children’s Medical Center) to offer ROSA, a new technology that makes surgical treatment of epilepsy safer and more tolerable for children. ROSA stands for robotic operating surgical assistant and involves a robotic arm that is able to precisely target suspected areas of seizure activity through small incisions, eliminating the need to open the brain while trying to figure out where the seizures are coming from.