Giving children the chance to be seizure free

We are thrilled to be instrumental in bringing world class laser surgery to Edinburgh’s children’s hospital, giving children and young people with epilepsy the life-changing chance to be seizure free.

A partnership between ECHC, the Welch Trust and NHS Lothian is bringing MRI-guided Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT) to the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People – the first time this laser technology will be available in Scotland.

LITT is a new, minimally invasive treatment which uses a laser to remove brain tissue that is causing seizures. Children and young people who will be referred for laser surgery are diagnosed with refractory (medication resistant) epilepsy; they may experience up to 100 ‘drop down’ seizures a day. In appropriately selected cases, laser surgery can stop seizures entirely and cure the child’s epilepsy. 

LITT is otherwise not available on the NHS elsewhere in the UK and the current surgery choice in Edinburgh is open brain surgery, which is around seven hours and leaves an ear to ear scar. LITT will reduce this to two hours and is much less invasive.

Having the laser surgery available in Edinburgh gives families more choice in their place of care and means they will no longer need to endure the financial and emotional cost of national or international travel and separation at a very stressful time. It will also place Edinburgh on the map as a world-leading provider of epilepsy surgery and treatment.

Roslyn Neely, CEO of ECHC