Laser Ablation for Epilepsy

In collaboration with Children’s Hospital St. Paul & United Hospital, Minnesota Epilepsy Group is the first epilepsy center in the Twin Cities to use real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to treat epilepsy and brain lesions causing epilepsy.

This new surgical approach offers a safer and less invasive alternative to a craniotomy, which is currently the most commonly used surgical treatment for epilepsy. For high-risk patients with deep brain lesions, this new technique can be particularly life-changing because the MRI-guided laser probe utilizes a much smaller pathway through the brain to reach a deep lesion. This reduces the risk of patient complications related to contact with surrounding brain tissue. In addition, the MRI-guided laser probe is inserted through a hole in the skull that is only 3.2 mm (about the diameter of a pen) versus the removal of a larger area of skull bone for a craniotomy. Because it is a less invasive procedure, patient recovery time is much shorter.

How It Works

A small flexible laser probe is guided to the intended target area.

An MRI is moved into the operating room. The MRI allows the surgeon to precisely monitor treatment using special software to measure temperatures.

Laser light heats and destroys the epilepsy zone or tumor tissue. Temperature maps show the surgeon the extent of the tissue being destroyed, minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The laser applicator is removed and the small incision is closed with one stitch and a bandage.

Is Laser Ablation Surgery Right For You?

Make an appointment today with one of our expert epilepsy doctors to see if laser ablation is right for you. Learn more about Visualase laser ablation technology at