The evaluation process combines medical, psychiatric, neuropsychological, educational and electrodiagnostic monitoring.
The surgical work-up includes electroencephalograph (EEG)/video telemetry monitoring, positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, evoked potentials, psychiatric/neuropsychological studies, and developmental testing.
Depending on the clinical circumstances, additional tests may include an intracarotid amobarbital spike suppression test, a Wada study, visual field examination and a linguistic evaluation.
To determine eligibility for surgery, the attending pediatric neurologist makes a presentation at a weekly conference to the entire UCLA Clinical Neurophysiology group, which consists of experts in both pediatric and adult epilepsy.
Children are considered possible surgical candidates if they meet a number of broad criteria:
Seizures of severe enough frequency and/or intensity that they interfere significantly with development and/or daily living.
Medical intractability (e.g., seizures do not respond to antiepileptic drugs at therapeutic levels).
Because of developmental plasticity, if a child turns out to be a candidate for resective surgery, the earlier it is performed the better the outcome in terms of seizure control and development.
The UCLA Pediatric Epilepsy Program provides comprehensive consultation or outpatient management of children with epilepsy.
Many full-time pediatric neurology faculty are available for consultation. A child psychiatrist is also available for consultation for difficult psychiatric or behavioral problems associated with epilepsy.
Doctors believing a child in their practice may be an appropriate candidate for a resective procedure should contact the pediatric neurology nurse coordinator to discuss the possibility of an evaluation for that child.
Outpatient consultation, inpatient EEG/video telemetry monitoring or evaluation for surgery may be arranged by contacting our call center at (310) 825-0867. Note: IP EEG and evaluation for surgery require an OP consultation first.