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Billy Whitaker, 15 from Cornwall, became the first paediatric epilepsy case to undergo the procedure at Bristol Children’s Hospital on Thursday 14 January. The robotic stereotactic EEG uses smart technology derived from the engineering world, together with high precision image guidance- to enable surgeons to insert multiple recording electrodes deep into the brain to investigate potential sites of seizure initiation.
The technique is extremely accurate and safer and better tolerated than alternative invasive methods of achieving seizure localization. This means that many cases where targets for surgery have been impossible to locate, may now become surgical candidates for life changing epilepsy operations.
Robotic technology has previously been used in other neurosurgical cases, however, this is the first use of the Neuromates Robot, which was developed by Local company Renishaw, to treat a paediatric epilepsy case in Bristol. The epilepsy surgery service at BCH already has 8 other epilepsy patients lined up to receive the treatment. Michelle Seymour, epilepsy lead nurse at Bristol Children’s Hospital, said: “This new treatment is a part of process we follow during the epilepsy programme, when trying to identify children that might be helped by helped by definitive surgery.
“Invasive recordings are an important part of the process for selected patients. This new development is better tolerated by younger patients and offers considerable safety advantages as well.”

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