Stopping Seizures

Inova Fairfax Hospital offers a wide array of epilepsy services

Epilepsy services have expanded at Inova Fairfax Hospital. “We have surgical services available including implanting brain electrodes to evaluate and record seizures, and we have procedures to reduce or eliminate seizures as well,” says James Leiphart, MD, PhD, FACS, FAANS, Director of Epilepsy Surgery and Co-Director of Epilepsy Services for Inova Fairfax Hospital.

“That’s the big advance that we’re moving forward with,” says Dr. Leiphart. “[We have] more of a surgical program, as well as what we already had, which is years and years of experience in patient monitoring and treatment.”

This availability of surgical procedures makes a huge difference for the 20 percent of epilepsy sufferers who do not respond to medicine-based treatments. Additionally, Inova Fairfax Hospital is able to better serve these sufferers of epilepsy with its dedicated staff that includes two epilepsy surgeons.

“We have recruited a great team of neurosurgeons in the past year,” says Mohankumar Kurukumbi, MD, Assistant Director of Epilepsy Services for Inova Fairfax Hospital. “Having two well-trained epilepsy surgeons available all the time will make access to high-quality treatment easier. Here we can get things done faster, and with better results.”

Dr. Leiphart is one of the recently hired surgeons. He has helped oversee these additions to the epilepsy program. “I was hired by Inova to spearhead the surgical side of the program,” says Leiphart. “I’m 100 percent focused on the program at Fairfax, which is an advantage.”

In addition to the new focus on surgical offerings, Inova Fairfax Hospital has also increased its number of monitored beds. These beds are used for evaluating patients with epilepsy to determine the type of epilepsy and whether the patient is a candidate for surgery.

The Technology of Treatment

Technology is an important part of the epilepsy services provided by the surgeons and professionals at Inova Fairfax Hospital. Staying on the cutting edge allows the Inova Fairfax Hospital staff to offer the latest in epilepsy treatments. Here are just two of the technologies they use.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS) – This is an outpatient procedure that involves implanting an electrode into the patient’s chest. “When the patient senses a seizure, the patient can swipe a magnet on the electrode on his chest and it can stop the seizure,” says Mohankumar Kurukumbi, MD, Assistant Director of Epilepsy Services at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

NeuroPace – Inova Fairfax Hospital doctors are in talks to bring this recently FDA-approved device for recording and blocking seizures through stimulation to the hospital. The Epilepsy Center was recently recognized as a Level 4 center by the International League Against Epilepsy. This, according to Dr. Kurukumbi, will “open the door” for NeuroPace technology at the hospital.

Epilepsy Aid

Learn more about epilepsy testing and treatment at inova.org/neuroscience.