Epilepsy

Tampa General’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is the only Level 4 epilepsy center on Florida’s west coast and one of just four statewide. Level 4 indicates the highest possible level of medical and surgical services are available for patients with seizures.

Our Epilepsy Program is also the first in the nation to receive disease-specific certification from The Joint Commission. This certification is presented only to programs meeting The Joint Commission’s most exacting standards of care.

The Epilepsy Program’s team of neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, nurses, and technicians are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of seizures in both adults and children. Our services include:

24-hour video EEG monitoring. Patients admitted to our Epilepsy Center can be monitored using the latest in digital EEG equipment to determine the type of seizures they’re experiencing and the location in the brain where they originate. This is vital to determine the proper mode of treatment, particularly with seizures that are difficult to control.

Epilepsy Surgery. Epilepsy is caused by uncontrolled and excessive discharge of nerve cells in the brain. Patients whose epilepsy can’t be controlled by medication may be candidates for surgery to remove the area of the brain causing the seizures. This operation is highly effective: about 80 percent of patients are cured of the disease and another 10 percent experience improvement in their conditions after surgery.

Tampa General is one of just four Florida hospitals to provide this operation. And with over 50 surgeries a year, we are the state’s busiest epilepsy surgery center.

Vagus Nerve Stimulation. VNS is the treatment of choice for patients with uncontrolled epilepsy who are not candidates for surgery. Sometimes called a pacemaker for the brain, a VNS device prevents seizures by sending mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain at regular intervals through the vagus nerve. About the size of a silver dollar, the device is implanted in the upper left area of the chest under general anesthesia.

Click here to listen to a podcast from epilepsy.com of an interview of Dr. Selim Benbadis, Director of the USF/TGH Epilepsy Program, about new medication Aptiom.