Epilepsy treatment with MRI-guided laser ablation of epileptic foci (program ID: 495920)

Beta Klinik Bonn

location_on Bonn, Germany
9.7/10 from 75 Votes
Chief physician wb_sunny
Specialized hospital
Thomas Gasser

Head Physician
Prof. Dr. med.

Thomas Gasser

Specialized in: neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology

Department of Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology

Department of Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology annually admits over 890 patients with epilepsy. Epileptogenic brain foci are destroyed with the help of safe innovative technique – laser ablation by miniature flexible catheter under the MRI-guidance. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Gasser, a member of the German Society of Neurosurgery and the World Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery.

The program includes:

  • Initial presentation in the clinic
  • clinical history taking
  • review of medical records
  • physical examination
  • laboratory tests:
    • complete blood count
    • general urine analysis
    • biochemical analysis of blood
    • inflammation indicators (CRP, ESR)
    • indicators of blood coagulation
  • neurological examination
  • CT/MRI scan
  • neuropsychological tests (if indicated):
    • ENMG (electroneuromyography)
    • EEG (electroencephalography)
    • SEPs (somatosensory evoked potentials)
    • VEPs (visually evoked potentials)
    • BAEP tests (brainstem auditory evoked potentials)
  • stationary EEG monitoring
  • preoperative care
  • laser ablation of epileptic foci
  • postoperative MRI control
  • symptomatic treatment
  • control examinations
  • the cost of essential medicines and materials
  • nursing services
  • full hospital accommodation
  • developing of further guidance


How program is carried out

During the first visit, the physician will conduct a clinical examination and neurological examination, and go through the results of the available diagnostic tests. After that, you will undergo the necessary additional examination, such as the laboratory blood and urine tests, EEG monitoring, MRI scan with obtaining 3D images and creating volumetric images of the whole brain. Based on the results of additional examinations, the physician will clarify the localization of epileptic foci. After that, the preparation according to the preoperative standard will begin.

Laser ablation of epileptic foci begins with the formation of access to the brain. When using a catheter with a laser fiber, a hole with a diameter of 3.2 mm is sufficient for this. The miniature size and flexibility of the catheter help preserve healthy brain tissue.

When the catheter reaches epileptic foci, energy is delivered through the laser fiber. Under the influence of high temperature, epileptic foci are destroyed. The procedure is guided by real-time MRI. Surgeons also assess the temperature of healthy brain tissues using thermographic images in order to avoid overheating.

After the completion of the operation, you will be transferred to the ward, under the round-the-clock supervision of physicians and nurses. In several days, the attending physician will evaluate the results of the postoperative MRI scans, schedule the date of discharge from the hospital and give you detailed recommendations for further follow-up and treatment.

Required documents:

  • Medical records
  • EEG (if available)
  • MRI/CT scan (if available)
Type of program :
Expected duration of the program:

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About the department

The Department of Neurosurgery and Interventional Neuroradiology at the Beta Klinik is a modern maximum care medical facility, which offers the full range of diagnostic and therapeutic services in the field of neurosurgery. It provides the first-class treatment of diseases of the brain, bone marrow, spine, blood vessels and peripheral nerves. The successful treatment outcome is facilitated by the high professionalism of doctors and the cutting-edge technical equipment. The department is headed by Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Gasser.

In clinical practice, the specialists of the department widely use microscopic and endoscopic interventions, for example, for the treatment of spinal diseases, but also modern neuromodulation methods (deep brain stimulation, spinal cord stimulation, etc.) are actively used.

Within the framework of interventional neuroradiology, diagnostics and treatment involves the use of ultrasound, CT, MRI and angiography, for example, in vascular diseases (aneurysms, carotid stenosis). Such a sparing minimally invasive treatment can be provided due to the department’s excellent technical equipment. It should be noted that the department has a specially trained team for postoperative patient care.

The department treats the following diseases:

  • Brain diseases
    • Headache / migraine
    • Dystonia
    • Tremor
    • Neuralgia / trigeminal neuralgia
    • Dizziness
    • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
    • Brain tumors
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Other diseases
  • Diseases and injuries of the peripheral nerves
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Meralgia paresthetica
    • Morton's disease
    • Cubital tunnel syndrome
    • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
    • Tumors of the peripheral nerves (for example, schwannomas)
    • Other pathologies
  • Spinal diseases
    • Herniated discs
    • Spinal stenosis
    • Spinal instability
    • Facet joint arthrosis
    • Osteoporosis (fractures of the vertebrae)
    • Back pain
    • Other pathological conditions
  • Vascular diseases (interventional neuroradiology)
    • Aneurysms
    • Carotid stenosis
    • Other pathologies

The department’s range of therapeutic services includes:

Treatment of brain diseases

  • Conservative therapy for headaches, migraines and dizziness
    • Drug therapy (infusion therapy, administration of special drugs)
    • Manual therapy and physiotherapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Special treatment course for the corresponding primary pathology
    • Prevention
    • Other methods
  • Conservative therapy for brain tumors
    • Treatment of edema with steroids
    • Treatment of symptomatic epilepsy (if any)
    • Special therapy methods for tumors (for example, chemotherapy)
    • Other methods
  • Treatment of trigeminal neuralgia with the help of Jannetta procedure
  • Treatment of motor disorders with deep brain stimulation
  • Microsurgical interventions for the treatment of brain tumors
  • Treatment of headaches and dizziness with microtherapy
  • Treatment of chronic pain by spinal cord stimulation
  • Other therapeutic methods

Treatment of diseases and injuries of the peripheral nerves

  • Decompression interventions
  • Surgical interventions for nerve restoration (in case of injuries with blunt or sharp objects)
  • Surgical removal of peripheral nerve tumors
  • Other treatments

Treatment of spinal diseases

  • Intervertebral disc prosthetic repair
  • Decompression interventions (microlaminectomy)
  • Endoscopic abrasion
  • Endoscopic spinal surgery
  • Microsurgical spinal interventions
  • Microtherapy
    • Treatment of facet joint diseases
    • Treatment of nerve root diseases
    • Treatment of spinal canal diseases
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Implantation of the interspinous implant (SPACER)
  • Spinal fusion (spinal stabilization)
  • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty
  • Other treatments

Curriculum vitae

Prof. Thomas Gasser studied medicine at the Ignaz-Semmelweis University in Budapest, the Essen University Hospital and had many trainings abroad.  He was a Visiting Physician at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. He followed on from his licence to practice medicine with his PhD on epidural scarring after lumbar intraspinal intervention. Then he had his training for a Medical Specialist with the habilitation on the development and clinical relevance of functional magnetic resonance imaging in neurosurgery.

He founded the Faculty of Functional Neurosurgery and Intraoperative Imaging at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt (Germany) and has been responsible for the Faculty of Functional Neurosurgery at the Essen University Hospital since 2008.

The application of the state-of-the-art therapies for the treatment of pain and movement disorders (neuromodulation, for example, spinal cord stimulation, deep brain stimulation) are his primary focuses as a physician. Additionally, he specializes in the microsurgical treatment of neuro-oncological, degenerative and vascular brain and spine diseases.

Prof. Gasser scientifically focuses on the application of complex imaging procedures in neurosurgery. In 2005, he was awarded the International Exchange Grant of the German and Japanese Society of Neurosurgery, leading him to a successful scientific research project at Tokyo Women‘s Medical University (Japan).

Prof. Gasser is author and co-author of more than 130 scientific publications, holds two patents for medicine products and regularly gives scientific lectures at international congresses. Furthermore, he is the Scientific Consultant and Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Medtronic Navigation, Louisville, USA. He is also a Member of several specialized associations:German Society of Neurosurgery, World Congress of Neurological Surgeons (WCNS) and World Society for Stereotaxy and Functional Neurosurgery (WSSFN).

Photo of the doctor: (c) Beta Klinik Service-, Verwaltungs- und Forschungs- GmbH

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