Epilepsy Surgery Program

The goal for every patient with epilepsy is to stop all seizures. Ongoing seizures prevent full enjoyment and fulfillment in life. Many children with epilepsy can become seizure-free with medication, but for the one-third of children who don’t respond to medication, surgery may be an option. 

At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, children with difficult-to-control seizures receive a comprehensive assessment to determine whether or not they will benefit from epilepsy surgery. The goal of the Epilepsy Surgery Program at Children’s Hospital’s Brain Care Institute is to give every child a chance at seizure freedom, so that they can develop to their fullest potential.

The Epilepsy Surgery Program of the Brain Care Institute offers comprehensive assessment and care to children with medically refractory epilepsy, care that is on par with the best programs in the nation. On average, we perform brain surgery on 25 patients a year. In addition, about 50 patients a year undergo vagal nerve stimulator implantation. 

As the only center in the region that provides comprehensive preoperative evaluation, access to the full spectrum of epilepsy surgery procedures, as well as the opportunity to participate in the latest research into epilepsy, the Brain Care Institute offers access to all of the resources required for managing complex epilepsy cases.

Research and Clinical Studies

There are more effective treatments for epilepsy now than ever before, but we believe there are still more to be discovered. Our ongoing epilepsy research and clinical studies include new and exciting developments that may lead to treatments that are easier, more effective, and with fewer side effects. Not only do we receive the latest models of VNS devices before they become widely available, but we also have earlier access to all of the latest treatments, medicines, and medical equipment.

Our current areas of research include:

  • A retrospective medical record review of patients who have participated in the Epilepsy Surgery Program for the last 15 years
  • A study of how childhood epilepsy affects children’s developing brains
  • An examination of how sleep and certain cognitive functions are affected in adolescents with epilepsy compared to those without epilepsy
  • A study to determine the best initial treatment for childhood absence epilepsy (CAE), a common syndrome that affects 10 to 15 percent of children with epilepsy that is characterized by brief, sudden staring-spell seizures
  • Participation in a national multicenter study looking at the genomic and phenotypic patterns of epilepsy as it relates to families
  • Multiple clinical studies of new and existing antiepileptic drugs

Family Support

If your child is a candidate for epilepsy surgery and you are considering it, and you want to learn more about epilepsy surgery from a parent or family perspective, we can connect you with families who have been through the process.

Call Amy Lukanski, nurse coordinator for the Brain Care Institute, at 412-692-6921 or email her at amy.lukanski@chp.edu.

Referral Requirements

To make a referral, schedule an appointment, or request an evaluation for a child or teen, contact us at 412-692-8717 or email epilepsysurgery@chp.edu.

Additional Resources

Contact the Epilepsy Center

To make a referral, schedule an appointment, or request an evaluation for a child or teen, call at 412-692-7833.



Mandeep Tamber, MD, PhD

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Elizabeth Tyler-Kabara, MD, PhD

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Patricia Crumrine, MD

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Christina Patterson, MD

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Bilal Sitwat, MD

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Yoshimi Sogawa, MD

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Inna Vaisleib, MD

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Shelley Williams, MD

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  • Epilepsy Surgery Program

    Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 6
    Pittsburgh PA, 15224