Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

The goal for every pediatric 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. 

Contact the Epilepsy Surgery Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

To make a referral, schedule an appointment, or request an evaluation for a child or teen, contact us at 412-692-6928 or email

Our goal for each child with epilepsy is to stop seizures and improve quality of life. Frequent seizures prevent a child from enjoying and living a full life.

Many kids with epilepsy can become seizure-free with medicine. But for the one-third of children who don't respond to meds, surgery may be an option.

At UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, kids with hard-to-control seizures have a thorough assessment to decide if epilepsy surgery will help.

At the Epilepsy Surgery Program, we strive to free every child from seizures so they can reach their fullest potential.

What is Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery?

In epilepsy surgery, surgeons remove or place a stimulator on the part of the brain that is the source of your child's seizures.

The goal is to reduce or stop your child's seizures.

Is Epilepsy Surgery Right for My Child?

We might talk to you about surgery if your child's seizures don't respond to epilepsy drugs or if there is a structural brain problem causing seizures.

If epilepsy surgery is an option for your child but you want to learn more before you decide, we can help. We can connect you with other families who've been through the process.

Learn more about tests your child will need to decide if epilepsy surgery is an option.

Why Choose UPMC Children's Hospital for Epilepsy Surgery?

The Epilepsy Surgery Program of the Brain Care Institute:

  • Offers complete care to children with drug-resistant epilepsy, care that's on par with the best programs in the U.S.
  • Performs over 120 epilepsy surgeries for children each year, including 50 vagus nerve stimulator implantations per year.
  • Is the only center in the region that provides extensive pre-op assessments and a full range of epilepsy surgery procedures.
  • Offers the chance to participate in the latest epilepsy research and access to resources for managing complex epilepsy cases.
  • Provides simultaneous and expedited evaluation by multiple epilepsy surgery experts in our multidisciplinary epilepsy surgery clinic.

UPMC Children's Epilepsy Research and Clinical Trials

There are more effective treatments for childhood epilepsy now than ever before, but we believe we can still find more.

Our ongoing research includes new and exciting results that may lead to easier, more effective treatments with fewer side effects.

We also have early access to the latest:

  • Models of VNS devices.
  • Epilepsy treatments, drugs, and equipment.

Our current research includes:

  • A retrospective review of health records of children who've been in the Epilepsy Surgery Program for the last 20 years.
  • Clinical trials of stereotactic laser ablation, responsive neural stimulation, and deep brain stimulation for drug-resistant epilepsy.
  • Examination of cortical reorganization and recovery of visual function following damage to the visual system in patients after resection surgery for epilepsy.
  • A study of novel electrodes and electrode systems designed to improve the quality of EEG recordings performed on coarse and curly hair types.
  • Quantitative EEG and statistical machine learning analysis to detect subclinical neurological deterioration in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
  • A review and analysis of the electrophysiological predictors of functional outcomes following pediatric cortical resections for epilepsy.
  • Maternal Outcomes and Neurodevelopmental Effects of Antiepileptic Drugs (MONEAD) study site.
  • Studying quantitative EEG for monitoring sedation in critically ill children in the pediatric intensive care unit.
  • A pilot study of an abusive head trauma screen for infants with spells combining the power of quantitative EEG, visual analysis, and the Pittsburgh Infant Brain Injury Score.
  • Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare for Adolescent and Young Adult Women with Epilepsy: A retrospective analysis using natural language processing.
  • Pediatric Neurologists' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare for Adolescent and Young Adult Women with Epilepsy.
  • A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of adjunctive ganaxolone treatment in children and young adults with CDKL5 deficiency disorder, followed by long-term open-label treatment.
  • A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study with open-label extension phase of Lorcaserin as adjunctive treatment in subjects with Dravet syndrome.
  • Clinical profile and neurocognitive outcome in cohort of children with infantile spasms.

Learn More About Childhood Epilepsy