Epilepsy Surgery

The goal of surgical treatment of epilepsy is to eliminate the abnormal electrical discharges from the brain that result in seizure disorders.  This is done through a variety of surgical techniques such as removal of abnormal brain tissue, disconnection of abnormal brain tissue from the surrounding normal brain structures and procedures that modulate the abnormal function of the brain to restore normal neurological function.

The UNC Comprehensive Epilepsy program offers a full spectrum of therapy for patients with seizure disorders.  The Epilepsy Center has state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and detailed experience with medical, surgical and device therapies.  The center offers comprehensive multidisciplinary care from epileptologists, epilepsy nurse practitioner, neuropsychologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neuroradiologists, and case manager/social worker.  We also offer presurgical evaluation for refractory epilepsy, various types of focal resective epilepsy surgery, Vagus Nerve Stimulator, and Corpus Callosotomy.  Surgery for epilepsy can be done for some people who have seizures that are not controlled by antiepileptic medications.  The two main goals of epilepsy surgery are:

  • To greatly improve the person’s seizure control
  • To improve the quality of his or her life

Although some people become seizure-free after this surgery, not everyone does so.  No surgery is without risk.  To ensure that patients have the best chance for a good outcome, it is necessary to go through many vigorous and comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluations tailored to the individual patient: Diagnostic Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU) Evaluation, Phase I Evaluation with an Ictal and Interictal SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) study, MRI of Brain, Interictal PET Scan, Neuropsychology testing, Psychiatric evaluation, Wada test, Functional Brain MRI, MEG (from WFU Baptist Hospital), Surgery Conference, and Phase II Evaluation with Intracranial Monitoring.

In addition, we are actively involved in outreach services to teach the physicians in the community and the lay community about the latest epilepsy care as well as clinical research.


Epilepsy Treatment in North Carolina:

For Adult Patients:

Bradley V. Vaughn, MD

  • Chief of the Division of Sleep and Epilepsy
  • Vice Chair and Professor of Neurology
  • Clinical Interests: Epilepsy, Sleep disorders, and nocturnal events
  • Research Interests: Epilepsy, Interaction of Sleep and Epilepsy, Sleep Physiology and Disorders in Neurological Disorders

Albert Hinn, MD

  • Associate Professor, Adult Neurology
  • Clinical Interests: Epilepsy, Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Research Interests: Intraoperative Monitoring

Hae Won Shin, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Adult Neurology
  • Clinical Interests: Epilepsy, Refractory Epilepsy Surgery, Women's Care in Epilepsy, ICU EEG Monitoring, Evoke Potentials
  • Research Interests: Epilepsy, Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Safety, Epilepsy Surgery, ICU EEG Monitoring

Linh Ngo, FNP

  • Epilepsy Nurse Practitioner


For Pediatric Patients:

Robert Greenwood, MD

  • Division Chief, and Professor of Child Neurology
  • Clinical Interests: Epilepsy in Childhood, Headaches, Neurogenetic Disorders
  • Research Interests: Epilepsy, Neurofibromatosis

Michael Tennison, MD

  • Professor, Child Neurology
  • Clinical Interests: Epilepsy in Childhood, Neurogenetics
  • Research Interests: Treatment of Epilepsy

Muruvet Elkay, MD

  • Assistant Professor, Child Neurology
  • Clinical Interests: Pediatric Epilepsy, Epilepsy Surgery
  • Research Interests: Epilepsy