Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service

Our Children’s Epilepsy Surgery Service (CESS) is the largest stand-alone hospital service in the UK and we have carried out epilepsy surgery since 2012. The team is solely dedicated to looking after children with complex epilepsy and we provide a service for patients who may be suitable for surgery to improve their epilepsy.


Children who are referred to us have difficulty controlling their condition and require specialised treatment. At our Children’s Hospital, we offer three different types of non-drug treatments:

  • Epilepsy surgery
  • Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS)
  • Ketogenic diet                     

Epilepsy surgery

This option may be beneficial if a child’s epilepsy is coming from one part of their brain. If a child is a candidate for epilepsy surgery they will undergo specific tests and there are three types of surgery that are possible: Focal resection, Hemispherotomy and Corpus Callosotomy.                 

Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS)

The VNS is a small device implanted under the collar bone and attached to a nerve called the vagus nerve. The device releases a pulse up the nerve and into the brain to reduce the seizure frequency, duration and severity. Once the device is implanted, it will be switched on by the epilepsy nurse around two weeks after surgery. Patients then come back to clinic to change the settings to help manage seizures and make sure the device is working to its full potential. This should improve a child’s overall quality of life.

Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic diet is a specialised diet which is closely monitored by the ketogenic dieticians, epilepsy specialist nurse and our consultants. The patients will attend three monthly clinics with the dieticians, nurses and consultants. Patients and their families will receive specific training from the dieticians on how the diet works, how to manage it at home and to answer any questions.

The team

Our specialist team is made up of: Neurologists, Neurosurgeons, Radiologists, Neurophysiologists, Neuropsychologists, Neuropsychiatrists, Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapists and Nurses. We all work together to help to investigate epilepsy, support patients and their families in order to find the best possible treatment options available.

Location and facilities

Our neurology surgical ward is based on Ward 10 of the Children’s Hospital. This is where some patients undergoing tests, such as video telemetry, and where they have their post-operative care. Some children may be admitted onto a different ward but our team will make sure that each patient receives comprehensive reviews from specialists.

If a child is admitted, we have a large ward round with members of the team who are available to answer any questions. Most children with epilepsy are managed in the community and through outpatient clinics.

Contact details

0121 333 8184, 8180 and 8158.

Useful documents

Clinical Psychology & Paediatric Neuropsychology .pdf [pdf] 180KB