Laser Ablation

Laser Ablation Referrals

To learn if a patient is a suitable candidate for laser-guided ablation please contact:

Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, MD
Director, Pediatric Neurosurgery
Surgical Director, Pediatric Epilepsy Program
Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital

SUNY Upstate Medical University
604 Jacobsen Hall
750 East Adams Street
Syracuse, NY 13210

Phone: 315 464-4418
Fax: 315 464-4415

MRI-Guided Laser Surgery for Children with Brain Tumors and Epilepsy

The recent publication in Child’s Nervous System authored by Dr. Tovar-Spinoza details the approach for epilepsy surgery:

“Epilepsy surgery is a constantly evolving field seeking for surgical options to offer patients with drug-resistant epilepsy a better chance for seizure control without causing additional morbidity. Over the past decades, the evolution of laser in neurosurgical patient care has been significant. Recently, integrated laser-induced thermal therapy (LITT) has been integrated to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce magnetic resonance thermal imaging (MRTI). LITT has proven to be an exciting tool that has created new options for treatment of the epileptogenic zone for lesionectomy as well as an advance in disconnection procedures for patients with intractable epilepsy.”

Laser Brain Surgery for Brain Tumors and Epilepsy

Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, NY, offers a pioneering neurosurgery option for children with brain tumors and epilepsy. Upstate is one the few centers in the world to offer this technology.


Pediatric Neurosurgeon Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, MD, uses real-time MRI-guided thermal imaging and laser technology to destroy lesions in the brain that cause epilepsy and uncontrollable seizures. Depth and resistant brain tumors are also treated with this technology.

Dr. Tovar-Spinoza and colleague, Yaman Eksioglu, MD, PhD, designed a first-ever minimally invasive multi-staged treatment for patients with tuberosclerosis and epilepsy with succesful outcomes in local and international patients. For patients with tuberosclerosis this replaces open surgery, and the technique pioneered at Upstate allows removal of multiple tumors in one surgical session. See Arianna's story.


Surgery is performed in the state-of-the-art surgical suite at Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse, NY. Accessing the brain via a 3.2 mm keyhole and an ultra thin 1.3 mm laser applicator, the heating of the lesion allows the disconnection or destruction of the ablated area with exact precision that protects the healthy surrounding brain.

Patients typically need a single stitch to close the incision site and are discharged from the hospital the next day.