Volumes and Outcomes

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Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital tracks and measures the number of patients who visit to help us improve the care we offer to children and their families. 

We use the information to find out which areas we can get better at. Le Bonheur has one of the largest pediatric neurology programs in the country, and hundreds of children come through our doors every year.

Le Bonheur’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center also is one of the country’s best. Our Epilepsy Center was recently reaccredited as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, the highest level by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. To achieve Level 4 status, epilepsy centers must meet certain criteria, including volume of video-EEG monitoring, physician experience and more. Level 4 centers have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment.

Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Admissions

Why it is important: Because our Epilepsy Monitoring Unit is one of the biggest in the country, we have some of the most experienced epilepsy doctors. Le Bonheur is one of the few pediatric hospitals in the nation that has offers state-of-the-art technology, including functional MRI (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Intraoperaticve MRI (iMRI). “Places that have higher volumes typically do better jobs, and we have one of the higher volumes in the country, and we have all the sophisticated equipment that most other children’s hospitals don’t have,” said Frederick Boop, MD, co-director of the Neuroscience Institute.

Epilepsy Surgery Volumes

The graph below compares the number of surgeries we have performed in the past three years.

Why it is important: Our neurosurgeons are some of the most experienced in their field. Le Bonheur’s numbers have increased over the past year and our neurosurgeons are on pace to perform nearly 80 surgeries this year. The comprehensive team treats children with the most complex diagnoses and conducts research to provide innovative treatments to children with epilepsy. Le Bonheur offers a variety of surgical options for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy, including:

  • Resection surgery: The part of the brain that causes seizures is removed.
  • Corpus callosotomy: The nerve fibers between the two sides of the brain are severed or cut. This interrupts the spread of seizures from one side of the brain to the other.
  • Hemispherectomy: One side of the brain is partially removed and disconnected from the other side. This surgery is performed only if seizures have not responded to medications and in special circumstances (Rasmussen’s encephalitis, hemiplegic cerebral palsy, hemimegalencephaly).
  • Vagus nerve stimulation: A small device (VNS) is implanted beneath the skin of the chest and is connected by a thin wire to the vagus nerve. This device is programmed to send impulses to the brain, which helps stop the seizure or quicken the recovery.
  • Responsive neurostimulator system: A device (RNS) is implanted to reduce seizures in individuals 18 years of age or older with partial onset seizures.

Tumor Surgery Cases

Le Bonheur neurosurgeons also remove tumors, which can cause seizures and other health problems. The graph below shows the number of tumor resection surgeries performed from 2017-2019.

Why it is important: Le Bonheur teams up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the removal and treatment of children with brain tumors. Because we perform so many tumor surgeries, our neurosurgeons have some of the most experience in the country. On average, we perform 18 tumor surgeries per month.

“We do more pediatric brain tumors than anywhere in the country,” Boop said.