Laser Therapy for Epilepsy now available on the NHS

NHS England has accepted the recommendation of the Clinical Priorities Advisory Group to roll out LITT (laser interstitial thermal therapy) on the NHS. LITT is a laser treatment for epilepsy offering a less invasive alternative to conventional neurosurgery. It is a stereotactic procedure with the potential for seizure reduction results similar to those of open resection, with fewer side-effects or complications.

LITT allows for individualised neurological treatment with a small wound, a much faster recovery time, less pain, and minimal risk of infection, adverse neurocognitive deficits, or other side effects.

This pioneering laser beam treatment for epilepsy patients is life-changing and will offer hope to hundreds of people every year who have not had success in preventing seizures with traditional drugs. By replacing invasive neurosurgery with a cutting-edge laser therapy, allowing clinicians to better target the parts of the brain causing the epilepsy, we not only dramatically reduce risks to these patients, but drastically reduce their recovery time both in and out of hospital.

The treatment is yet another example of how the NHS continues to deliver on its NHS Long Term Plan commitment to secure the latest medical innovations for patients while also using our commercial means to ensure value for money.

Professor Sir Stephen Powis, NHS national medical director

Find the clinical commissioning policy here.