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2005: CDH Welcomes New Epilepsy Specialist
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CDH Welcomes New Epilepsy Specialist

Roy Sucholeiki MD

CDH Welcomes epilepsy specialist, establishes area's only comprehensive seizure and epilipsy program

WINFIELD, Ill., November 6, 2005 -- The Neurosciences Institute takes another step forward in bringing the most advanced treatment to Central DuPage Hospital with the addition of fellowship-trained epileptologist, Roy Sucholeiki, MD, to the medical staff.

The only full-time, dedicated epilepsy specialist in DuPage County, Dr. Sucholeiki will head up the hospital’s new Comprehensive Seizure and Epilepsy Program, which will serve as a regional referral center, using a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating and caring for patients with seizure disorders. 

Dr. Sucholeiki spoke compassionately of the powerful need for the program “Although epilepsy is a common medical condition that affects one percent of the population, there is still a stigma about it unlike other medical conditions.  We’d like to help dispel the myths surrounding epilepsy, while, at the same time, eliminate its symptoms and enable patients to function normally—pursue a career, raise a family, travel.”

It is estimated that approximately 50,000 people in the Chicago area experience seizures, not including those who have had a one-time seizure.  Approximately 2.7 million Americans live with epilepsy.

“We can help all patients, from those who have experienced a single seizure situation to those living with a chronic seizure disorder,” says Sucholeiki.  “The ultimate goal of our program is for the patient to experience no more seizures and no side effects from treatment.”  

The program will feature the latest technology available for evaluating and treating patients of all ages who have experienced seizures, including inpatient video-EEG telemetry, ambulatory monitoring, and neurosurgery.

“Very few hospitals in the area offer comprehensive, in-hospital telemetry over the course of days that CDH will now provide,” says Dr. Sucholeiki.  “Experience has shown that monitoring patients with seizures in a safe and supervised environment can result in extremely accurate diagnoses and helps clarify the kinds of seizures the patient is experiencing and where they’re originating.  In a significant number of cases, the monitoring has shown that the individual doesn’t have epilepsy at all.”

A collaborative approach will combine the expertise of CDH’s neuroradiology, neurosurgery, nursing, neuropsychology and social work experts for the best possible outcome for the patient.  “Our first course is management with medication, which works in 60 to 70 percent of all cases,” says Dr. Sucholeiki.  “There are a vast number of people with epilepsy, who do not adequately respond to medicines that could be helped with surgery; however it’s still one of the most under-utilized solutions.”  He estimates that about 5,000 surgeries are performed annually to treat epilepsy, but that up to 100,000 patients could actually benefit from the surgery.

Surgical solutions now available at CDH include:

Vagal nerve stimulator, a pacemaker-like device that works by intermittently sending small electrical impulses to the Vagus nerve in the neck, where it then travels to the brain and helps reduce and possibly stop seizures.

Resective surgery to remove abnormal brain tissue.

Corpus callosotomy severs the connection between the two halves of the brain, preventing seizures from spreading from one part of the brain to the other. Temporal lobectomy, the most common surgical procedure, removes temporal lobe.

Multiple supbial transaction modifies portions of the brain causing seizures.

Dr. Sucholeiki completed an epilepsy fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin and is certified by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry.  He began seeing patients on September 1 at the CDPG Office in Wheaton and will be moving to the neurosciences area in the Ambulatory Services Pavilion later this year.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Sucholeiki,  please contact the Neurosciences Institute at Central DuPage Hospital at 877-79BRAIN.