Comprehensive Epilepsy Program

At CHOC, we understand the challenges families face when a child experiences seizures. Our Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is a national leader in pediatric epilepsy care, offering cutting-edge diagnostics, innovative medical approaches and advanced surgical interventions from the nation’s foremost epilepsy experts.

We were the first children’s hospital in California to be named a Level 4 epilepsy center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC), and we are the only pediatric facility in Orange County with this distinction. That means we have the professional expertise and facilities to provide the highest-level medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.

A Multidisciplinary Team

Our pediatric epileptologists are more qualified to treat seizures than anyone else in Orange County, with board certification in both child neurology and clinical neurophysiology and additional training in epilepsy.

Our dedicated team is here to coordinate care with families through every stage of care, from diagnosing seizures to finding the right medication or treatment, and managing the condition over time. At every clinic visit, families have access to a multidisciplinary team including:

  • Pediatric epileptologists who are board certified in child neurology and clinical neurophysiology
  • Nurse practitioners to help manage a child’s care
  • Pharmacists, who work directly with patients and families to discuss anti-epileptic medications and potential side effects, monitor dosages and effectiveness of medications, and assist with orphan drug procurement and clinical drug trials
  • Neurosurgeons, who perform surgery and consult with families before and after a procedure
  • Registered dietitians, who assist families in adapting to the ketogenic diet
  • Neuropsychologists, who conduct cognitive testing with patients and work with schools to modify a child’s academic programs; and
  • Social workers, who help families with financial and insurance concerns.

Our Approach to Seizure Management

Seizures and epilepsy affect children at different ages and in different ways. For some, it will be a temporary problem, easily controlled with medication and outgrown within years. For others, it may be an ongoing challenge that affects many areas of life. No matter a patient’s epilepsy type or stage of treatment, we offer the expert care and support that families need.

The CHOC Comprehensive Epilepsy Program is organized so that patients and families have easy access to our services at every stage of the process, from the first seizure through diagnosis and management, until it’s time to transition a patient into adult care. A pediatric-trained neuroscience nurse coordinator serves as an advocate for patients and their families throughout their epilepsy treatment by facilitating appointments, coordinating care between inpatient and outpatient areas, and assisting with discharge planning.

Patient Stories

school photo before epilepsy diagnosis

Life was typical for Geni before she was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 14. After medications failed, she underwent epilepsy surgery.

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When Celeste’s daughter Camila was going through seizures and epilepsy surgery, she read stories about other kids’ success and gleaned hope.

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Despite her happy disposition, Rylee had a big roadblock: frequent disruptive seizures. Six months past her epilepsy surgery, she hasn’t had a single seizure.

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Gabriel used to experience up to 50 seizures while living with epilepsy. Today he is a creative 13-year-old who dreams of being a paramedic.

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epilepsy surgery

Ian began sleepwalking as a toddler, which turned out to be seizures. Thanks to testing and epilepsy surgery at CHOC, he is now seizure free.

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The spread inside a conference room in the CHOC neuroscience unit would be a welcomed sight for any parent: a box of glistening bagels, jugs of steaming coffee, and a warm smile from Kathy Lear. Whether it’s by offering nourishment or a kind word of encouragement, Kathy stands ready to help a fellow parent of […]

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