Women & Children's Health Institute

Pediatric Epilepsy Center

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Get expert care you can trust for your child’s seizures

Whether your child has had one seizure or has received an epilepsy diagnosis, our experienced team can help you and your family find a treatment plan that makes your child feel more confident and in control.

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Our epilepsy center is accredited as a level IV facility by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers. This means we offer the highest level of pediatric epilepsy care available, including state-of-the-art diagnostic testing and a range of surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.


Because not all seizures are related to an epilepsy diagnosis, our board-certified specialists use a range of advanced diagnostic tools to understand your child’s unique condition. Whether it’s your first visit to an epilepsy center or you are seeking a second opinion from our experts, you can get the guidance you need here.

Once we’ve determined the cause of your child’s seizures, we can work with you and your child to figure out the most effective treatment plan.

These treatments could include:


The ketogenic (Keto) diet involves eating foods that are low-carbohydrate and high-fat, and it has been used since the 1920s to treat some forms of epilepsy. Your child’s provider may recommend the Keto diet or the modified Atkins diet if your child is unresponsive to traditional medications.


There are a range of anti-seizure medications available for children with epilepsy. Your child’s provider will help you learn about different options and help you find the ones that could work best for your child’s condition.


The vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) sends mild pulses to affected parts of the brain on a regular basis to prevent seizures. It has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children ages 4 and older.

The device is placed under the skin on the left side of the chest. It is then attached to the vagus nerve, which runs from your brainstem to your digestive system. After the device is implanted, if you or your child sense a seizure coming, you or your child can wave a magnet over the device to trigger a signal to the brain that can stop the seizure.


As a level IV epilepsy center, our team is among the few in the region that can offer a wide range of surgical treatments for epilepsy. Your child’s care team will perform a series of diagnostic tests and, in some cases, try other treatment options such as medication before surgery is considered.

First seizure clinic

If your child has had a seizure for the first time, you will likely have questions about what it means and what comes next. Because seizures can be caused by health concerns other than epilepsy, including stomach illnesses and fevers, special testing is needed to find the cause of your child’s seizure.

When you request a referral for your child to our first seizure clinic, you can get more information about the type of seizure your child experienced and what might have caused it. This visit can also help determine if your child has epilepsy.

Second opinion

Dr. Kiehna measuring a child's head It is important to feel confident in your child’s diagnosis before you decide on a treatment plan. If you are seeking a second opinion, you can schedule an appointment with one of our experts to ensure your child is on the best path forward.

Types of seizures


There are many types of seizures and even more causes that may trigger seizures. For this reason, the International League Against Epilepsy has classified all seizures within the following three categories:

Focal onset seizures
– These seizures start in one specific area of the brain. Individuals may be awake and aware of what is happening, or they may be awake and experiencing confusion

Generalized onset seizures
– These seizures affect both sides of the brain at the same time, and it is impossible to determine where the seizures begin in the brain. Examples of these seizures include tonic-clonic, absence or atonic seizures.

Unknown onset seizures
– When the beginning of a seizure is unknown or not witnessed because it happens overnight or to someone who lives alone, these seizures may be classified as unknown onset. As a specialist learns more, it may be later classified as a focal onset or generalized onset seizure.

For more detailed information about other types of seizures and associated symptoms, please visit the Epilepsy Foundation site.

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