While routine EEG testing is sufficient for most patients with seizure disorders, for many patients with uncontrolled seizures, long-term video EEG monitoring is needed to correctly diagnose and classify seizures. This procedure simultaneously videotapes patient behavior and records the patient’s EEG during actual seizures or other spells. This is essential for patients being considered for epilepsy surgery. A stay of four to seven days in the hospital is typical. If monitoring with surgically implanted electrodes is required to define the seizure focus, a second hospitalization is needed.
The clinical neurophysiology laboratories in the UW system are staffed by eleven electroencephalographers. There are more than sixteen beds for long-term monitoring in the system. Services include not only all types of routine EEG and long-term video EEG monitoring procedures, but also electrocorticography and intraoperative and extraoperative cortical mapping of essential neurological functions with electrical stimulation and sensory- evoked potentials. All electrodiagnostic procedures for epilepsy surgery patients are supervised by electroencephalographers certified by the American Board of Clinical Neurophysiology. The laboratories have an active post-residency fellowship training program.