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Stereoelectroencephalography (sEEG)

What is sEEG? 

sEEG is a surgical procedure where a neurosurgeon uses robotic assistance to place EEG electrodes directly into the brain. sEEG can find the origin of seizure activity deep in the brain that regular external EEG leads cannot reach. The goal is to identify where the seizure starts to help plan other potential surgeries  that may stop  or reduce the amount and/or severity of seizures. 

Who is a candidate for sEEG? 

  • Patients with focal epilepsy and seizures that do not respond to 3 anticonvulsant medications 
  • If the origin of the seizure site cannot be found on other tests 
  • Potential candidate for an epilepsy surgery 

What are the benefits? 

sEEG helps plan for some epilepsy treatments needing surgery while protecting areas of the brain that help with language, motor, and sensory functions.  

How is it performed? 

Before surgery, your child will need MRI and CT scans to help guide the placement of electrodes (thin, flexible wires). 

  • Surgery takes place in the operating room under general anesthesia over 3-4 hours 
  • A small hole is made through the skin and skull using a drill in order to insert the electrode 
  • A neurosurgeon will place approximately 10-15 electrodes using robotic assistance 
  • A CT scan will be done in the operating room to confirm placement of the electrodes 
  • A gauze head wrap is placed to cover the incisions, protect the bolts, and prevent infections 

What else do I need to know about the stay? 

  • Electrodes are attached to equipment that monitors your brain activity 
  • There will also be video monitoring to observe body movements during your seizure activity 
  • Length of stay depends on the frequency of seizures and at the discretion of the epilepsy specialist 
  • After enough data is collected, they will conduct a stimulation test 
  • Removal of the sEEG electrodes is done in the operating room with general anesthesia. This is a quick procedure (approximately 15 minutes) where the bolt and electrodes are removed and a dissolvable suture is placed at each site to close the skin.  
  • After electrode removal, you will likely go home later that day or the following morning 

What else you might want to know to prepare for your hospital stay? 

Your child will: 

  • Have their haircut where the electrodes are placed. Do NOT shave scalp prior to procedure 
  • Remain in bed while the electrodes are in place and attached to monitors 
  • Use a commode (place to pee and poop) next to their bed to go to the bathroom 
  • Not be able to shower until after the electrodes have been removed. Bring items and activities from home to occupy your time such as games, toys, crafts, or homework. Phones can be used except for when they are charging. 

What happens following the sEEG procedure? 

A team of epilepsy specialists including a neurologist, neuroradiologist, and a neurosurgeon review the data collected and your seizure history and develop a plan. Next steps may include surgical intervention or medical management.  


This information is not specific to your child but provides general information. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. 

Reviewed 9/2023

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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