Refer a Patient: Epilepsy

Contact us

Neuroscience Institute Epilepsy Center

See all

At the Swedish Epilepsy Center, our team of experts can see your patients quickly to help clarify the diagnosis in patients with seizure-like symptoms, fine tune a treatment plan, and return patients to you for lifelong care.

We offer a full range of medical and surgical treatments for adults and children with epilepsy.

How and When to Refer Patients to Swedish

Consider referring patients to the Swedish Epilepsy Center if your patient is having seizure or seizure-like events, but has a normal EEG and/or poor response to medications.

We strive to make the referral process as easy as possible and can offer expedited appointments for your patients. Please call 206-320-3492 to make a referral or speak to one of our epilepsy specialists. You can also make a referral by filling out our Epilepsy Center referral form and faxing it to our clinic.

You may also make a referral within the Swedish system through EPIC.

Is it Epilepsy or Something Else?

The incidence of seizures in the U.S. is about 80 per 100,000 people per year. However, not all seizures lead to the diagnosis of epilepsy; a thorough workup is needed to determine the diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

Even to the trained eye, a non-epileptic seizure can look nearly identical to an epileptic seizure. Resolving whether seizures are epileptic or a different paroxysmal event is a crucial first step in determining an appropriate treatment plan.

At Swedish, our in-patient monitoring unit uses Video EEG and a team approach to make this distinction clear – neurologist (epileptologist), neuropsychologist, and social worker each play a role in diagnosis and treatment. We perform our VEEG monitoring in neurology specific units with nurses well trained in the care and assessment of epilepsy.

Video EEG (VEEG) Monitoring

VEEG monitoring allows us to correlate a patient’s behavior during seizures with the data recorded through EEG.

For this monitoring, patients are admitted to Swedish’s epilepsy monitoring unit for about 5 days. In the monitoring unit, they are constantly hooked up to the EEG equipment and video-taped around the clock. If necessary, epilepsy medications are reduced or other measures taken to induce seizures to study.

Learn more about VEEG monitoring for patients who are considering getting this testing done.

Who can be Helped by Epilepsy Surgery?

In general, of epilepsy patients:

  • 70% have their seizures controlled by medication
  • 30% are considered intractable, the majority of whom are good candidates for surgical treatment

Surgery for epilepsy may involve removing the area of the brain that causes seizures. Because of the need to map the exact location in the brain that causes seizures – and to make sure vital functions will not be affected – the surgery evaluation process can be long, but very rewarding.

While surgical treatments can be complicated, they often lead to marked improvements in quality of life and potentially diminished uses of anti-seizure medications. About 70% to 80% of patients who have temporal lobe surgeries at Swedish, for example, are seizure-free after surgery. This figure matches outcomes for temporal lobectomy that other groups have published in the medical literature. Our multidisciplinary epilepsy team can help you and your patients determine if surgical treatment is a viable option for them.

Why Should I Refer my Patients to Swedish?

Choosing the right epilepsy subspecialty team is extremely important. Our multidisciplinary epilepsy team has earned a national reputation for our medical and surgical treatment of seizure disorders. Our subspecialists are involved in high-level research trials and are regularly published internationally.

The Swedish Epilepsy Center is accredited by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers as a level-four epilepsy center, which indicates the most comprehensive level of care for patients with epileptic seizures.
And our laboratories are among the few on the West Coast accredited by the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographic and Evoked Potential Technologists.

We endeavor to work with you for the best possible outcomes for your patients and can often get your patients in quickly.

DocTalk Video: A Look Inside the Inpatient Monitoring Unit

In this video, Dr. Jehuda Sepkuty, medical director of the Swedish Epilepsy Center and Clinical Neurophysiology Program, provides key information on diagnosing and treating epilepsy. Also included are video clips of patients undergoing VEEG in the in-patient monitoring unit.