(WYTV)- For roughly a third of people with epilepsy, medication does little, if anything to control their seizures.

There is another way, a hot laser, depending on where those seizures originate in the brain.

Through a small hole in the skull, the surgeon can thread a catheter with a laser the size of a pencil. An MRI image helps guide the laser to the area of the brain where the seizures originate. And why heat?

This is minimally invasive, it has a shorter recovery and there are fewer complications and side effects, such as headaches. But the drawback is that it can be slightly less effective in reducing seizures than a traditional open brain surgery. Surgeons say this laser procedure gives them more options. They say there are very few epilepsy patients they see that they can’t treat anymore with something that may help them.

“And you can treat a lesion by heating it. And if you heat it enough, the proteins that are in a certain configuration unfold,” said Dr. Jamie Van Gompel of the Mayo Clinic.

They reach for the laser first and if that doesn’t work, open brain surgery is next.