Ultrasound Surgery Performed On Humans

Focused ultrasound surgery has now been performed successfully on nine human patients, according to a preliminary study done in Switzerland. This appears to be the same technique used in this bloodless ultrasound surgery technique pioneered in 2007.

"The groundbreaking finding here is that you can make lesions deep in the brain--through the intact skull and skin--with extreme precision and accuracy and safety," says Neal Kassell, a neurosurgeon at the University of Virginia. Kassell, who was not directly involved in the study, is chairman of the Focused Ultrasound Surgery Foundation, a nonprofit based in Charlottesville, VA, that was founded to develop new applications for focused ultrasound.

The Swiss study tested the technique on nine patients with chronic debilitating pain. The traditional treatment involves destroying a small part of the thalamus, a structure that relays messages between different brain areas. This can be accomplished with radiofrequency ablation, in which a probe is inserted into the skull, or with radiosurgery which focuses radiation on the area. Surgeons believe that the new technique will be faster-acting an more precise than the current methods.


(Focused ultrasound surgery patient's head in ultrasound device)

The ultrasound beams are focused on a specific point in the brain--the exact location depends on the condition being treated--that absorbs the energy and converts it to heat. This raises the temperature to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit andkills the cells in a region approximately 10 cubic millimeters in volume. The entire system is integrated with a magnetic resonance scanner, which allows neurosurgeons to make sure they target the correct piece of brain tissue. "Thermal images acquired in real time during the treatment allow the surgeon to see where and to what extent the rise in temperature is achieved," says Zadicario.

Fans of the late-twentieth century photodrama Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home fondly remember that Dr. McCoy has a device that allows him to avoid cutting patients open and yet still perform surgery; he angrily locks 20th century physicians in a closet rather than let them touch Chekov.


(Star Trek medical device)

"My god, man! Drilling holes in his head's not the answer! ...now put away your butcher knives and let me save this patient before it's too late!"

Via MIT's Technology Review (they also have a short animated video of the procedure); thanks to MrX_TLO, with apologies for the long lag time in preparing this article.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/23/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

Will The FDA Approve This Antiaging Drug?
'So what we're looking for now is... an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug.' - James Blish, 1951.

EVE Artificial Womb For Lambs (For Now)
'In the crimson darkness, stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones...' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.

Bees Royal Jelly Helps Wounds Heal Faster
'An alien drug... used by an insect race.' - Clifford Simak, 1961.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

3D Printed Artificial Muscles Are Stronger Than Yours
Bots don't need to work out.

Fog Computing (AKA Edge Computing) Ad Hoc Networks
'The tiny devices chirped their impulse codes at one another...'

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.