The most recent field that will possibly be undergoing some drastic changes is the area of non-invasive surgery technology. Actual non-invasive surgery involves no physical objects touching the patient. Until recently, this type of technology has seemed like a dream of the distant future. Surprisingly, there is current technology that already exists for surgeons to fully utilize non-invasive surgery techniques. As the interest in the non-invasive surgery technology grows so do the questions. The current state and future of ultrasound technology is being discussed with the development of a new technology to make ultrasound procedures non-invasive.
This brand-new technology is called “MR Guided Focused Ultrasounds.” It would allow patients to receive multiple treatments for large lesions. Symptom recurrence due to these lesions is also addressed with this new technology. Images provided by the treatment would inform the physician that heat was delivered to the target region and that the thermal dosage threshold has been reached. All of this will be able to be accomplished non-invasively. Sounds pretty futuristic doesn’t it? A little bit like science fiction?
The advancements behind the new MR Guided Ultrasound Technology were discussed this year at the annual TEDMED conference in Washington DC. This conference consists of talks, panels and symposiums attended by the leaders of medicine and medical technology. Many areas of medicine are represented by professionals of the respective fields. The 2011 conference was held in San Diego, California and featured Dr. Yoav Medan of InSightec. Dr. Medan is the Chief Systems Architect and Vice President of InSightec, an innovative company that builds MR-guided focused ultrasound systems. These systems are a combination of a highly intense ultrasound beam that non-invasively destroys targeted tissue, and a MRI system that continuously visualizes and monitors the tissues effect.
There are many benefits to this groundbreaking technology. One in particular is that it provides for post treatment contrast imaging for treatment validation. According to an article posted on InSightec.com, Dr. Medan says, “The dream of Star Trek’s Dr. McCoy –practicing surgery without opening the patient-is closer to reality than you might think”. In the same article, Dr. Medan also states that “Clinical research has shown the potential to destroy tumors without surgery and without ionizing radiation, potentially reducing the adverse effects usually associated with these types of treatments.”
These treatments would have a huge effect on medical technology. Patients would more quickly be able to resume their normal activities and lives. This new innovation of medical technology could help to shape the future of patient treatment. Physicians and therapists will need training and updating of this technology to provide information to their patients. It is possible that the future of ultrasound technology will be changed forever by the new, hot innovation. Welcome to the world of truly non-invasive surgery. Dr. McCoy would be proud.