Yoav Medan: Ultrasound surgery — healing without cuts – YouTube


“Damn it Jim, I’m a doctor, not a butcher!” – Dr. McCoy of Star Trek

 This new TEDtalk video demonstrates stunning abilities to heal with high-power focused ultrasound, in conjunction with high-accuracy 3D real-time feedback from MRI. Since a side-effect of the MR technique is a sensitivity to tissue temperature, the ultrasound beam can be set to warm up a small spot of tissue just a few degrees for a very short time, not enough to cause damage but enough to calibrate the beam’s focus in three-dimensional space. This tightly coupled feedback loop allows even large tumors and otherwise diseased tissue to be destroyed while barely affecting the surrounding healthy tissue.

The Good News: European trials show amazing results. The Bad News: In the USA, regulations and reimbursement issues seem tough to surmount, so progress may be slower than we’d like. Still, the advantages to this “next generation” technology are obviously huge and exciting, and we can only hope it will be available to us sooner rather than later.

- Ken

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