Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

Ultrasound seals punctured lungs

Posted by evolvingwheel on August 31, 2007

This just sounded too good.. almost space-age medicine. Ultrasounds will seal punctures in lungs without any invasive procedures or risky incisions. Shahram Vaezy and his colleagues in the Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound in the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory have been working on ultrasound surgery for a while. Recently, the team observed great potential and results in sealing lung punctures by applying high intensity ultrasound on the leaking spot. photo of Dr. Vaezy

The team observed that more than 95% of the 70 incisions were stable after 2 minutes of treatment. The procedure engages a lens that focuses the strong ultrasound to the exact spot and heats and mobilizes the cells around the leak to fuse and close the leak. Another great benefit of this process is that the cells and tissues are not heated along the path of the ultrasound – a drawback encountered with laser treatment. 

From the implementation side, one concern will be the cost associated with the process. Besides, the researchers still have to perform clinical tests on humans and observe the quality of healing and its sustainability. However, if the process clicks, then there is enormous potential not only in the developed world but also in the developing world, which often lacks advanced ER facilities and physicians with the skills to operate efficiently in trauma centers. The payback of the innovation will also depend upon the acceptance of the procedure in the caregiver as well as the patient community. 

[Read Article Here] 

Picture: Shahram Vaezy, courtesy: UW College of Engineering


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