MR-guided focused ultrasound: A game-changing innovation that is redefining surgery

April 18, 2017
From the April 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus that cause extremely serious side effects and greatly impede on daily function. Many patients tend to avoid invasive procedures and opt for watchful waiting, which results in continued growth of the fibroid. Today’s standard of care for treating large fibroids is hysterectomy, an invasive surgery that results in the complete removal of a woman’s uterus, leaving no option for having children in the future. MRgFUS offers patients a treatment option that spares the uterus and it may be considered in patients who seek fertility-sparing options. Furthermore, there are no scars, no risks associated with surgery and patients have a quick recovery. This treatment is available at leading hospitals around the world.

Treating bone metastases
Bone metastases (bone mets) occur when cancer cells from a primary tumor spread to the bone. Prostate, breast and lung are the cancers that most commonly spread to the bone. When a person has bone metastases, the most common symptom is pain, which may be severe enough to impair daily living. To relieve the pain from bone mets, the main treatment options are opioids and the standard form of care is radiation therapy. Focused ultrasound provides non-toxic pain palliation of bone metastases, and has been shown to provide pain relief within days providing substantial improvement in patient quality of life.

Transforming patient lives
Noninvasive surgery places the patient in the center of care and holds the potential to safely treat millions of patients. MRgFUS has already been adopted and is in use by physicians in more than 80 leading medical facilities around the world. As the treatment becomes more widespread, it presents an opportunity for physicians to access new patients who desire noninvasive treatment options.

Focused ultrasound shows promise in becoming a new era for the way we look at surgical procedures and patient care. All of us, and the health care system at large, would opt for undergoing a surgical procedure that is incisionless, without lengthy hospital stays or succumbing ourselves to the risk of infection. We are quickly beginning to realize the enormous potential of focused ultrasound and we are constantly researching treatments for a variety of clinical indications that many thought were impossible to treat.

About the author: Maurice R. Ferré, M.D., is INSIGHTEC CEO and chairman of the board of directors.

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