Revolutionary laser surgery — a safer, less invasive alternative to brain surgery as we know it — has slowly been achieving success with brain tumor patients.
Instead of the more traditional craniotomy, in which a bone flap is removed from the skull, neurosurgeons are using MRI-guided laser technology to destroy lesions in hard-to-access regions of the brain.
"This is a tool for patients with tumors who have been told they do not have other options" — Shabbar F. Danish, MD, of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital — says about laser-assisted thermal ablation.
"This is also a viable option for patients who do not want radiation therapy or general anesthesia. Additionally, we can take their hospital stay from four to seven days down to 24 hours."
The procedure marries the precision of navigation tools…with an MRI-guided laser probe that's as small and light as a pen. "What this does is you just have to make a hole that will take you to the middle of the tumor, and (ablate) the tumor.
It's actually done in the MRI suite, so when the probe is confirmed to be in the correct position in the MRI suite you heat it and you can watch directly on the MRI scanner what area is being heated using the program. After that you can do another MRI scan, since the patient is already there, to show if the tumor is gone. So you have instant gratification."
On July 18, 2011 history was made for epilepsy surgery…
What's so different about yesterday's surgery at Texas Children's Hospital, is this was the first time laser brain surgery was done successfully on a patient with epilepsy. A surgical breakthrough that's long overdue. (Laser surgery has been used successfully on cancer patients for more than a decade.)
Doctors said a typical hospital stay for patients before this laser surgery was five to seven days. But now, with this less-invasive alternative, patients can usually go home the next day!
So far, doctors have performed the surgery on children, although plans to expand the new technology for adult patients is in the works.
"Based on our experience, we believe the use of MRI-guided laser surgery will change the face of epilepsy treatment and provide a life-changing option for many epilepsy surgery candidates — both children and adults," said Dr. Angus Wilfong, director of Texas Children's comprehensive epilepsy program and associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at Baylor College of Medicine.
And it will bring new hope to all of us. The chance to change our lives.
The Dietary Supplement Labeling Act pretends to be consumer-oriented, but instead will give the FDA redundant power that it could easily misuse, restricting your access to nutritional supplements and raising the cost of buying them.
In short, nutritional supplements will be regulated like prescription drugs…
Under this bill, the FDA and the Institute of Medicine must compile a list of dietary ingredients that could lead to adverse events or are otherwise deemed risky in some way.
Creating a list of "bad" ingredients or "bad" doses completely based on arbitrary or non-existent standards is a slippery slope; for example, in Europe, the maximum dosage of vitamins was restricted to less than what is found in fruits and vegetables.
Moreover, almost all of this act's provisions are already covered by existing laws, so there's no need for any new legislation.
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