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Breakthroughs - Fall 2008

Glaucoma Procedure

Eyes

Ophthalmologists are using a new device to treat glaucoma that reduces pressure in the eye by
re-establishing access to the eye’s natural drainage pathway rather than using a shunt or mechanical implant. The outpatient procedure is safer, less invasive, offers shorter recovery time for patients, reduces reliance on glaucoma medications and has the same success rate as traditional glaucoma surgeries.

Signal Transponder

Prostate and Lung

Signal-emitting transponders the size of a grain of rice improve the accuracy of radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Placed in the prostate before treatment, the transponders serve as targets. If the prostate moves even slightly, radiation beams are adjusted, sparing healthy tissue from exposure. Investigators at the Siteman Cancer Center are also developing this technology for lung tumors.

Defibrillator

Heart

New technology not only allows heart failure patients to travel to their cardiologist less frequently, it also allows doctors to remotely monitor weight, blood pressure and other vital signs. Some implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), used to shock a heart back into rhythm, now can wirelessly send patients’ information to their cardiologist securely over the Internet.

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