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Breakthroughs - Spring 2010

Incisionless Surgery

Stomach

Surgeons are using a new endoscopic device in transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) to correct the root cause of reflux disease, or GERD, an anatomic defect at the top of the stomach. The incisionless procedure begins with the device inserted through the patient’s mouth under visual guidance of an endoscope. It is then used to construct a durable anti-reflux valve and tighten the lower esophageal sphincter.

Laser Therapy

Brain

A new neurosurgery device uses an MRI-guided laser probe, passed through a dime-sized hole in the skull, to heat and destroy difficult-to-treat brain tumors from the inside. Real-time MRI heat monitoring allows surgeons to oversee the temperature of the tumor cells and the surrounding brain cells while the laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT) destroys the tumor cells.

Tissue Tracking

Operating Room

Developed at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the first tissue-tracking software fully integrated with a surgical information system follows tissue— including bones, nerves and vessels —for the full tissue-transplant cycle and allows standardized processes for acquiring, receiving, storing and allocating tissues. The new system helps patient safety, automatically telling employees where tissue is stored and alerting staff of expiration.

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