MRI guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) - Incision-less surgery is happening now!

High frequency focused ultrasound, aided by real-time MRI imaging, is currently being used to ablate uterine fibroids as well as providing relief for painful bone cancer sufferers here in the United States. Conceptually, High Frequency Focused Ultrasound (HiFU) works much like starting a leaf on fire focusing the suns rays through a magnifying lens. The glass focuses the rays to an endpoint that ablates (cooks) the point on the leaf. In this case, (HiFU) the surgeon is employing focused sound waves to ablate unwanted tissue. World-wide, MRI guided Focused Ultrasound (MRIgFUS) is being used for Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Brain treatments and is in studies for many other procedures. Logistically, the patient lies on an MRI table that contains an ultrasound system in its base. Once inside the MRI magnet, the radiologist/surgeon is able to view a uterine fibroid (or other mass) via the live MRI images and sonicates (ablates) the tissue with ultrasound pulses without damaging the surrounding tissue. No incision is required and the patient is able to leave the imaging facility directly after the procedure. Currently, the FDA has only approved the uterine fibroid and palliative bone cancer treatments for use.It appears that the future applications may be limitless ushering in the age of “Incision-less surgery” in the not too distant future. Amazing technological advance combining MRI and Ultrasound!