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IRMC surgeon implants innovative device

on August 06, 2013 10:55 AM

Dr. Yeshvant Navalgund, who is board certified in pain medicine at Indiana Regional Medical Center, was to become the ­first surgeon in Pennsylvania and among the first in the United States today to implant a patient with the only implantable neurostimulation designed for full-body Magnetic Resonance Imaging safety.

Also known as spinal cord stimulation, or SCS, it is designed for use in the treatment of chronic back and/or limb pain.

The patient will be implanted with a RestoreSensor SureScan MRI with Vectris SureScan MRI percutaneous leads, one of four Medtronic neurostimulation systems that recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for body MRI scans under special conditions of use.

An estimated 100 million Americans are affected by chronic pain, and neurostimulation treatment has become a mainstay of chronic pain management, according to a press release from IRMC. While MRI is a standard of care in the diagnosis and treatment of major health conditions, patients with neurostimulation systems implanted to manage their chronic pain were previously denied an MRI scan due to concerns about the system being affected by the large magnetic fields and radio frequency energy in an MRI.

“Until now, removal of spinal cord stimulation devices to ensure a safe body MRI scan was unavoidable,” Navalgund said in the release. “With SureScan technology, patients who are receiving SCS therapy to manage their chronic pain now have access to the full benefits of MRI scans without compromising their healthcare, and their physicians have the best opportunity to identify potentially life-threatening medical conditions.”

MRI scans allow physicians to make a wide range of health diagnoses by viewing highly detailed images of internal organs, blood vessels, muscle, joints, tumors, areas of infection and more. MRI utilizes strong magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses to create images of structures inside the body. While CT scans are used for imaging hard materials in the body, like bones, MRI scans are used to image soft tissue. As advancements in technology have increased accuracy, e­ffectiveness and patient comfort, MRI use has increased dramatically in recent years, according to the release. An estimated 60 million MRI procedures are performed worldwide each year. In the U.S., the number of scans has nearly doubled in the past decade, with 32 million scans — more than one MRI per second — performed in 2011.

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