Tampa General Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute Is First on the West Coast of Florida to Perform and offer Groundbreaking Focused Ultrasound TreatmentPublished: Dec 1, 2022
By TGH Staff
Focused ultrasound, an innovative, new procedure being used by USF Health Morsani College of Medicine neurosurgeons at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) for the first time in the region offers promising treatment for people suffering from essential tremor (ET), Parkinson’s disease, and other debilitating neurological disorders. The minimally invasive method is FDA-approved.
The procedure – which is typically done on an outpatient basis – is part of the next generation of care at Tampa General, and aligns with its commitment to driving innovation,” said Dr. Oliver Flouty, assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and a neurosurgeon at Tampa General.
Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from some form of ET, a condition that causes uncontrollable shaking of the hands, head and voice. In the initial stages, the tremor is mild, but progresses over time. In some patients, the severity of the tremor becomes unbearable, interfering with daily activities, such as eating, dressing, or typing on a keyboard. ET is more common in people over age 40, although it also affects people who are much younger.
Parkinson’s disease, another neurodegenerative disorder, affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, with symptoms such as tremor, rigidity, slow movement, and unstable posture. When traditional medication induces side effects or isn’t well tolerated, Focused Ultrasound may be an option for select Parkinson’s patients who suffer from symptoms primarily affecting one side of the body or suffer mostly from tremors while their remaining symptoms are medically managed.
“Movement disorder neurologists now can offer their ET and Parkinson’s patients a less-invasive surgical option as part of their treatment plan,” said Dr. Yarema Bezchlibnyk, assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and a neurosurgeon at Tampa General. “This definitely expands what we can do and drives our efforts to help transform the lives of people living with debilitating neurological conditions.”
This new technology works in concert with an existing, compatible magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) unit at Tampa General. USF Health Morsani College of Medicine neurosurgeons conducted this region’s first focused ultrasound treatment for ET at Tampa General on May 14, 2022.
View the video below to learn about David Sherwood — the first person to receive the outpatient, incisionless treatment at Tampa General — which produced life-changing results and allowed Sherwood to get back to doing daily routines. “My quality of life has improved 1,000 percent,” Sherwood said.