Laparoscopic Surgery Researcher Awarded
Steven F. Palter, MD, medical and scientific director of Gold Coast IVF, a New York reproductive surgery center, won first prize for Technical Achievement in Video at the 62nd annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) today at the New Orleans Convention Center for his study of a new laparoscopic technology that can be used to diagnose endometriosis. The new technique enables surgeons to see tumors and other pathologies that would not otherwise be visible. In traditional laparoscopy, a telescope provides the same view as would be seen with the naked eye. In the new method, highly specific filters are incorporated into the light system and telescope so surgeons can see tiny amounts of fluorescent light that all living human tissues give off when illuminated, a phenomenon called "autofluorescence." The systems illuminates tissues with short wavelength blue light (380-450 nm). The tissues absorb this light, then release it as longer wavelength green light (<470). "Normal and diseased tissues give off different amounts of light. Areas of disease that block fluorescence are seen as dark indigo areas, whereas those that emit fluorescence glow like a firefly," Palter said. The system, manufactured by Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, is based on technology that has previously been used to detect lung cancer. This study is its first use for laparoscopic examination of the pelvic and abdominal cavities in the US; it is not yet approved for general use in the US.
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