The FDA recently approved the first ever artificial retina, or “bionic eye”, which could help thousands in the U.S. regain vision. To date it’s been tested on 50 people and allows them to see in black and white. Dr. Lucian Del Priore, Chairman of the MUSC Storm Eye Institute was the first to perform the surgery (prior to joining MUSC ). You can see the story of one of Dr. Del Priore’s former patients and find out more in this New York Times story and video.
Popular Science chose an innovative heart valve replacement as its Grand Award Winner in the health category of the annual “Best of What’s New” awards. The valve is used in a procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a new treatment option at MUSC for patients with severe aortic valve stenosis (narrowing of the aorta). MUSC became the first hospital in South Carolina to perform TAVR in March of 2012.
TAVR is an option for aortic stenosis patients who are too frail to undergo traditional ‘open’ valve replacement surgery.
The valve is made of flaps of cow tissue sewn onto a metal frame. It can collapse from a diameter of about an inch to that of a pencil. The valve is inserted via a small incision in the leg or the chest, and then threaded carefully into place. In trials, patients who received the valve were 40 percent more likely to be alive a year later.
The procedure is performed under general or sometimes local anesthesia without the use of a heart-lung machine, and post-procedure recovery is typically a few days.
Click here to learn more about TAVR at MUSC.
“I have just completed the first U.S. LASIK procedures with the Alcon Refractive Suite assisting George Waring, IV, MD, Medical Director of Magill Vision Center part of the Storm Eye Institute at MUSC. I have worked in ophthalmology for 26 years and I have told many friends and family that this was the best day of my career. We have waited for this fast, precise procedure for many years and we were finally able to bring this to the United States and to date have performed the surgery on 7 patients. They were all smiling and seeing VERY well on their first day post-op. What a thrilling moment!”
Alisa P. Brill
Refractive Advantage, LLC
Bruce Frankel, M.D., a neurosurgeon and Director of the Spine Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, provides an update in this video interview on the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak in patients who have received a contaminated steroid injection as part of a spinal block and its implications for South Carolina. This strain of fungal meningitis is not contagious so only those who received the contaminated steroids via an injection to the spine are at risk. Meningitis is an inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.