What are the benefits and advantages of MR-guided focused ultrasound?

Using this procedure:

  • No incisions are needed
  • No holes are made in the skull
  • No hardware/device(s) are implanted
  • No radiation is used
  • No general anesthesia is used
  • There’s no risk of infection or bleeding that would be present with incision-based procedures
  • Physicians can determine if treatment is working in real time during the procedure as well as stop if adverse effects occur

What are the side effects of MR-guided focused ultrasound?

The most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Headache during the procedure
  • Temporary mild-to-moderate numbing and tingling in fingertips or lips
  • Temporary unsteadiness in walk, balance problems
  • Temporary speech or swallowing problems

The side effects could start several days or weeks after treatment.

What are the longer-term risks and complications of MR-guided focused ultrasound?

Risks and complications include:

  • Tremor could return months or years after the treatment
  • Tremor may not improve at all
  • Longer term (3 months or longer) or permanent (in about 10 to 15 percent of patients) muscle weakness, unsteadiness, sensory loss, or numbness or tingling in fingers or other areas of the body

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