Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Help for Pectus Patients?

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on a new device being tested at UCSF that employs powerful magnets to help correct pectus excavatum, a congenital deformity of the chest cavity that is typically indented over the breastbone. The theory is that the magnetic force between a surgically-implanted magnet beneath the breastbone and a second magnet positioned above the implanted magnet and attached to a brace, will slowly permit remodeling of the chest cavity, much like wearing braces on the teeth reshapes their growth pattern.

Although still experimental, it is a clever concept. But future MRI's for these patients? Well, they're out of the question.

My fellow physician-blogger, GruntDoc, will also appreciate the logo of the magnet worn on the first patient's chest, seen in the pictures that accompany the article.


h/t: WSJ Health Blog

The device's patent application.

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