Keck Medicine of USC physicians discuss how some recent cutting-edge technological advancements have redefined their specialties.
Every year, new findings in science and technology make impactful changes in the way the dedicated doctors at Keck Medicine of USC not only provide care for their patients, but impact the world of medicine. We asked a few of them to tell us about how these new breakthroughs have made a difference in their professional lives. Here is a sampling of what they shared with us:
More access to helpful data
Jorge J. Nieva, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine:
“Our technology tools mean we can know the data on the patient when they come in the office. In the information age, we can move beyond just ask open-ended questions like I was taught to do in medical school. This gives us time to focus more on the treatment plan and nuances of the disease.”
New treatment for tumors
Thomas C. Chen, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurological Surgery:
“Currently, I’m involved in a nasal brain delivery clinical trial for gliomas (a type of tumor that occurs in the brain and spinal cord). This could potentially revolutionize the treatment for brain tumors. Chemo can be inhaled through the nose, while at rest, opposed to being injected in the veins.
Better fertility solutions
Mary K. Samplaski, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Urology:
Two of the most influential advancements in my field are: in vitro fertilization — a series of complex procedures used to treat fertility or genetic problems and assist with conception of a child — and how the operative microscope has revolutionized the success rates of vasectomy reversals.”
Minimally invasive surgery in urology
Andre L. Abreu, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Urology:
“Basic sciences like mathematics, physics, and chemistry are the most important courses of study when it comes to the development of technology. Their evolvement has such a huge impact on the world of medicine. With robotics and the development of new technologies, the most influential advancement in the field of urology is for surgery to become as minimally invasive as possible.”
Individualized treatment plans for cardiac patients
Craig J. Baker, MD, Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery:
“Cardiac surgery is undergoing a monumental change as technology advances and less invasive therapies are developed. These advances often require close collaboration between different specialties. We collaborate daily with our cardiology colleagues and work together to individualize treatment plans only with the patient’s best interest in mind.”
Robotic surgery on the rise
Andrew J. Hung, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Urology:
“Over a decade ago when I was in medical school and saw the Da Vinci robot for the first time, I was told by a senior surgeon that robots were simply a fad and it would go away. Clearly, robotic surgery has not gone away — it has transformed how we operate…I want to see us to be able to cure cancer without any surgery.”
Less invasive surgeries for cancer patients
Maria E. Nelson, MD, Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery:
“We have come to have a much better understanding of when it is safe to offer more conservative surgeries. Over 30 years ago, a breast cancer diagnosis meant a massive, disfiguring, surgery, but today it is possible to treat many cancers with less invasive, breast-conserving, procedures that have a much smaller impact on a patient’s life.”
You can learn more about new technologies at Keck medicine at USC by visiting www.keckmedicine.org or consult with your primary care physician.