Ultrasound: Not just for baby pictures

U-M researchers making "knifeless" surgery a reality for babies with congenital heart defects

A “hole” created in atrial tissue using “knifeless surgery” techniques Dr Owens and his team hope to use to create flow channels in the hearts of infants with congenital heart defects.

Anyone who has had a baby is familiar with ultrasound. That squirt of gel on your belly and the magic of the image of your little developing baby. Those images are made possible by high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the baby and back to the transducer in the hand of the technician or doctor. It’s that same technology, but on a much more intense level, that Gabe Owens, MD, PhD, is using in his research.

“We’re working to harness the energy the ultrasound emits and use it for therapeutic purposes,” says Dr. Owens. His research focuses on opening flow channels in the hearts of babies with congenital heart defects.

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