October 21, 2010

A New Treatment for Meniere's Disease!

I read with interest an MSNBC article that describes a brand new surgical treatment for Meniere's Disease, a debilitating disorder in which a patient suffers spinning attacks that last for hours to days. The treatment is an electrical device surgically implanted into the vestibular system of the ear, much like a cochlear implant for deaf individuals.

The device, called "UW/Nucleus Vestibular Implant," is surgically installed behind the affected ear with a small wire threaded into the labyrinth system.

In a rough manner of speaking, this new device restores balance by sending electrical impulses to electrodes implanted in the bony ear, disrupting a vertigo attack when it occurs. Consider it like a defibrillator for patients prone to ventricular tachycardia.

It does NOT cure Meniere's... it just allows a vertigo attack to be quickly aborted before it gets bad.

It is currently undergoing clinical trials at the University of Washington under direction of Dr. Jay Rubinstein and Dr. James Phillips.

Read more about this innovative treatment on MSNBC here.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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