Health Watch — Surgery: Using Magnets

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

 This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about advances in surgery. New techniques make it possible to do more procedures with smaller and smaller incisions. Surgeons at UT Southwestern Medical Center are developing techniques that may make it possible to do surgery with no incisions at all, or with incisions that will be barely noticed.

The new technique uses magnets outside the body to manipulate surgical instruments inserted through natural orifices. Dr. Jeffrey Cadeddu, a UT Southwestern urologist, got the idea after seeing the way teens use magnets to hold studs on their lips rather than getting their lips pierced. Surgeons have already successfully removed a kidney from an animal using this technology. The surgeons and engineers have more development and testing to do before the technique is ready to be used on humans.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in robotic and minimally invasive surgery.


January 2008

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