October 23, 2006
Steven F. Palter, MD, a physician at Syosset Hospital and North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, has won first prize for ‘technical achievement in video’ for a study of a new laparoscopic technology that can be used to diagnose endometriosis. The prize was awarded today (Oct. 23) during the 62nd annual meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) at the New Orleans Convention Center.
The new “keyhole” surgery technique enables surgeons to see tumors and other pathologies, including endometriosis not otherwise visible. In traditional laparoscopy, the telescope provides the same view as would be seen with the naked eye. In the new method, highly specific filters are incorporated into the light system and telescope so that surgeons can see the tiny amounts of fluorescent light that all living human tissues give off when illuminated, a phenomenon called ‘autofluorescence’. “Normal and diseased tissues give off different amounts of light,” Dr. Palter said. “Areas of disease that block fluorescence are seen as dark indigo areas, whereas those that emit fluorescence glow like a firefly.” “With this new surgical technique I can see disease that is otherwise invisible and treat the patient more effectively,” he said.
The system illuminates tissues with short wavelength blue light (380 – 450 nm). The tissues absorb this light and then release it as longer wavelength green light (>470 nm). His study reported on the use of the autofluorescence system for the diagnosis of endometriosis, a potentially debilitating disease that affects 5.5 million women in the United States, causing infertility and chronic pelvic pain. Palter’s study found additional disease using the system in 63 percent of the women with endometriosis examined.
The system, manufactured by Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, is based on technology that has previously been used to detect lung cancer. This study represents its first use for laparoscopic examination of the pelvic and abdominal cavities in the US. It is not yet approved for general use in the US. Dr. Palter plans further studies to evaluate the system as a potential diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer and its metastases – a silent killer of women.
In laparoscopy, a telescope with a camera examines the internal organs and the physician views these images on a monitor. More surgical procedures are being conducted through laparoscopy because it is less invasive and results in a more rapid recovery. Dr. Palter’s follow-up studies of this system were awarded a Golden Laparoscope Award for Video and the Kott Award for best new Instrumentation by the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL), the leading international gynecologic laparoscopic surgical society. These awards will be presented at the upcoming 35th Annual Global Congress of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, to be held November 5-9 in Las Vegas, NV.
The American Society of Reproductive Medicine is the preeminent international society devoted to reproductive medicine and fertility. Founded in 1944, the Society is multidisciplinary, with members including obstetrician/gynecologists, urologists, reproductive endocrinologists, embryologists, mental health professionals, internists, nurses, practice administrators, laboratory technicians, pediatricians, research scientists and veterinarians.
Dr. Palter is a board-certified specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Formerly professor and the clinical chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Yale University School of Medicine, Dr. Palter specializes in treating infertility and developing medical applications for new technologies, including the first HDTV laparoscopy. He is a member of the AAGL Board of Trustees. He has mentored trainees from over a dozen nations, and has been invited to perform laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery in the U.S., South America, the Middle East, Europe and Asia. For more information call (516) 682-8900, or go online to www.gcivf.com.
Steven Palter, MD