“Focused Ultrasound Gave Me My Life Back”
Focused ultrasound is a procedure that helps patients with tremors improve their quality of life. Using concentrated ultrasound energy, this noninvasive procedure can precisely target tissue deep inside the body to treat a variety of medical conditions. For Tom Donegan, focused ultrasound gave him his life back after being diagnosed with essential tremor.
Tom grew up in a large family and was very active from a young age. He earned an ROTC scholarship in college and decided to join the U.S. Army. He was in great shape, even beating physical fitness records at his base! However, one day he noticed his hand start to shake as he saluted, and he didn’t know what was causing it.
He changed his diet and lifestyle, but nothing seemed to help the shaking in his hands. He decided it was time to visit a neurologist, thinking he might have Parkinson’s. Tom was diagnosed with essential tremor, a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk. His condition led to years of difficulty eating and getting dressed. He even struggled at work as a real estate broker since he was unable to sign his own name on dozens of documents every day. Sadly, Tom also lost his ability to do his favorite thing: play guitar.
Initially, to treat this condition, Tom was prescribed a drug that lessened and even at times stopped his tremors. But over time he required higher and higher doses to get the same effect and his medication made him extremely fatigued. This side effect changed from inconvenient to scary when Tom fell asleep behind the wheel of his car one day. Thankfully, a bump in the road jolted him awake before he hurt himself or others. Tom was able to drive himself home that day, but it was enough to convince him that it was time for a change in treatment. Looking for an alternative to this medication, Tom heard about focused ultrasound from a friend who happened to hear a story about the technology on the radio.
Tom began looking for a local doctor who could perform focused ultrasound. Once he found one, his session was scheduled and after the procedure he could immediately see the results. In fact, that very day he was able to go out to eat at a restaurant and celebrate with his family, even drinking his water without spilling a drop. He was also able to sign his name to the bill without shaking. His wife and kids couldn’t believe it- Tom’s tremors were gone.
After his focused ultrasound treatment, Tom is back to playing guitar, having regained his independence and his health.
Effectively treating a disease begins with an accurate diagnosis, but current Medicare reimbursement policy limits patient access to…Read More