The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 23, 1996 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, January 23, 1996
Page 8
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A8 TUESDAY. JANUARY 23, 1996 HEALTH THE SAUNA JOURNAL V WOMEN'S HEALTH Technique to lessen hysterectomies Hospitals to begin testing procedure that could eliminate 100,000 hysterectomies a year By RICHARD COLE The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — Some of the nation's top hospitals are beginning testing of a simple procedure that backers say could eliminate 100,000 hysterectomies a year in the United States. The procedure uses a catheter and balloon to heat the inside of the uterus and destroy its lining to stop excessive menstrual bleeding, Y BABOON TRANSPLANT AIDS patient awaits results of procedure Researchers hope * baboon's immunity will "I didn't just lie down transfer to humans and die." the cause of 20 percent to 30-percent of the na-' tion's 600,000 hysterectomies annually. • , "This would be the absolute simplest way of relieving excess blood flow," said Dr. Brian Walsh, chief of surgical gynecology at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. "You don't need to take out the entire uterus." The new technique is intended only for excessive menstrual bleeding, which can cause a dangerous loss of blood. Such bleeding can also be accompanied by infections and cause women discomfort and disrupt their lives. The technique, which is already approved in some European countries, is being tested in 13 U.S. hospitals on 250 women. The results are to be submitted to the Food and Drug Adminis- tration within 18 months. Gynecare of Menlo Park developed the procedure. The other alternative to hysterectomy, called endometrial ablation, requires a special scope inserted into the uterus. Operated through a TV monitor, it involves electrical cauterization of the uterus. But few gynecologists have the expertise to perform endometrial ablation, said Dr. David Grainger, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at University of Kansas in Wi. chita, who will be conducting one of the U.S. trials. ! The balloon technique costs an average of $7,000 to $10,000. A family serving families for three generations... RYAN f s Member By Invitation National Selected Morticians. 137 N. Eighth 825-4242 By RICHARD COLE The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO — Inside Jeff Getty's body, a biological battle is being waged that could revolutionize AIDS treatment and alter the future of organ transplants. Bone marrow cells from a baboon are struggling to plant themselves in the 38-year-old Getty's body, where, doctors hope, they will begin to produce a parallel immune system to fight the AIDS virus that is killing him. Getty received the cells by injection Dec. 14. Although it will be six months or more before all results are in, the first indication of the battle's outcome is expected by the end of the month. "If something goes wrong, if I come down with a baboon virus, if it proves not to work, at least I did something," Getty said. "I didn't just lie down and die." Last week, Getty underwent a painful bone marrow biopsy on Jeff Getty AIDS patient his upper thigh — "It feels like someone running a corkscrew through your head," he said. Doctors are examining that sample and blood tests to determine whether the baboon cells "engrafted," or settled into his body and began functioning. For reasons, scientists don't understand, baboons are not infected by the AIDS virus. Researchers hope that immunity can be transferred to people. The baboon-marrow procedure — used for the first time on Getty — employs immature stem cells that grow up into disease fighters, along with "facilitator" cells that somehow allow stem cells to thrive in a foreign environment. The technique could allow many dying patients to receive organ transplants without waiting for precise tissue matches. GET THE SECOND SET OF PRINTS EVERY TUESDAY! 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