You may have taken a break from the medical field or are simply curious as to how far advances in medical technology have progressed in recent years. Either way, you're undoubtedly in for a surprise. The medical field has made rapid advancements and significant progress within the last ten years.
Less Invasive Surgeries
Dreamed of for decades, microsurgery has only become a tangible alternative to going under the knife within the last ten years. While surgery once guaranteed a lengthy hospital stay, advancements in tools and procedures have reduced both the impact and recovery time of surgeries. From joint replacement, which once came with a bold eight to ten inch scar, to the removal of tumors, surgery now leaves less scarring on patients and also requires them to spend less time recovering in the hospital. Chester County Hospital details how this less intrusive surgical technique leads to quicker recoveries.
Though often harmless, the human papilloma virus, or HPV, can sometimes result in cervical cancer and a few other genital cancers. This used to be a huge issue, especially in poorer countries where access to medical care is scarce and pap smears and annual check ups are a rarity. Thanks to Garasil and Ceravix, the two available vaccines for HPV, the risk of cancer from this virus has been significantly reduced.
For those who suffer from degenerative eye disease, the last decade has brought upon some encouraging advancements. Comprised of a tiny microchip paired with a pair of glasses with a camera attached, the "bionic eye" can restore light and dark vision. The microchip is embedded into the patient's retina and receives images from the camera. The chip then converts the images into signals that the brain can understand. Though the device isn't advanced enough to restore full sight capabilities, it can help to make some things, such as walking down the street, somewhat easier. While this may not sound like a lot, it's a huge, progressive step for those who cannot see at all.
Perhaps one of the most shocking and notable advancements in the last decade has been the full face transplant. No longer just an action movie plot line, doctors were able to successfully perform the first full face transplant in 2010. According to The Telegraph, a team of 30 medical specialists worked for over 24 hours to perform the surgery. This alternative to facial reconstruction has changed the lives of those who have suffered trauma and mutilation to the face.
On the Horizon
While we have seen incredible advances in medical technology within the past ten years, the next ten look just as promising if not more so. From reducing mortality rates despite disease to storing people's complete medical histories on small encrypted flash drives, the future of medical technology just keeps getting brighter.