Focused Ultrasound

For the Treatment of Essential Tremor

ExAblate Neuro (also referred to as MR-guided focused ultrasound or focused ultrasound ablation), is a non-incisional approach to traditional surgery. By combining ultrasound technology and magnetic resonance (MR), doctors can use ultrasound technology to target tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation. Swedish is the first in the Pacific Northwest to offer this technology, and the most experienced in treating essential tremor with non-surgical techniques including treating over 700 patients with Gamma Knife. This technology is now one of three treatment options available to treat essential tremor in patients who have not responded to medication. 

With focused ultrasound, multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound energy are focused on to a precise spot of diseased tissue. The resulting heating of the tissue causes destruction of a targeted area, similar to how beams of light from a magnifying glass can burn a hole in a leaf. The treatment destroys targeted cells without damaging the adjacent area. 

The procedure takes place within an MRI scanner equipped with a high-energy ultrasound transducer helmet – which allows doctors to target the area using the ultrasound with great accuracy. The patient usually goes home the same day. Focused ultrasound uses a non-incisional approach promoting fast recovery times for the patient.

*Focused Ultrasound for essential tremor was FDA approved in July 2016. This procedure is currently not covered by insurance and is only available to self-pay patients at this time. For additional information, please call 206-320-2847.

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