I sometimes think we forget how lucky we are when it comes to modern medicine. I had my second colonooscopy just last week.
Obviiously this isn't a bunch of fun, but it's nice to know that one's insides are in working order. In fact, I'm informed I have the insides of a much younger man ... if only my outsides matched my insides (if you know what I mean).
The amazing thing is how much thing have changed in just 5 years since my first colonoscopy. For that one I had to drink (what seemed like) 10 gallons of "stuff" the night before -- this time the new regime was just as effective but much easier on my system.
@Max..."I sometimes think we forget how lucky we are when it comes to modern medicine. "
Amen to that. I am diabetic and the glucometers (meters that measure your blood glucose level - BGL) are small, light, only need a small drop of blood and only need one coin cell battery once a year. They are marvels of engineering. 50 years ago I'd be getting a urine test once a week if I was lucky. Now I can get my BGL three times a day or more if I need.
I worked on the design of a miniaturised confocal microscope probe designed to fit into the biopsy channel of a colonoscope. It had about 5mm diameter. They've now made a 3mm one. The concept is that you get a bit of flurocene injected into you as a contrast agent and they can get micron resolution of the lining of your gut and can even take optical "slices" of your bowel lining without taking a biopsy (the reason why it doesn't matter that the biopsy channel is taken). I've seen some stunning views of the colonic crypts in a living icking (well sedated) human being. That too is amazing technology.
Check out optiscan.com. They've now done a version for supporting brain surgery, specifically defining disease margins in tumour removal.
BTW, it's supposed to be fun to go to a blacklight disco straight after the colonoscopy procedure because you literally glow in the dark.
@Etmax, are there version of this tool for the other end of the DI system? That is, for endoscopy? My father had Barret's Esophagus and I wonder if that might have made things easier. He underwent light treatment where they injected him with a light-sensitive dye and burned off the Barrett's with a laser. But, his skin was very senstive to sunlight for a month. That's she we did the peocedure in the winter. Few daylight hours and y=too cold to go outside without covering up anyway.
@measurementblues, as a matter of fact they do. Instead of 50 or so six-monthly biopsies they can do an aesophagal scan in about 30 minutes. The only problem would be finding a hospital that is equiped with the gear. The equipment is designed and manufactured in Australia and due to a commercial agreement marketed by Hoya (ex Pentax) so it will take a hospital that has Pentax endoscopes and paid for the extra addon's. Efficacy is in the same league as traditional pathology without the patient discomfort. I wonder what dye they used? Fluorocene only lasts about a day in the body
Its amazing to see how technology has done wonders in medical. Its just making human lives more healthier and things that were caught later or never caught in medical conditions can be found at birth itself.
@Max - I think they can more or less do this already with MRIs and the like. You don't see it often though, mostly i's black and white or false colour (which I think is more useful in making a diagnosis?).