Las Palmas Medical Center is the first, and currently only, site in the world to enroll patients in a clinical trial for a fluorescent imaging agent, which may help to greatly reduce the number of ureter injuries during hysterectomies, colon resections and other specialty surgeries.

This technology, which illuminates proteins in the ureter, was used in a procedure first performed by Richard Farnam, M.D., an OB/GYN specializing in urogynecology, who is conducting the trial at Las Palmas Medical Center. The ureters are a pair of tubes transporting urine from each kidney to the bladder.

Administered intravenously, the chemical binds and illuminates proteins within the ureter, and using a special near-infrared laser, this illumination provides the surgeon a better view of the ureter. The current study builds on the groundwork of a prior ureteral stent study conducted by Dr. Farnam at Las Palmas Medical Center.

When a ureter is damaged, which can also occur in other specialty surgeries, it can have serious consequences. If the ureter is cut, the fluid traveling from the kidney to the bladder can leak into the abdominal cavity and cause inflammation. It can also cause the fluid to back up and, ultimately, destroy the kidney completely. If the damage is caught early, these complications can be minimized. The goal of the fluorescent imaging agent is to find a way to avoid injury outright. 

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