Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Week 6: Goose

So finally the entire journey at New York City is over. I actually had to spend some more extra time even after the last day at the city to wrap up my project. Everything turned out nice, though the project seemed too sketchy in the beginning. Dr. Souweidane and I turned in an abstract to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a congress of neurological surgeons in October at Seattle, Washington. Of course I would not be able to go to the conference but I am glad that I have contributed to the work Dr. Souweidane does and made it to an abstract. Although the original ideas we had in the beginning seemed to be more attractive and with higher impact, we had to shift our ideas as to it is somewhat more doable. Original intension of the study, that is the dependence of age in hydrocephalus patients in the entry site of endoscope relative to the skull suture for endoscopic third ventriculostomy, was just way too difficult to make legitimate measurements and enough patients with cases that we can do better controlled studies. Instead, we decided to analyze the hydrocephalous patients with cases of diminished prepontine interval space, which can affect the safety and functionality of endoscopic third ventriculostomy. The result showed that functional success rate of patients with obliterated prepontine interval appeared equivalent to historical controls. The diminished success rate was functional success rate was rather apparent in young patients, which is believed that the rapidly growing bodies can soon block the fenestration on the floor of the third ventricle within a few weeks requiring them to have shunts instead.

I much enjoyed the summer immersion program and was really a blast to have a chance to work with a practicing physician. I learned so much in the privilege of meeting patients and witnessing surgeries. The lessons I learned from these experiences not only have taught me that there are endless diseases that need to be more researched, but also that what we are studying as biomedical engineers is truly worth our time and effort. The deprived quality of life that these patients are having can be immensely improved by the breakthroughs we make, and that is for sure my conclusion after the summer immersion program at the hospital.

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