Right now, there are 18,000 people waiting for liver transplants in this country. Fewer than a third are likely to get one. So, the longer a transplant candidate can stay on the waiting list, the better the odds.
Now, a breakthrough treatment is giving liver patients a little more time. Dr. Robert Goldstein at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas is cooking the tumor away -- to keep it from spreading in the liver, allowing the patient more time on that transplant list. First, Dr. Goldstein finds the tumor, and then, using two little probes, he heats the area to 212 degrees -- and the tumors are gone!
"Looks pretty well cooked doesn't it? And that tumor is ablated, it's a goner. (The procedure) has revolutionized what we are able to do," says Dr. Goldstein, surgical oncologist.
The procedure, called Radiofrequency Thermal Ablation, is giving new hope and new life to liver patients in need of a transplant. By the way, if Dr. Goldstein seems familiar, that's because he was one of the doctors NewsChannel 11 followed to Dallas a year ago when a member of the NewsChannel 11 family volunteered to be a donor for a split liver transplant, another revolutionary procedure.