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Revolutionary Carpal Tunnel Surgery

November 16, 2018 02:52 PM

(ABC 6 News) - "Years ago my father went through carpal tunnel surgery where he had opened up from the palm and down the wrist a little way and I knew what that went through and I wasn't a big fan of that," said Faribault County Sheriff Mike Gormley. 

When Faribault County Sheriff Mike Gormley needed surgery on both wrists to address his carpal tunnel he decided to try something new to hopefully get back to work faster.

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"I just wanted something that was in-invasive and could get me back to work as soon as possible," said Gormley.

He became one of a growing number of patients across the country choosing a less-invasive surgical option created by Mayo doctors in Austin and Rochester.

"Based on their experience they decided they could come up with a way to do this ultrasound guidance instead of an open technique," said Russell Bergum, D.O. of Mayo Clinic Health System. 

About a year and a half ago the doctors' creation, a micro-knife smaller than a pencil, got the green light from the federal government...    allowing doctors around the country - including their peers at Mayo - to perform the surgery in an out-patient setting.

"It's this ligament that needs to be cut without cutting anything around it. and so again before we would make an incision about this long, come down, find that ligament and cut it from above," says Mark Ciota, M.D. "With this new device we make just a little nick in the skin maybe 4-5 millimeters, slide that underneath the ligament."

Besides its ease for physicians, it also means patients like Gormley recover in a fraction of the time.

"It's done almost always in an outpatient setting like a clinic or an office and that saves the patient the expense of an operating room and it's just a lot easier for the patient when they don't have to go through the surgery process," says Ciota.

"I shouldn't have to but yes, I would do it again," said Gormley

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