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Neurosciences and Behavioral Health Center
Jeff Elias, A Focused Ultrasound Pioneer

Focused Ultrasound: Pioneers

Incisionless. Scalpel-free. The promise is there for focused ultrasound, and UVA is at the forefront in using this technology to treat patients with neurological disorders.

UVA was the first place in the world to use focused ultrasound exclusively to treat tremors.

FDA-approved for essential tremor and uterine fibroids, focused ultrasound surgery may soon be used to treat epilepsy and brain tumors. The research and clinical trials continue.

Focused Ultrasound

Discover potential uses for focused ultrasound surgery, and use our pre-screening database to let us know you're interested in clinical trials for movement disorders.
Jeff Elias, A Focused Ultrasound Pioneer

Focused Ultrasound: Pioneers

Incisionless. Scalpel-free. The promise is there for focused ultrasound, and UVA is at the forefront in using this technology to treat patients with neurological disorders.

UVA was the first place in the world to use focused ultrasound exclusively to treat tremors.

FDA-approved for essential tremor and uterine fibroids, focused ultrasound surgery may soon be used to treat epilepsy and brain tumors. The research and clinical trials continue.

Focused Ultrasound: Team & Program Highlights

Essential Tremor Patients
Dr. Elias with focused ultrasound device

Focused Ultrasound: Now FDA Approved

UVA is working to make the procedure available to eligible patients as soon as possible. 

If you're interested in focused ultrasound for essential tremor, it's important to note:

  • Insurance plans do not currently cover this procedure.
  • Not everyone with essential tremor is eligible for focused ultrasound; eligibility requires evaluation.

We are not making appointments at this time, but we hope to have information about treatment availability soon.

Read about the FDA’s approval of focused ultrasound for essential tremor.

The Story Behind the Research

Focused Ultrasound: Overview

What it Does, How it Works

More precise. Better outcomes. Faster recovery.

This new alternative to traditional surgery requires no incision or opening of the skull. It's similar to using a magnifying glass to focus multiple beams of light on a single point to start a fire. We focus thousands of beams of ultrasound energy on a single spot in the body, which then heat and destroy the targeted area without damaging surrounding tissue. 

Advantages of this procedure include:

  • Precise treatment: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) real-time, 3-D images help us target abnormal tissue with a high degree of precision.
  • Results: Many patients from our clinical trials are able to resume regular activities immediately after treatment. Read more news and patient stories.
  • Advanced care: At UVA, you receive care from many movement disorder experts. Our team includes neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists. If you can’t have focused ultrasound, we'll find other suitable treatments, such as deep brain stimulation. 

Learn more about the treatments available in our Parkinson's & movement disorders program.   

See the full visual guide to how focused ultrasound works.