Medical Research & Education Projects

From birth to end-of-life, the benefits of donating your body to science are endless.
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grandmother granddaughter medical research and education projects to improve lives for future generations

The following is just a small portion of medical education and research areas you can impact when you donate your body to science!

Heart Disease

Heart disease: The leading cause of death for men and women

About one person every 37 seconds dies in the United States alone from cardiovascular disease.

Heart-specific procedures and advancements supported by Science Care donors:

  • Percutaneous coronary intervention (Angioplasty)
  • Coronary artery bypass
  • Valve replacement
  • Leadless pacemaker technology
Cancer

Cancer: The #2 leading cause of death in the U.S.

The death rate from all cancers in the U.S. has dropped by an estimated 26% since 1991.

Cancer-specific procedures and advancements supported by Science Care donors:

  • Surgical removal procedures, both general and robotic
  • Biopsy research of healthy and diseased cancer tissues
  • Early detection platforms to diagnose specific cancers early
  • Technology allowing physicians to treat hard-to-reach disease areas
Respiratory Disease

Respiratory disease

The most common conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.

Chronic lower respiratory-specific procedures and advancements supported by Science Care donors:

  • Surgery to relieve symptoms of COPD
  • Technology advancements for treatment of emphysema
  • Medical device development for bronchoscopy and endoscopic procedures

Science Care donors impact medicine in all areas

Donors who donate their body to science make it possible for surgeons and doctors to train on new procedures, scientists to develop new medical treatments, companies to develop safe medical devices, and patients to experience reduced post-surgery recovery times and infections.

Science Care donors have contributed to some of the most impactful medical advances in the last decade

One of the biggest advances in minimally invasive surgery in the last decade is in the field of:

Robotic surgeries

Robotic surgeries

robotic surgery

New types of robotic-assisted surgeries are becoming available each year, allowing us to experience safer, less invasive, and more precise procedures. Surgeons can now operate using only 1-2 cm incisions, with greater accuracy than ever before. Surgeons operate from a computer console, using hand controls to control the robotic arms.

Benefits can include:

  • Faster recovery times
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Smaller incisions and scarring
  • Reduced blood loss
  • Significantly less pain

Robotic-assisted surgeries supported by Science Care donors:

  • General – Gallbladder, pancreatic cancer, acid reflux disease surgery, stomach surgery, inguinal hernia repair, gastric bypass, and many more
  • Head and neck – Thyroid cancer, head and neck cancer, tongue resection
  • Heart – Atrial septal defect, atrial fibrillation, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Lung and thoracic – Esophageal cancer, lung tumors, thymectomy
  • Gynecologic – Gynecologic cancers, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, endometriosis, hysterectomy, radical cystectomy, pelvic organ prolapse, myomectomy
  • Urological – Prostate cancer, radical prostatectomy, bladder cancer, kidney disorders, kidney cancer, kidney transplant, colorectal cancer, rectopexy
  • Orthopedics – Total hip replacement, total knee arthroplasty
  • Spine – Spinal tumors, presacral tumors, vertebral augmentation, biopsies, osteotomies

More about robotic-assisted surgical systems

While these robots don’t “do” any surgeries — the decisions and actions are still performed entirely by the surgeon — the robots help to enhance the skills and capabilities of the surgeon.

The advanced platforms used include very small high-resolution cameras and multiple arms. Each of the arms is equipped with small surgical instruments that can rotate 360 degrees. Complex surgeries can be completed with just a few small incisions.

Medical training for organ transplant teams

Medical training for organ transplant teams

Everyday lives are impacted by lifesaving organ donation, as well as body donation to science. Both transplant recovery teams (they recover organs for transplantation) and transplant teams (they perform the live transplant) benefit from the gift of body donation to science.

It is through education and extensive training that organ donation continues to push the limits and find new ways to change the world for victims of traumatic medical circumstances.

It often takes extensive practice and rehearsal to orchestrate a successful organ transplant. Every single movement and step are outlined in advance and often practiced many times before the actual transplant surgery takes place on a live donor recipient.

This is where body donation to science comes in — without the gift of donation to science, doctors would be learning and exploring on live patients. It is accuracy throughout the process that makes organ transplant a miracle for so many people.

Training in action

Cochlear implants

cochlear implants

Cochlear implants are electronic devices that can partially restore hearing. Cochlear implants are typically an option for patients with extensive inner ear damage who have not successfully benefited from hearing aids. Body donors to science have helped to develop and test this technology for many years.

Some of the benefits to cochlear implants are:

  • Not needing visual cues to hear speech
  • Identifying the direction of sound
  • Ability to hear the phone or watch television
  • Ability to recognize everyday sounds

Free ebook: Learn more

See even more ways in which body donors have helped to advance science.

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“I believe that my body can help save hundreds of lives, by teaching new doctors or specialists to help find cures to help sick people that will need their help someday.”
— William H., California