Three years ago, I started with the master track Medical Imaging and Intervention. I’m doing my graduation internship at the UMC Utrecht at the gynaecology department, where I am focusing on the pelvic floor. Many woman over 40 years old suffer from pelvic organ prolapse (POP), where one or more organs of the pelvic floor (bladder, uterus and rectum) descend. This can lead to many symptoms, such as incontinence and sexual discomfort. Surgical correction of the POP is effective, but unfortunately in 30% of the cases prolapse occurs again. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is used to image the complex cases of POP, but unfortunately imaging is only performed in lying position. The effect of gravity, which is crucial to evaluate the prolapse in the fullest extent, is not taken into account. Recently, a MRI system was introduced which offers the possibility to scan the patient in upright position. For my research, I am scanning the patients in lying and upright position before and after the surgery. The idea is, that the seriousness of the POP is better visualised when the patient is standing in the MRI scanner.
With the initial results of this study, I was invited to present my results for the Dutch Gynaecology congress. I was a bit nervous to present it and I was the only technical medicine student there. However, my presentation went very well, and as icing on the cake I won the first prize for my presentation for young researchers. I noticed that the audience was very enthusiastic about this research and technical medicine. The fact that we have an out of the box view on medical problems really surprises them.