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What is HIFU?
HIFU is a precise and targeted therapy that reduces the risk of complications and impact to quality of life caused by surgery and radiation. HIFU uses ultrasound energy, or sound waves, to heat and destroy specifically targeted areas of tissue. During HIFU, the sound waves pass through healthy tissue without causing damage. However, at the focal point of the sound waves the tissue temperature rises rapidly to 90 degrees Celsius destroying the targeted tissue. The same principles are used when light is focused through a magnifying glass.
HIFU was cleared by the FDA for prostate tissue ablation in October 2015; however, more than 50,000 men have been treated with HIFU globally.
Focal therapy with Sonablate® HIFU technology creates a small, precise lesion. This targets the tumor within the prostate, leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. Experienced physicians use advanced software to merge MRI and real-time images of the prostate to locate the tumor and plan treatment to target that area only. According to published studies, focal therapy with HIFU for the treatment of non-metastatic prostate cancer has shown low risks of side effects while providing disease control.
Sonablate® HIFU is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate. It is recommended that all men discuss individual medical records and history with a physician in order to confirm whether or not they are a candidate for HIFU.
Sonablate® HIFU is also an effective therapy for recurrent prostate cancer when patients may not have any other treatment options. Many patients who have had radiation therapy experience a rise in PSA and discover that the cancer has returned. These patients may be candidates for the HIFU treatment as well.
The HIFU procedure typically lasts between 1-4 hours, depending on the size of the prostate, and is done under general anesthesia. During the procedure a suprapubic or foley catheter will be put into place to help with urination, and will typically stay in place for 1-2 weeks. After the HIFU treatment, patients will be in recovery for about 1-2 hours. Once released from the treatment center, patients return home to recover more comfortably. Though, it is recommended that patients take things easy, most patients feel well enough to go out for dinner and maybe even a walk, the day of the procedure.
Sonablate® HIFU will ablate any tissue that the physician targets with the device during treatment planning. After the physician reviews your diagnosis, he or she will make a recommendation on the best course of treatment. This recommendation, based on your pathology report and imaging, will include how much of the prostate should be treated.