March 2022: HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) is a cutting-edge therapy that uses focused, high-energy ultrasound waves to heat and kill cancerous parts of the prostate gland. The target tissue is heated to 880 to 980 degrees Celsius after each 3-second burst of the HIFU beam. The temperature in some locations approaches 1000 degrees, causing the water in the tissue to boil! The prostate cells in the treated area are promptly destroyed. Each 3-second burst destroys tissue the size of a grain of rice while causing no harm to neighboring cells. Because each treated area is so small, it takes a lot of skill and precision to properly treat a prostate with HIFU and achieve the best outcomes.
Because of the HIFU beam’s small size and precision, treated individuals have significantly reduced urine incontinence and erectile dysfunction. These are the two most dreaded, life-altering adverse effects that patients fear, and which lead to many men avoiding prostate cancer treatment.
The Sonablate® 500 HIFU device’s sophisticated computer software includes an ultrasound imaging technology that targets prostate cells without injuring surrounding tissue. As a result, as compared to robotic surgery, HIFU has a far higher cure rate and generates significantly less incontinence.
Doppler is another aspect of the sophisticated HIFU ultrasound technology. This allows doctor to hear blood flow near the nerves that control erections outside the prostate. Damage to these vital neurons and blood vessels can be reduced or avoided by programming the blood vessel locations into the therapy software computer. Erectile dysfunction (ED) is unlikely as a result of this.
Benefits of HIFU
Absolutely no incisions are needed.
HIFU is an outpatient procedure done in a surgical center.
No hospital stay required.
You’ll have a much shorter recovery compared to radical surgery.
The treatment takes a few hours as compared to weeks for most radiation treatments.
Most normal activities can be resumed in a few days.
There is minimal to no pain.
HIFU causes a decreased risk of damage to surrounding structures.
HIFU has the lowest rate of urinary incontinence.
HIFU has the lowest rate of erectile dysfunction.
Who are the good candidates of HIFU?
You may be a good candidate for HIFU if:
You have early stage, a localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate.
You have recurrent prostate cancer after radiation therapy of any type, or if other treatment options pose a high risk of complications.
You want to avoid the side effects and potential complications of radical surgery or radiation.
How is HIFU performed?
Under general, spinal, or epidural anaesthesia, HIFU is conducted. Depending on the size and shape of your prostate, the treatment can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. You will be discharged home after a brief stay in the recovery area, where you will be followed by the surgery center’s nursing staff.
The heat created during an HIFU therapy causes all prostates to enlarge. Urination is impossible as a result of this. A thin tube (catheter) is inserted into your bladder through a 3/16″ skin hole just above your pubic bone right before the HIFU operation begins. The tube will drain pee from your bladder into a tiny bag that straps onto your leg until the swelling goes down and you can urinate normally. It’s hidden under your pants, so no one but you knows it’s there. It does not go into the urethra, unlike catheters used after severe surgery, therefore it is significantly more pleasant and has a far lower risk of infection.
Patients may pass small amounts of blood, old prostate tissue, or mucus-like substance in their urine during the next few weeks. Most individuals urinate better than they did before the HIFU therapy once all of the prostate tissue has been removed.