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Prostate Cancer – HIFU Therapy

February 26, 2021


“High intensity focused ultrasound or HIFU is a very, very precise way of delivering energy to the prostate and thereby minimizing side effects. This technique was first developed in the 1950s in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has gradually become more and more clinically applicable. In the 1990s, clinical trials in a variety of organs were performed. 2000s, there were physicians worldwide using high intensity focused ultrasound for prostate cancer. Think of HIFU as the focusing of, say, sunlight using a magnifying glass. We all know how there’s a focal point that we arrive at. It can burn a hole in a leaf and using otherwise harmless energy of the sun. Similarly, under an anesthetic, a transducer is placed inside the rectum and the harmless energy of ultrasound is focused into very tiny, very hot bullets of energy. Using a computer module, the urologist moves through the prostate to whatever extent is necessary or desired.

This is one therapy that can actually be conformed to the cancer. We can’t remove part of the prostate, but we can treat part of a prostate with HIFU. So this procedure is performed under an anesthetic lasting two to four hours. And patients afterwards have no pain. They do wear a catheter for a period of time, usually a week or so, and have the lowest risk of sexual dysfunction or urinary incontinence following a prostate cancer procedure. This procedure is gaining popularity. FDA has approved it, but most insurance companies do not yet recognize it. Look for a change in that in 2021.”

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