HIFU technology ablates prostate tissue by focusing high-intensity ultrasound waves on the affected area, causing localized heating that destroys the cells in the gland without damaging the healthy surrounding tissue. Focused ultrasound works in the same way as rays of sunlight that pass through a magnifying glass and are concentrated at a single point, causing a significant temperature rise around the focal point. Thermal ablation is a non-invasive (incisionless and radiation-free) procedure that has been used in humans since 1993. With more than 45,000 treatments performed using a HIFU medical device, the HIFU treatment is recognized by orders of urology specialists in several countries across the world.
What is HiFU and how does HiFU treat Prostate cancer?
Robotic HIFU prostate tissue ablation is a non-invasive procedure, which means that no incision is made, therefore leaving no scar. The impact on neighboring organs such as the urinary sphincter (incontinence) and erectile nerves is limited. The HIFU procedure probe is inserted into the rectum, enabling very easy access to the prostate, which is located immediately behind the rectum wall.
Repeatable radiation-free procedure
Unlike radiotherapy radiation, ultrasound waves are quite harmless. They are used in a range of applications including ultrasound imaging during pregnancy. With HIFU technology, the same harmless waves are produced at a higher intensity and focused to create a therapeutic effect for prostate tissue ablation.
Custom treatment: radical or focal approach
With HIFU medical devices, the urologist is able to provide a personalized procedure, taking into account the anatomy of the prostate, the patient’s preferences and any other procedures already received. The urologist may decide to treat only the target area within the prostate (in a “focal” strategy) rather than ablating the entire prostate (in a “radical” strategy), in order to maintain the maximum quality of life by limiting the impact on the surrounding tissue.
Robotic procedure for maximum precision and safety
The urologist plans the HIFU procedure and the machine then precisely executes the instructions, with movements that are accurate to the millimeter, which is not possible when working by hand. HIFU medical devices are equipped with many automatic safety features and procedure parameters can be monitored in real time for maximum safety and effectiveness.
What is the equipment used in your practice?
We use both the Ablatherm® Fusion and Focal One® machines manufactured by EDAP Technologies based here in Austin, TX. We have MRI fusion capabilities and the option of performing either focal or whole gland prostate HiFU that is robotically controlled and guided by real-time images of the prostate by ultrasound.
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