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What is HIFU
HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound)
HIFU is a state-of-the-art technology acoustic ablation technique that utilizes the power of ultrasound to destroy deep-seated prostate cancer tissue with pinpoint accuracy. HIFU focuses sound waves in a targeted area which rapidly increases the temperature in the focal zone causing tissue destruction.
The control and precision of HIFU reduces the risk of common prostate cancer treatment side effects such as impotence and incontinence. HIFU is a 2-3 hour, one-time procedure preformed on an out-patient basis under spinal or epidural anesthesia. Unlike radiation, HIFU is non-ionizing so it can be repeated if necessary without damaging healthy tissue. This means that HIFU can also be used as a salvage technique if other prostate cancer treatments fail.
Similar to what happens when sunlight is focused through a magnifying lens, precise focusing of ultrasound energy during HIFU therapy elevates the temperature of the tissue in the focal zone very rapidly while intervening tissue between the transducer and the focal zone is kept at a safe temperature. The result is an accurate and repeatable lesion at the target sites that are monitored in real time by the treating physician. All the affected zones are pre-planned and checked by the physician prior to starting the HIFU therapy. The imaging capabilities of the technology allow for identification of vital structures such as the prostate capsule, seminal vesicles, rectal wall and physiological location of the neurovascular bundles.