High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Treatment
HIFU is high intensity focused ultrasound. The technology has been developed as a curative treatment for localised prostate cancer. It is indicated as a first choice therapy for localised prostate cancer in suitable patients.
A transducer probe emits a powerful ultrasound wave which can be focused and concentrated to a point a small distance away from the probe.
This is similar to the way in which a magnifying glass can be used to focus the power of the sun’s rays to a point, causing a burn.
Similarly, the concentration of the HIFU beam can create maximum pressure at a point (the focal point), creating temperatures of between 85° and 100°C at this point. Clinically, this causes a small cigar shaped lesion within the prostate, destroying the prostate cancer cells and surrounding tissue.
Depending on the size of the prostate, the average treatment takes 2-3 hours to complete and can be offered as a day case procedure.
Side Effects Of High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Your consultant surgeon will discuss the side effects of this procedure with you during your consultation.
After Your Ultrasound Procedure
- After discharge from hospital, the patient is advised to avoid driving for 2-3 days and also lifting or straining for two weeks.
- Normal activities may be otherwise resumed. Possible side effects of treatment include urethral stenosis (6%), mild urinary leakage (6%) and sexual impotence (22-66%).
- Patients have a regular PSA blood test every three months to ensure the cancer has been treated effectively.
- Residual cancer is detected in 10-15% of cases. This can be treated at a second HIFU treatment session six months after the initial session.