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Health News - High Intensity Focused Ultrasound


As men ages their chances of prostate cancer increases, especially between the ages of 60-79. Around a quarter of a million men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, which is about 1 in 8 chance.

If you have been diagnosed and the cancer is contained to the prostate area alone, then you might be interested in a new alternative treatment called High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) that uses the ultrasound wave energy. The cancer tissue is destroyed by the used of this ultrasound wave energy that creates a heated elevation of around 90 degrees at the cancer’s focal point. In a Japanese study, the participates had a 94% disease free rate three years after they used HIFU. Participates should have a prostate size at 40 g or less (if not it can be downsized with lupron and avodart.) or the procedure can be lengthy. The presence of calcification can also interfere with the treatment. If so, a TURP can be performed to remove these areas and decrease the prostate size.

A patient is give an enema (1or 2) before the HiFu procedure until everything is clear. The procedure itself is done under a spinal or general anesthetic in the lithotomy position. This take anywhere between one to four hours depending on the size of the patient’s prostate. After the surgery, a foley catheter (sometimes a supra catheter is used instead) to drain the bladder. The catheter may need to stay in place one to two weeks until the prostate swelling settles. After the treatment is completed, the patient can spend between one to two hours in the recovery room, where he’ll be instructed on the catheter care and what medicines to take, which normally include antibiotics, an anti inflammatory, flomax and cialis. Of course, like all surgeries, there can be some temporary difficulty, like urination frequency and burning sensation. There could also be small passage of tissue and blood, but over time this will resolve. Unlike other treatments, severe complications like incontinence, impotence, urethral stricture and rectal fistual are uncommon with the HIFU treatment.

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