WHAT IS HIFU?
HIFU, or high intensity focused ultrasound, is an emerging minimally invasive technique for treating prostate cancer with precise, focused ultrasound waves which destroy tissue with pinpoint accuracy. The ultrasound, or sound waves, is focused at a specific location or focal point. Any tissue at the focal point is destroyed, but tissue outside the focal point is unharmed.
HOW DOES HIFU WORK?
HIFU is a non-invasive treatment performed under anesthesia. The procedure offers drastically reduced side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence, and the same efficacy rates as traditional, more invasive prostate treatment options. HIFU is a one to three-hour non-surgical, outpatient procedure performed while the patient is under light sedation.
During the procedure, a high intensity focused ultrasound energy or sound waves raise the temperature to destroy the targeted prostate cancer cells without harming surrounding tissue. Unlike radiation, HIFU uses clean (also known as non-ionizing) energy so that the procedure can be repeated, if necessary without damaging healthy tissue. HIFU usually allows for a more rapid recovery: no overnight hospitalization, and a return to work duty within a few days.
Georgia Urology’s medical director, Dr. Vahan Kassabian, is Atlanta’s leader in HIFU treatment. With years of experience performing the procedure, he has been recognized as the area’s foremost physician in this field of treatment.
Check out this video for how HIFU works:
I would certainly urge somebody who was told they were a good candidate to move it to the top of their list.
Rich Gaffoglio, HIFU patient
HOW DOES HIFU WORK TO TREAT PROSTATE CANCER?
HIFU is a therapy that destroys unhealthy tissue with rapid heat elevation. Ultrasound energy, or sound waves, is focused at a specific location in the prostate. At that location or focal point, the temperature rapidly rises to almost 90 degrees Celsius (195 degrees Fahrenheit). Any tissue at the focal point is destroyed, but any tissue outside of the focal point is unharmed. Using real-time ultrasound images of the prostate and surrounding area, the urologist maps out where the ultrasound energy will be delivered, and customizes the treatment plan for maximum safety and effectiveness, reducing the risks of common side effects of prostate cancer treatments such as impotence and incontinence.
HIFU is a one to three-hour non-surgical, outpatient procedure performed while the patient is under light sedation. Unlike radiation, HIFU uses clean (also known as non-ionizing) energy so that the procedure can be repeated, if necessary without damaging healthy tissue. This means that HIFU may also be used as a salvage technique, if other prostate cancer treatments fail.
HIFU usually allows for a more rapid recovery: no overnight hospitalization, return to work duty with in a few days.
HIFU is an option for treatment of localized prostate cancer which has been available outside of the U. S. for more than 10 years, and became available in the states in 2016. Physicians at Georgia Urology are the only Atlanta area experts in this procedure. Dr. Vahan Kassabian, dually board-certified in the U.S. and Canada, regularly traveled to Montreal, Quebec Canada and other international HIFU locations to perform this exciting new procedure before it was available in the U.S.
Georgia Urology’s HIFU program and Dr. Kassabian were recently featured on 11Alive. See the full story here.
You can learn more about HIFU treatment options from Georgia Urology’s partner, Vituro Health, by clicking here.