What is HIFU
HIFU, or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, is a medical technology that uses ultrasound waves (like those used to see babies in the womb) to destroy cancerous prostate tissue and allow it to be safely removed from the body. Unlike the ulstrasound of a baby, HIFU ultrasound waves are focused to a pinpoint, specific depth and precise coordinates within the body (areas as small as a grain of rice). It’s the same principle that allows you to focus light waves through a magnifying glass to produce a hole in a piece of paper.
Once the HIFU ultrasound waves have been focused, the targeted tumor will be destroyed, and your body will discard that tissue in the same manner other dead cells are normally eliminated. The beauty of HIFU technology is that all surrounding prostate tissue and cells which the ultrasound waves pass through, before and after being focused, are completely unaffected. And all of this is done without a single incision.
HIFU Prostate Cancer Treatment
The actual treatment process begins with a painless ultrasound probe which is used to visualize the prostate in great detail with the aid of a computer-guided tracking system which fuses prior ultrasound and MRI imaging together to target the prostate cancer. The treatment phase, once this targeting has been completed, may last anywhere from 1.5 to 4 hours depending on the size of the cancer tissue, all done painlessly under anesthesia.
Given that HIFU is completely noninvasive, patients can be discharged shortly after the procedure, on the same day. Recovery continues at home under the supervision of your urologist. It may take 1 to 2 weeks to feel entirely back to normal and resume all of your daily routine.
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