HIFU
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound
for Prostate Cancer

Urologist serving Houston, Tomball, Magnolia, The Woodlands, Montgomery, Conroe, Willowbrook and CyFair

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long has the Sonablate® 500 been in use? Where is it being used?

HIFU was originally researched in the United States almost 50 years ago. Focus Surgery, Inc., the developers of the Sonablate®, introduced the first application for prostate disease in the early 1990s. In countries where the Sonablate® is authorized or HIFU treatments are permitted, over 6,000 treatments have been done with the Sonablate®, and there are nearly 100 centers offering Sonablate® HIFU treatments.


  • Is it a one-time procedure or do I need multiple treatments?

In most cases, HIFU with the Sonablate® 500 is a one-time procedure that lasts approximately one to four hours, depending on the size of
the prostate.


  • What should I expect after I have HIFU?

During the first one to two weeks after the procedure, a patient may experience very mild urinary symptoms such as frequency and/or urgency to void. In the first one to two months, a patient may pass an occasional small amount of blood, blood clots or mucus-like materials in the urine stream which is normal. A urinary catheter is inserted during the procedure and must be kept in place for two to four weeks.


  • Is this a type of radiation like brachytherapy? Which one is a better minimally invasive procedure?

HIFU is completely radiation free. Unlike radiation, ultrasound energy is non-ionizing meaning it is less likely to harm any tissue outside of the targeted area. Although brachytherapy and HIFUare both considered minimally invasive, generally, HIFU only requires one treatment. Also the radioactive seeds that are implanted during brachytherapy remain in the prostate and could potentially cause damage to tissue around the prostate, even several years after having the procedure.


  • During Sonablate® HIFU is the entire prostate treated or does the doctor only treat the tumor or diseased area?

During the HIFU procedure the entire prostate gland is targeted to be ablated or destroyed.


  • How do I know if I am a candidate for HIFU? What are the qualifications?

If you have been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside of the gland, you may be a candidate for HIFU. It is recommended that you discuss your individual medical records and history with a physician or clinical nurse specialist in order to confirm whether or not you are a candidate for HIFU.


  • How do I know if I am a candidate for HIFU? What are the qualifications?

If you have been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside of the gland, you may be a candidate for HIFU. It is recommended that you discuss your individual medical records and history with a physician or clinical nurse specialist in order to confirm whether or not you are a candidate for HIFU.


  • What happens to the urethra during HIFU? Since it runs through the center of the prostate is it destroyed during the procedure?

During HIFU, the entire prostate is ablated, including the prostatic urethra. However, the urethra is derived from a different type of tissue (bladder squamous-type epithelium) rather than prostatic tissue (glandular, fibrotic and muscular). While the urethra is an important anatomical structure, the sphincter and bladder neck are more important to maintaining the urinary function.


  • Is this procedure repeatable?

Yes, Sonablate® HIFU may be repeated if necessary although in most cases it is a one-time procedure. Additionally, unlike radiation, HIFU is a clean energy source and will not prevent patients from pursuing other types of salvage therapy in the event of a recurrence.


  • How long will I have to stay in the hospital?

Sonablate® HIFU is an outpatient procedure and does not normally require an overnight hospital stay. The procedure usually takes one to four hours and recovery time lasts two to three hours. After recovery, the patient is discharged.


  • Where is the procedure available?

There are International HIFU Centers in Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Argentina, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic. To learn more about these locations and scheduling a procedure, call 1-888-874-4384.


  • Why can’t I have it done in the United States?

The Sonablate 500® is not approved for use in the U.S. The Sonablate 500® remains investigational in the U.S. and is being studied for the treatment of prostate cancer in clinical trials in the U.S. FDA has made no decision as to the safety of efficacy of the Sonablate 500® for the treatment of prostate cancer.


  • May I speak with men who have already had HIFU or read comments about their experience?

You may read comments from patients online at www.InternationalHIFU.com. You may also request to a HIFU patient by calling 1-888-874-4384.

sonablate hifu magnolia

Specialties of Our Practice

We are a Second Opinion Prostate Cancer Clinic.

 

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