HIFU stands for high intensity focused ultrasound. While there are many treatments for prostate cancer, HIFU is for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. It is an outptient treatment that uses ultrasound energy that is focused on particular areas of the prostate using a probe. The areas that are targeted are actually heated up to 90 degrees quickly. In order for this treatment to be successful, lab studies and imaging need to be done to assure that the cancer is contained to just the prostate and has not spread. In addition, the size of the prostate must be at 40g or less. Any sort of calcification in the prostate needs to be ruled out as well.
To prepare for the HIFU or high intensity focused ultrasound, there does have to be some preparation by the patient. Two enemas need to be taken to be sure the bowel is clear. If the prostate was enlarged or bigger than the 40g, it will need to be reduced via medication. This will ensure the actual procedure is not too long. General anesthesia or a spinal is used. Depending on the size of the prostrate the procedure can last from one to four hours. During the recovery period a catheter is inserted and may be needed for one to two weeks.
HIFU does not have any of the complications of the other prostate cancer treatments....things like incontinence or impotence. No exposure to radiation either. The good thing about HIFU is that if needed it can be repeated if the cancer returns. Once normal urination has returned the patient will need to be checked every three months for the first year after the procedure is done.
If you are looking for information on HIFU or other treatments and topics related to prostate cancer be sure to check out the site. It has a plethora of information regarding urology and is a great resource. New procedures are constantly being developed, like HIFU, so Urology Web is the place to research to find it out. There is even information there or drug and insurance assistance on the site. Researching options? Check out Urology Web for the newest techniques on prostrate care and treatment.