Here I’ll explain how HIFU works, why you should consider HIFU over other treatments, and the benefits it can provide for men with prostate cancer.
What is HIFU?
HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) is a one-time, out-patient procedure that uses ultrasound energy, or sound waves, to heat and destroy tissue in the prostate. It is radiation-free, and studies show that the risk of side effects such as erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence are significantly lower with HIFU than with surgery or radiation. HIFU was approved by the FDA in late 2015 and is available in the greater Fort Lauderdale area.
Why did you initially become interested in working with HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
As a board-certified urologist specializing in prostate diseases and other urologic cancers and also an expert in the HIFU procedure, I have learned that HIFU offers a much better side effect profile than any of our other traditional prostate cancer treatment options. I have been treating patients with HIFU since 2008 and my patients and I have been pleased with the results; many of my patients have been cancer free for over 10 years.
In your professional opinion, what are the benefits of HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
HIFU offers outstanding efficacy that is similar to surgery and radiation but has a much more favorable side effect profile. Patients are up and back to their normal activities quicker than any other treatment I have seen. HIFU also helps to preserve sexual function and urinary control better than any other treatment available.
How do you decide if HIFU is right for a patient?
HIFU is right for almost any patient, especially if their cancer is localized to the prostate. We ensure the patient has localized disease and then look at previous surgical history with regards to things that may have affected the prostate anatomy.
In general, how quickly do your patients recover after HIFU? What should a patient expect?
They can expect to get back to normal activities extremely quickly. Most of my patients recover and go out for dinner on the very same day.
There are obviously a lot of different treatments for prostate cancer; where do you think HIFU best fits in the prostate cancer landscape?
This treatment can be right for any patient with localized prostate cancer but especially those that are young, sexually active, and interested in preserving sexual function. It ensures patients’ minimal downtime and is a great alternative to much more invasive treatments.
By DR. MAURY JAYSON
HIFU Prostate Services