A Breakthrough Minimally Invasive Way to Treat Prostate Cancer
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a state-of-the-art technology that uses ultrasound waves to destroy tissue with pinpoint accuracy. HIFU focuses sound waves in a targeted area which rapidly increases the temperature in the focal zone causing tissue destruction.
In most cases, HIFU is a 1-2 hour, one-time procedure performed on an outpatient basis under general anesthesia.
Unlike radiation, HIFU is non-ionizing; this means that HIFU may also be repeated if necessary.
HIFU has produced results, in studies performed outside the United States, that are broadly comparable to standard therapies and HIFU is a minimally invasive prostate cancer therapy that does not use ionizing radiation1, which can be potentially harmful.
Advantages of HIFU
- No blood loss
- Quick recovery
- Non surgical
- Radiation free
- An outpatient procedure
Disadvantages of HIFU
- No long term (20-30 years) outcome data
- Potential risk of impotence
- Potential risk of incontinence
Precise and Controlled
To perform the procedure Dr. Alarcon use the Sonablate® device. The Sonablate obtains real-time ultrasound images of your prostate and surrounding areas. From these images, Dr. Alarcon can plan where the ultrasound energy will be delivered. The Sonablate® software allows me to precisely define the treatment zones or specific areas to treat which can range from a small focal area within the prostate to the entire prostate gland.
Unlike radiation, HIFU is non-ionizing so it 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.
IMPORTANT HIFU INFORMATION: HIFU is not an approved procedure in the U.S. and the Sonablate® 500 system that is used during the HIFU prostate procedure remains investigational in the U.S. This technology is being studied for the treatment of prostate cancer in clinical trials in the U.S., however, the FDA has made no decision as to the safety or efficacy of the Sonablate®500 for the treatment of prostate cancer at this time. HIFU is not covered by Medicare or private insurance. Some patients with private insurance have been reimbursed after the procedure. HIFU is practiced outside of the U.S. in over 100 HIFU centers worldwide.
Dr. Alarcon offers HIFU outside of the U.S. specifically in the Mexico International HIFU Center.