High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound
Maimonides Medical Center is the first hospital on the East Cast to offer the next generation high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) as a treatment for prostate cancer. The treatment targets only the cancerous part of the prostate, sparing the rest of the healthy gland. This new option minimizes side effects.
We are proud to offer the world’s most advanced noninvasive ablation device for prostate cancer.
What Is HIFU?
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a form of ablation that uses energy from high-frequency sound waves to destroy cancer cells. The treatment is very precise, zeroing in on just the cancerous tumor. Focal HIFU offers the most precise, image-guided treatment – down to the millimeter – and results in fewer side effects by selectively destroying the cancerous cells within the prostate while leaving the healthy areas intact and functional.
Your doctor may recommend HIFU as a first treatment or as follow-up treatment for cancer that comes back after other therapies. During the procedure:
- You receive general anesthesia.
- Your doctor uses scans (ultrasound and MRI) to pinpoint diseased areas to treat.
- Using advanced computer software, your doctor creates a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique anatomy.
- An ultrasound probe inserted into the rectum delivers the sound waves to the designated areas.
- As the ultrasound energy heats up, it destroys targeted tissue while leaving surrounding tissue unharmed.
- The prostate and surrounding area may swell after treatment. You receive a temporary catheter at the end of the procedure to help drain the bladder, then go home the same day. Your doctor will remove the catheter when swelling comes down, usually within one week.
Benefits of HIFU
Standard ablation therapy used at other centers affects the entire prostate gland. It can cause extreme scarring of the prostate and surrounding tissues. As a result, the risk of urinary incontinence and other problems increases. By providing a more refined approach, HIFU limits or avoids these risks.
HIFU also offers other advantages. Because HIFU doesn’t require incisions, you can go home the same day. Other benefits include:
- Little, if any, damage to surrounding tissue
- Ability to combine with other prostate cancer treatments
- Preservation of nerves and blood vessels responsible for erections
- Low risk of urinary incontinence
- Minimal pain or discomfort during recovery
- Potential to repeat treatment if necessary
- Quicker return to activities
HIFU Side Effects
While HIFU is designed to limit or avoid complications from treatment, issues may still occur. If they do, our experts can help. Find out how we manage prostate cancer treatment side effects.
To make an appointment at the Maimonides Prostate Center, call 718-635-PROS (7767) or request an appointment online.