HIFU utilizes a novel method of using high-frequency ultrasound waves to heat and destroys cancer cells in the prostate. There is no surgery involved, and the technique is very safe and effective due to its non- invasive methodology and involvement of minimal post-treatment risks. HIFU treatment effectively eradicates the cancer cells in prostate tissue, reducing them to protein detritus and waste tissues. Most of this tissue is expelled through the urinary tract while some are dealt through the body’s natural pathway of dealing with waste tissue.
Prostate cancer: symptoms
Enlargement of the prostate is caused either due to prostate hyperplasia or due to prostate cancer. In the case of malignant prostate growth, the symptoms may be entirely hidden and unnoticed during the initial period of cancer development, as the tumor is not big enough to apply enough pressure on the urethra. And hence consultation by the best urologist is highly needed. The symptoms, however, includes-
- Frequent, uncontrolled urination
- Difficulty in passing urine
- A feeling of incomplete urination, not being able to empty the bladder completely
Some rare symptoms of prostate cancer include-
- Pain while passing urine
- Spotting blood in urine or semen
- Pain in bony areas like hips and back
When can HIFU treatment for prostate be used?
Although HIFU treatment is less risky and non- invasive, there are certain cases and parameters when HIFU can be applied for treating prostate cancer.
- Useful for treating solitary tumors or a part of large tumors. This infers that the same cannot be used for treating cancer that has spread outside the prostate.
- It can be used for newly diagnosed tumors.
- It can be used for recurring prostate cancer.
Benefits of HIFU treatment
The benefits of HIFU treatment for prostate includes-
- Diabetic patients can be treated too.
- Even Cardiac patients can avail of this surgery.
- It can be used along with hormone therapy.
- Includes zero or minimal injury to the rectum
- Zero radiation exposure
- Very less bed- rest time and operating time.
How long does HIFU treatment take?
HIFU surgery takes merely 2 to 3 hours for the actual proceedings. Before the treatment, the patient is examined by the best urologist, a member of the anesthesiology staff, and a nurse involved in the treatment plan. This can take approximately one and a half hours to two hours. Then the surgery will last for approximately 3 hours and the recovery will require a few hours. In all, it is advisable to take a day off for availing this surgery and come along with a friend or relative to assist you back through your return journey as the operation includes giving intravenous sedatives.
HIFU treatment is performed by the mejor urologo or urological surgeon trained in HIFU technique and involves the following steps-
Preparing the case history: The medical history of the patients is studied by an anesthesiologist before giving any anesthesia. Those patients, who have a cardiac problem history, have to forward their blood work and electrocardiograph in advance of the treatment.
Anesthesia: HIFU treatment involves the use of spinal anesthesia for which is an intravenous sedative. The anesthesia is quite important as the patient remains comfortable throughout the treatment. It also avoids the possible movements of the body parts as it is a must to remain motionless for the equipment to work properly.
Mapping: After giving the anesthesia, the urologists need to decide how much time will the surgery take and which areas need to be treated. For this, they map the size of the prostate.
Delivering the high-intensity waves: After the mapping of the prostate, a probe is placed in the rectum which emits a beam of high intensity focused ultrasound. This focusing generates intense heat and destroys the tissue inside the targeted zone without damaging surrounding tissues.