HIFU ultrasound

High-intensity focused ultrasound is a new treatment for localised cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.. The aim of it is to use ultrasound energy (high-frequency sound waves) to heat and destroy prostate cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. cells.


See a brief animation showing how the ultrasound probe targets the prostate from the rectum

Recommended:

  • If you have localised prostate cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.
  • To treat cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. that has returned following previous treatment.

HIFUAn abbreviation for high intensity focused ultrasound, a relatively new method for treating cancer using focused ultrasound waves. is performed under general anaestheticAny agent that reduces or abolishes sensation, affecting the whole body. or using an epiduralOn or over the dura mater, the outermost of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The epidural space is used for anaesthetising spinal nerve roots, for example during pregnancy..

A probe is inserted into the rectum and gives out a beam of ultrasound. This is focused so that it will heat and destroy the cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. cells.

Surgery to remove part of the prostate may be necessary before HIFUAn abbreviation for high intensity focused ultrasound, a relatively new method for treating cancer using focused ultrasound waves. treatment.

HIFUAn abbreviation for high intensity focused ultrasound, a relatively new method for treating cancer using focused ultrasound waves. usually takes a few hours, depending on the size of the prostate. You will need a catheterA tube used either to drain fluid from the body or to introduce fluid into the body. for about seven to ten days afterwards while the prostate heals.

Advantages of HIFU ultrasound

  • Treatments can be repeated
  • May be as effective as surgery or radiotherapy for localised prostate cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body.
  • May be safer than other treatments that involve destroying or removing part of the prostate.

Disadvantagesof HIFU ultrasound

  • Urinary incontinenceThe involuntary passage of urine or faeces., including leakage of urine when sneezing or coughing
  • Problems getting erections
  • Damage to the bowel
  • Possible narrowing (fistulaAn abnormal channel between a hollow organ and either another hollow organ, or the outside of the body.) of the the urethra
  • A fistulaAn abnormal channel between a hollow organ and either another hollow organ, or the outside of the body. could develop between the rectum and the urethra.