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HIFU for Prostate Cancer. Pros and Cons

HIFU for prostate cancer treatment uses ultrasonic energy in order to heat and destroy specific areas of the prostatic tissue.


Advantages of HIFU for prostate cancer

The following are the therapeutic advantages over other traditional treatments for prostate cancer:

– The treatment lasts from one to three hours.

– It is an outpatient procedure. In some cases, you will need hospitalization for 24 hours under spinal anaesthesia (epidural).

– The time for recovery is minimal.

– Usually, patients recover a few hours after the procedure and can return to normal life in a few days.


Who can be a candidate for HIFU treatment?

-HIFU treatment is more effective in men who suffer from prostate cancer in an early stage, localized, as long as it has not spread outside the prostate.

-Many patients who have submitted to external radiotherapy experience an increase in prostatic specific antigen. When we perform a biopsy (an examination of tissue removed) we find out that cancer has recurred. These patients can be candidates for HIFU treatment.

-Also, some patients with local recurrence of prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy are candidates for HIFU.


The procedure

It is normally performed in two surgical times. It may require one surgical time (in patients with small prostates), or two separate surgeries (in patients with large prostates).

First, specialists remove endoscopically the benign prostatic tissue in about 30 minutes. We carry out this step with a green laser because it allows very effective removal of this tissue, with minimal risk of bleeding and complications. In the second time, the patient is placed on the HIFU treatment table, and the treatment probe is inserted to destroy the prostate tumour.


Pros of HIFU for prostate cancer

  1. HIFU uses clean energy. The patient does not expose to radiation that can damage or weaken cells and tissue surrounding the prostate.
  2. HIFU is performed under spinal anaesthesia (epidural) eliminating risks associated with general anaesthesia.
  3. Specialists can repeat the treatment, if necessary.
  4. Patients can look for other treatment options (radiation, cryotherapy, surgery, etc.) if treatment with HIFU is not enough to control the tumour.
  5. HIFU can be the rescue treatment for local recurrence of prostate cancer after radiation therapy or surgery.
  6. HIFU preserves the quality of life by diminishing the side effects such as incontinence or impotence.


Cons of HIFU for prostate cancer

HIFU treatment is non-invasive and in favourable cases preserves the nerves responsible for potency. Additionally, the procedure does not injury the muscles that control the urinary function. Although some studies report a low incidence of impotence or incontinence after HIFU, patients must discuss all the side effects and complications with their doctors before undergoing the treatment.


At the Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to perform HIFU for prostate cancer. Book an appointment to get a checkup.


You might also want to read: Prostate Cancer Treatment Options



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