HIFU Treatment Process

The HIFU Treatment

Knowing what to expect before a medical procedure can help relieve some of the stress and tension involved with facing the treatment. Here is what you can expect if you and your physician decide HIFU is the right option for your prostate cancer.

Before HIFU

The procedure starts with two enemas to completely empty the colon. Just before the procedure, an IV is inserted. Light sedation is sent through the IV to keep the patient still during the procedure. A spinal anesthetic is then administered, and treatment begins.

During HIFU

Because of the anesthetic, patients experience no pain during the treatment. The small probe is inserted into the rectum. It emits ultrasound waves into the prostatic tissue. When HIFU is performed with the Sonablate, the probe also captures real-time images of the gland and surrounding tissue, so doctors can monitor the tissue’s response. The treatment time varies based on the prostate’s size but ranges between one and four hours.

After HIFU

Patients stay at the treatment facility for one to two hours after they receive HIFU. After the patient is discharged, recovery is minimal. A catheter is used to help drain urine while the area heals, typically for a period of one to four weeks. Most patients can walk several hours after HIFU, resuming their normal lifestyles after a few days. Some patients experience mild urinary complaints, such as urgency, discomfort, discharge in urine, or frequency. More stressful side effects may include erectile dysfunction, rectal fistula, urinary stricture, retention, and incontinence.