High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) prostate cancer treatment is one of the most rapidly growing treatment methods around the world. HIFU is a therapy option for localized prostate cancer that may offer a balance between eliminating cancer and maintaining quality of life. HIFU in India offers a non-invasive alternative to the traditional treatments for uterine fibroids. It combines magnetic resonance (MR) imaging with HIFU.
In India, Apollo Hospitals was the first to introduce the Philips MRI-guided HIFU. Prior to this, existing treatment options included medication or surgical removal of fibroids. In contrast, MR-HIFU from Philips offers women a quicker, non-invasive and precise treatment option.
According to doctors, the MR-HIFU system uses safe and focused ultrasound waves to heat and coagulate benign or cancerous tumour tissue deep inside the body without damaging intervening tissue, and combines this with advanced treatment planning, guidance and temperature monitoring provided by MR.
The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, with the patient leaving the hospital the same day and almost fully recovering within a few days. The procedure can cost up to 1 lakh but is covered under insurance schemes.
Advantages of HIFU in India
• HIFU treatment is not as invasive as radical prostatectomy, brachytherapy or cryotherapy.
• It requires a short hospital stay of less than 24 hours.
• The treatment can be repeated if necessary.
Preparing for HIFU
HIFU is usually done as a day-case procedure under general anaesthesia. A spinal anaesthetic with intravenous sedation is administered before treatment begins. The patient will lie down on his right hand side for the duration of the treatment process. The robotic probe is covered with a degassed liquid filled balloon. The probe is then lubricated and inserted via the anus into the rectum. The probe is positioned near the prostate so the ultrasound treatment can begin.
Treatment Procedure for HIFU
Once the treatment plan is complete, the shooting phase of the treatment can begin. The prostate can be treated in a single pass with the lesion height range from 19mm to 26mm (anterior-posterior distance). 400 to 800 adjacent lesions are required to cover the entire prostate volume.
The tissue in the targeted zones is destroyed with intense, very fast, highly localized heat. Each ultrasound shot is oval-shaped, measuring up to 26mm high by 2mm or less in diameter. The process continues until all of the targeted areas are treated. Depending on the volume of the prostate, the treatment can last 2 to 2 ½ hours.