HIFU, or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, is a precise, non-invasive therapy for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. HIFU involves focusing ultrasound energy (or high energy sound waves) on prostate tissue to heat and destroy cancer cells. The focal point of the ultrasound beam is directed on the targeted prostate tissue while not damaging nearby healthy tissue, similar to focusing sunlight through a magnifying glass.

HIFU is an acoustic ablation technology that harnesses the power of ultrasound energy (sound waves) to destroy prostate cancer tissue. HIFU works by quickly heating tissue at a specific focal zone to destroy the tissue.

A good analogy for HIFU treatment of prostate tissue is sunlight focused through a magnifying glass to burn something. When a magnifying glass is held in a certain position, the sun’s rays intersect at the ‘focal point’ below the lens. If you place your hand in the path of one of the sun’s rays individually, there is no significant heat felt or harm caused. However, if instead you place your hand at the point where the sunlight converges or intersects, you will feel the heat and may actually be burned. The scientific principles of HIFU are very similar. Instead of sunlight as the energy source, HIFU utilizes high-energy sound waves.

This principle enables us to precisely treat specific areas of the prostate while avoiding any effect on important nearby structures such as the rectum, urinary sphincter or neurovascular bundles. Avoiding any effect on the nearby anatomic structures is critical because this means that there are minimal related side effects of treatment. By avoiding any effect on the external urinary sphincter, continence is preserved. By avoiding any effect on the neurovascular bundles, which provide erectile function, sexual function is preserved. By avoiding any effect on the ejaculatory ducts, ejaculate is preserved. Our Sarasota Prostate screening and treatment center offers HIFU to patients in Florida.

HIFU is a safe, highly effective, non-invasive treatment option for men with localized prostate cancer. HIFU offers excellent oncologic outcomes while minimizing the significant morbidity and side effects that can occur with other treatments.

Benefits of HIFU over other prostate cancer treatments include:

  • Outpatient procedure requiring no hospitalization
  • Minimal recovery time
  • Patients quickly return to a normal lifestyle within a few days
  • No radiation effect
  • Effective cancer control
  • Excellent option for treatment of radiation failures
  • Can be used as a salvage technique to treat prostate cancer that has failed other treatments
  • No blood loss
  • Repeatable
  • Minimal associated side effects

Dr. Tracy Gapin, is one of a handful of specialists who have extensive experience treating patients with HIFU using the SonaCare Sonablate® device.

HIFU’s excellent outcomes, quick recovery and minimal risk of side effects has made it the treatment of choice for more than 40,000 men in countries across the globe. More than 7,000 men in the U.S. have travelled abroad to receive HIFU treatment, prior to its FDA clearance.

HIFU is cleared for prostate tissue ablation in the U.S. and is performed at Sarasota Prostate Care.