First prostate cancer patients in the Washington, D.C., region are treated with High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) without surgery
WASHINGTON — MedStar Washington Hospital Center is now offering an advanced, non-invasive treatment for men with early-stage prostate cancer that has not spread outside of the prostate gland. Sonablate® HIFU, or High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, uses sound energy to precisely target and destroy only the diseased portion of the prostate without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.
"Sonablate HIFU is an alternative for patients who want to take action and preserve their quality of life but do not yet qualify for surgery, or radiation,” said Ross Krasnow, MD, a urologic oncologist at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. "This new option destroys only the affected cancerous tissue, protecting the healthy surrounding tissue, and preserves urinary and sexual function in men. This focal approach allows patients to recover quickly and return to their normal routines with minimal downtime.”
On January 11, Dr. Krasnow performed the first Sonablate HIFU procedures in the Washington region on two patients. Both patients went home the same day and are recovering well, largely because the procedure does not involve incisions.
HIFU typically takes one and a half to three hours, depending on the amount of targeted tissue being destroyed. Patients are under anesthesia during the procedure, and typically will have a urinary catheter for three to five days.
In addition to surveillance, other treatment options for prostate cancer include radiation and surgery, but these procedures can come with life-altering side effects, such as urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men. About 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed in their lifetime.