Effective Ablation of Prostate Cancer


The tissue in the focal area of the HIFU device is destroyed by the rapid rise in heat caused by the ultrasound energy. There is also a mechanical effect called cavitation where the ultrasound energy creates microscopic bubbles in the tissue which collapse and break apart the cells. Once the heat and mechanical forces damage the cells, they cannot survive. 

What is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)?


High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, is sound wave energy. Most everyone has heard of ultrasound, which is used to create images of the inside of the body. Ultrasound used in imaging is low energy and not focused. In HIFU, the ultrasound waves are high energy and focused on a small area. These focused ultrasound waves generate intense heat, with temperatures in the target tissue reaching 90 degrees Celsius within a few seconds. 

Precise and Accurate

The Sonablate creates lesions that are 3 mm in diameter and 10-12 mm tall. This allows for the surgeon to apply the destructive energy very precisely and accurately, minimizing the chance of damage to vital structures near the prostate (the rectum, the urinary sphincter, the cavernosal nerves that enable erections). Tissue outside the focal area of the HIFU remains unharmed.

Sonablate HIFU

The Sonablate is a non-invasive medical device manufactured by SonaCare Medical (Charlotte, NC).

It has been developed to ablate prostate tissue which can be utilized by trained physicians for treating prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia in men.

Dr. Myers at the console treating a patient with HIFU using the Sonablate system.

The control panel of the Sonablate HIFU device.

About half way through the HIFU treatment, the middle zone of the prostate. The red blocks show where treatment has occurred. The red dashes where treatment has yet to be done.

Tissue Change Monitoring technology (or TCM) gives feedback on whether a treatment area has been treated adequately (indicated by a orange or yellow box). We go back and add additional treatment to areas that show inadequate treatment (indicated by a green box). This TCM technology helps us ensure complete treatment of the cancer.

What is HIFU?

Northwest HIFU


© Dr. Stanley Myers

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