Greater Boston Urology Blog

What is HIFU?

In his own words, Dr. James C. Lin gives a quick primer on HIFU for the treatment of prostate cancer. You can also watch the video below—he discusses everything at the 2:15 mark. (We've lightly edited the transcript for readability.)

"HIFU is something we're very, very proud to offer within our practice. HIFU stands for high intense focal ultrasound ablation of the prostate. It is a procedure that we use to manage prostate cancer.

What HIFU is, is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, and what we're doing is we're applying very focused beams of intense heat to ablate the prostate. We're raising the tissue temperatures to over 50 degrees Celsius. Unlike radiation, unlike even cryotherapy where we freeze the prostate, we can control the beams of heat very, very well down to the millimeter.

Using the intense heat, the cancer cells and the prostate cells, we expect them to die. It is a great alternative to surgery and radiation, specifically for any man who does not want a long recovery, doesn't want to have invasive surgery, and doesn't want to have the risk of incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

It is quite satisfying for me to see that I'm actually very quickly doing some good and making the patients better right away. When the patients are grateful and they are happy, it does send a really positive impact upon me."

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