Ph: 614-442-3000
Fax: 614-442-3920
4845 Knightsbridge Blvd. Suite 200
Columbus, Ohio 43214
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What Is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)?

Boy with magnifying glass 

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) has joined the mainstream options for the treatment of prostate cancer.  HIFU is a noninvasive treatment with the capability of curing prostate cancer, without significant side effects.  HIFU is an outpatient procedure that has men returning to social and business functions in a matter of days.

HIFU has been used for well over a decade in more than 49 countries. This unique technology recently received FDA approval, and is now available in the U.S.  This is a milestone for prostate cancer treatment. This new technology is accompanied by a breakthrough in imaging technology, 3 Tesla MRI which allows us to direct therapy to only the areas of the prostate with disease. This is known as focal therapy. This is similar to lumpectomy used to treat breast cancer. Only the breast tissue with disease is treated.

Another way of thinking about focal treatment is cutting the brown spot out of an apple. By eliminating the bad spot only, normal prostate function is maintained. On the other hand, radical prostatectomy removes the entire prostate (throws away the apple) and the urinary tract must be reconstructed. This can lead to urinary control and sexual dysfunction issues.

HIFU treatment does not disrupt sexual functioning or urinary control. HIFU works by directing focused sound waves to create the precise amount of heat to destroy cancer cells. This can be compared to using a magnifying glass to focus the sun’s rays on a piece of paper, resulting in a fire. You would not however, feel the heat when passing your hand under the magnifying glass.

The development of 3T MRI and HIFU marks the most revolutionary developments in the early diagnosis and successful treatment of prostate cancer, in more than 30 years. To find out more about these developments please contact Dr. Herb Riemenschneider at or through his office at Riverside Urology, 4845 Knightsbridge Blvd, Suite 200, Columbus, Ohio 43214. Or call 614 442-3000.

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