Dr. Michael Lazar on HIFU for prostate cancer: In this Interview aired recently on iHeartRadio Dr. Lazar describes the many benefits of HIFU for early diagnosed prostate cancer.
“This is going to be a game-changer, without a doubt,” says Dr. Lazar. Listen to the interview by clicking the audio file above.
What is High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)?
HIFU is an FDA approved precise and targeted therapy that reduces the risk of complications caused by surgery and radiation.
HIFU uses ultrasound energy, or sound waves, to heat and destroy specifically targeted areas of tissue. During HIFU, the sound waves pass through healthy tissue without causing damage. However, at the focal point of the sound waves (like a magnifying glass focusing the rays of the sun to burn a leaf), the tissue temperature is raised to 90 degrees Celsius, destroying the targeted tissue.
Dr. Michael Lazar on HIFU for prostate cancer
Men treated with HIFU wake up and go home without pain or bleeding. They are able to travel the same day, drive the next day, and resume normal activities within a few days. Those with office based jobs can go back to work the next day. A catheter is left in for 5 days to 3 weeks, depending on how much of the gland is treated and/or the degree of swelling.
Focal Therapy is not associated with incontinence, and erectile dysfunction is just under 10%. Sparing of the urethra avoids scar tissue formation which, when present, may diminish the urinary stream. The eventual need for additional therapy is now under 10%.
Total Gland Therapy is necessary for men with significant cancer on both sides of the gland. Incontinence of a few drops of urine (soaking pads is not seen) is limited to 2-3%. Erectile dysfunction is only 10-20% as opposed to the much higher rates seen with surgery or radiation. Scar tissue formation occurs in 10-20% of men who have the whole gland treated due to the involvement of the urethra. We are developing techniques to treat the whole gland while sparing the urethra. Cancer cure rates are comparable to surgery and radiation.
Insurance coverage is now available via Medicare for HIFU procedure. The issuance of a facility billing code by Medicare which will save Medicare patients about $7,000, and help to mainstream HIFU. No doubt, conventional insurance companies will follow suit in the near future. This therapy should not be available only to those who can afford it.
Advantages of HIFU:
- No blood loss
- Quick recovery
- An outpatient procedure
11 Illing, R., Chapman, A. The clinical applications of high intensity focused ultrasound in the prostate. Int. J. Hyperthermia, March 2007; 23(2):183-191.
HIFU has therapeutic advantages over traditional prostate cancer therapies.
- Takes only one to four hours, depending on prostate size
- Performed as an out-patient procedure under a spinal (epidural) anesthesia
- Recovery time is minimal
- Patients are usually up and walking around within hours after the procedure and may return to a normal lifestyle within a couple of days
- A catheter is inserted during the procedure and usually worn for one to four weeks
Who is a Candidate for HIFU with the Sonablate®?
Sonablate® HIFU is most effective for men who have early stage, localized prostate cancer that has not spread or metastasized outside the prostate. However, it is recommended that you discuss your individual medical records and history with a physician in order to confirm whether or not you are a candidate for HIFU.
Many patients who have had radiation therapy, brachytherapy or external beam radiation and experience a rise in PSA have discovered that the cancer is back. These patients may be candidates for HIFU as well, as long as the cancer has not spread to the bone or other organs.
Additionally, patients who have a local recurrence after receiving a radical prostatectomy may qualify for HIFU.
Dr. Michael Lazar, a Santa Rosa urologist and prostate cancer expert, is the only Northern California physician recognized as a leader in the use of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for prostate cancer. He has performed more than 400 HIFU procedures to date, and has been successfully treating patients with HIFU since 2007.
“I invite you to contact me at my office in Northern California to begin discussing your prostate cancer treatment options.”
Call (707) 546-5553, or fill out our contact form.