Santa Rosa Urologist Dr. Michael Lazar celebrates California HIFU’s first anniversary with look back at October 2015 when HIFU received approval from Food and Drug Administration for use in the U.S.
High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a technology that targets cancer cells with precision in a one to four-hour procedure that has little or no side effects, provides a remarkably quick recovery rate, and gives men diagnosed with prostate cancer a less invasive option over surgery or radiation.
“The oncological results for HIFU is comparable to more traditional prostate cancer treatments including radical surgery or radiation. But the side effects for HIFU patients have proven to be much less debilitating than more radical procedures,” says Dr. Lazar. “For example, if the HIFU procedure is performed in the morning, a patient is typically ambulatory by dinnertime and can often return to normal activity within a few days without the use of pain-killers.”
Sonablate was the first focused ultrasound ablation device to receive regulatory authorization from the FDA for prostate cancer. Although relatively new to the U.S. Sonablate® technology has been used around the world on more than 15,000 patients in over 30 countries for 15 years. Approximately 4,000 U.S. men have received HIFU treatment outside the U.S. prior to FDA approval.
Recognizing its potential as a less invasive treatment option with the ability to eliminate prostate cancer while preserving patient quality of life, Dr. Lazar became one of the early advocates for HIFU. Once fully trained in the technology, he began treating U.S. prostate cancer patients in Mexico beginning in 2007. He performed outpatient procedures at a U.S. Joint Commission approved bilingual hospital in Mexico – helping to bring this innovative prostate cancer treatment to hundreds of men diagnosed with the disease. During that time Dr. Lazar also served as a HIFU instructor for other physicians and is now actively training doctors in San Francisco.
Immediately following FDA approval in 2015, HIFU Prostate Services (HPS) became the first company to establish centers in the United States offering Sonablate HIFU technology to prostate cancer patients. Serving as Medical Director for HPS Dr. Lazar simultaneously founded California HIFU to provide HIFU services in the San Francisco area, the first such facility on the west coast. Since that time HIFU using Sonablate® technology has become available in more than 40 locations across the nation.
How Patients Respond to HIFU
For patients with prostate cancer, HIFU treatment is most effective in the early stages, where it is localized to the prostate. It is performed on an out-patient basis in just a few hours. The procedure preserves healthy tissue and nerves, so urine flow and erectile function is maintained in a high percent of cases, as compared to radical surgery or radiation.
Several of Dr. Lazar’s HIFU patients recently came together to tell their stories and to share their personal experience with prostate cancer in a poignant new video titled California HIFU Patient Stories video. “The biggest benefit of HIFU for me was lack of risk compared to the other options,” says one patient. The results “have been exactly as Dr. Lazar described it to me,” another patient says. “I think I would be a much more crippled individual with other forms of treatment,” says another, adding “…. there’s very little worry involved in this procedure.” For more patient stories visit the California HIFU YouTube channel.
About Dr. Lazar
Dr. Lazar is part of Northern California Medical Associates and operates California HIFU in Santa Rosa. He is the medical director of HIFU Prostate Services, LLC, a leading provider of minimally-invasive prostate cancer treatments using High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU). Dr. Lazar is also a clinical partner with HPS with the HIFU San Francisco Surgery Center of Excellence, a state-of-the-art facility that is convenient to hotels and the airport. For more information about Dr. Lazar, HIFU treatment for prostate cancer visit the HIFU website or to make an appointment call: (707) 546-5553.