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How to Prepare for HIFU Prostate Treatment

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a great way to target localized prostate cancer, without many of the negative side effects of other cancer treatments. Although HIFU prostate cancer treatment is a noninvasive therapy, there are some things you should know about the treatment so that you can prepare accordingly. Here’s what to expect when receiving HIFU therapy for prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer

At-Home Preparation

Most physicians will want the rectal cavity to be emptied before the procedure, which usually requires an enema the morning of the procedure. This is usually done at home a couple hours before the scheduled HIFU treatment. Some doctors may recommend antibiotics a few days before the procedure, and may order a prescription to help with emptying the bowels. It’s also important that you don’t eat or drink anything the day of the procedure, as is common with other medical procedures requiring general anesthesia.

Anesthesia

HIFU treatment is a noninvasive therapy, but it does require the use of anesthesia in order to keep the patient from moving. Fortunately, the amount of anesthesia is much less than other treatments because there are no incisions made. The anesthesia will also prevent any discomfort during the procedure.

Gathering Information

It’s extremely helpful to gather as much information as possible about the procedure. Hopefully, you’ve already had in-depth discussions with the doctor about how it works so that you’re comfortable with the process. Your doctor can give you detailed information about the areas being treated and how long the process will take. The treatment time can be as little as one hour and go up to 4 hours, depending on how much tissue is being treated.

Treatment

Once you’ve fallen asleep from the anesthesia the affected tissue can be treated using ultrasound to heat and destroy or ablate the cancerous tissue, while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. Since real-time imaging and rectal wall monitoring is utilized, the healthy tissue remains unaffected.

Recovery

There is little pain following the procedure, but any pain is easily managed with acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Antibiotics are often given to reduce risk of infection. A catheter will be in place for a few days, although you’ll be able to go home the day of the procedure. Most patients can resume normal activities in a day or two.