Overview of Ablatherm HIFU Treatment

ablatherm hifu procedure

How HIFU is Performed


Ablatherm® HIFU treatments are performed as an outpatient procedure.


The treatment is performed transrectally with spinal anesthesia and intravenous sedation. A probe is placed in the rectum with the patient lying on the right side. The probe emits a beam of high intensity focused ultrasound.

At the point where the ultrasound waves are focused (focal point) the sudden and intense absorption of the ultrasound beam creates a sudden elevation of the temperature (to greater than 85°C), which destroys the cells located in the targeted zone.

About Ablatherm Hifu 7.5MHz ultrasound provides real time integrated imaging of the prostate while 3MHz high intensity ultrasound waves are focused through the rectal wall to the targeted prostate area. (Click image for larger view.)

The targeted zone destroyed by each pulse is oval-shaped and measures from 19 to 24mm in height, 1.7mm in width and 1.7mm in thickness. By repeating the pulses, and moving the focal point, it is possible to destroy the volume of the whole prostate (400 to 600 pulses are generally done to treat the volume previously defined). The treatment duration varies according to prostate volume (2 to 2 1/2 hours).

Swelling of the prostate appears during the treatment and compresses the urethra. A temporary urinary catheter is placed until the edema recedes (which takes generally 14 days, depending on the case).

Follow-up after HIFU

The patient is discharged the day of the treatment and can return to a normal diet that evening. The urinary catheter is generally removed 14 days after the session.

Prophylactic antibiotics are prescribed following the treatment for 2 weeks. PSA level measurements are performed every three months for 2 years, then every 6 months thereafter.

After treatment you may notice mild bleeding in the beginning of urinating, frequent and sometimes urgent urination and mild leakage on exertion, and elimination of necrotic debris (these are usually transient and self-limited).

Ablatherm HIFU Treatment Overview

This therapy is available as a therapeutic option for localized prostate cancer with the advantages of a non-invasive treatment: precise local treatment in one session, repeatable if necessary, a low complication rate* and completed in an outpatient setting.

Alblatherm HIFU treatment overviewThis treatment is recommended for patients with localized cancer (stages T-1 and T-2) patients who want an alternative to surgery or radiation.

Additionally, this treatment can be used for cure with patients who have local recurrence after external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).

The Ablatherm® HIFU treatment is presently being used in most countries worldwide.