What is the detailed procedure for HIFU?
Prior to the procedure, the patient should take a light breakfast and normal fluids for the rest of the day. However, they should avoid to eat or drink anything at least 2 hours prior to the scheduled time of the procedure.
The patient is made to undergo a few tests, including blood tests, ECG, and X-ray prior to the procedure. They are also made to sign a consent before being sent to the anesthetist.
After all the pre-procedure formalities are done, the following steps are taken:
The patient is given spinal anesthesia and intravenous sedation at the start of the procedure. This is done to immobilize any movement and to ensure that the patient stays comfortable and restful during the procedure.
The patient is made to lie on his right side.
A probe dabbed with gel is placed inside a latex balloon containing a cooling liquid. This balloon is inserted into the rectum of the patient as the surgeon guides it to reach the prostate. The cooling liquid helps maintain the temperature of the rectal wall.
The urologists identify the boundary limit of the prostate gland and accordingly makes a note of the area that should be destroyed. As many as 400 to 600 pulses of high-intensity focused ultrasound are administered to destroy the cancer cells.
An exposure to high-intensity ultrasound swells up the prostate gland, which may constrict the urethra. Therefore, the surgeons place a temporary catheter into the bladder to drain urine. The catheter is removed after the swelling goes away.