HIFU technique – ultrasound therapeutic mean – efficient modern development that allows treatment without surgical intervention. High-intensity ultrasonic waves are able to penetrate deeply into tissues, reach cells affected by a particular pathology, and destroy them due to the accumulated thermal energy.
This non-invasive methodology is widely used for benign tumor’s elimination, especially those that form in hard-to-reach areas. With HIFU, the protoplasmic protein in the cells is destroyed by ultrasonic waves exposure – healthy tissues remain intact, since they are not affected in any way.
In the case of fighting carcinomas, HIFU treatment is used for thermal ablation of tumor cells. Focused exposure provokes complete coagulation necrosis – an irreversible process that takes place in cellular structures. This eliminates the risk of cancer cells spreading throughout the body through the bloodstream.
Key features of HIGH Intensity Focused Ultrasound: effectiveness & implementation
HIFU – relatively new development. Therefore, it has not yet been possible to obtain sufficient evidence of its success. Nevertheless, doctors have already been able to notice and appreciate the valuable effect HIFU has on patients. Some of the following clinical features that characterize this therapeutic method can be distinguished.
- HIFU is mainly used to remove small tumors or parts of large tumors that are too aggressive. If cancer cells have already spread throughout the body, HIFU cannot be used.
- With this technique, it is impossible to fight all types of cancerous tumors, since ultrasound cannot pass through bone’s mass or air cavities.
- Most often, HIFU is implemented to treat cancerous pathologies that develop in prostate gland – probe is inserted into the rectum under general anesthesia.
- Side effects from this procedure were not identified. In the first few days after therapy, the patient may experience some pain or discomfort in the area where the manipulations were performed.
The principle of HIFU technology: how manipulation is carried out
General procedure principle is as follows.
- A probe is inserted into the area where the tumor is located, through which high-energy waves enter the body and act directly on the tumor cells. The HIFU device also has a special ultrasound mechanism permitting doctors to visualize areas where formation is located and where the therapy is being carried out. This gives specialists the ability to monitor the process in real time.
- The sound waves heat the tissue up to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, focusing on tumor cells. The tissues around the formation do not heat up.
- After the end of the procedure, the probe is removed. Patients are under the supervision of doctors for some time – this is necessary so that specialists can evaluate the reaction of formation cells and organism as a whole.
HIFU facial treatment
HIFU has its implementation in cosmetology. Ultrasound energy is used for collagen fibers stimulation – tightening facial skin. Ultrasound penetrates to the bases of the collagen fibers and causes them to contract along their entire length. In addition, HIFU accelerates the formation of new fibers.
In case of prostate carcinoma, people must be given an enema before the procedure itself, and also, doctors are asked to refrain from eating 12 hours before the procedure.
Recovery after HIFU treatments
Within a few days after therapy, patients get doctors supervision and undergo a re-examination. Specialists compare the general indicators of the body with those observed before the procedure, and evaluate the degree of decay of cancer cells. In most cases, HIFU gives a high percentage of efficiency – about 97-98%, and almost zero risk of relapse.