What is high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for enlarged prostate?

In the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) uses ultrasound energy to heat and to destroy the obstructing prostate tissue instead of coagulating it as with transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT) or transurethral needle ablation (TUNA). A transrectal probe gives off waves that focus on a precise area of the prostate. HIFU uses very high temperatures.

As an invasive procedure, HIFU should be effective and produce durable results. Early results of studies that focus on this technique are promising but not convincing. No placebo-controlled or randomized comparison studies have been reported. Such studies are needed before HIFU can be recommended as a viable alternative.

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