Have questions about HIFU treatment for prostate cancer and need answers? We have some HIFU FAQs for you here! If you have a question that isn’t listed here, fill out the contact form at the bottom or on the contact form tab and we will answer as soon as possible!
How long until I can have the procedure done?
Generally, about 3 weeks
Is this an inpatient or outpatient procedure?
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure takes 2-4 hours. HIFU patients check in at the treatment center about 1 – 2 hours pre treatment and will recover for up to 2 hours after treatment
Are there any medications that I should avoid prior to treatment?
You will discuss this with your HIFU physician, but generally, you will need to stop blood thinners (anticoagulant and anti platelet drugs)
Has HIFU been well researched?
Although HIFU therapy was FDA cleared for prostate ablation in October 2015, the technology has been around for three decades and has been used to treat prostate cancer since 1995. Several studies have been published on HIFU effectiveness showing men that with low- to moderate-risk disease achieve excellent disease-free rates and excellent negative biopsy rates. The recent HIFU studies show that prostate cancer specific survival ten years following the procedure is 97 percent, which is similar to traditional treatments; 10 year metastasis-free survival is 97 percent
How effective is HIFU compared to other treatments?
HIFU has similar efficacy to traditional more invasive treatments
How much experience do you have with the technology?
Collectively, Vituro Health physicians and engineers have the most expertise and experience than any other provider in the United States
Insurance and Medicare
Will my insurance cover the cost?
Effective January 1st, 2021, the AMA has issued a category 1 CPT code for HIFU treatment (55880) which allows for Physicians, Facilities, and Anesthesiologists to bill for their respective services associated with HIFU treatment. For more information, visit our HIFU-Insurance page or fill out a contact form.
Do you offer a payment plan?
We work with each patient individually. Please contact Vituro Health for my information
Will I be able to deduct the cost of HIFU from my income taxes?
You may be able to deduct HIFU as a medical expense from your income taxes. Please consult your accountant for more information.
What is the cost of HIFU treatment?
Out of pocket costs can vary depending on factors such as physician, facility, insurance providers, etc. For more information, fill out a contact form.
Candidacy and Health
What prostate cancer treatment options do I have?*
Active Surveillance: No treatment. Monitor cancer with frequent PSA tests and prostate biopsy every 1 -2 years
HIFU: High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound, non-invasive
TULSA-PRO®: Transurethral ULtraSound Ablation of the Prostate
Radiation: Uses high-energy radiation treat the entire prostate
Radical Prostatectomy: Removal of the entire prostate gland
*There are many alternative treatments and not all treatment options are right for everyone. Consult with your Vituro Health partner physician to determine which treatment options are right for you.
How do I know which treatment method is right for me?
It is up to you and your physician to determine if HIFU is an option for you.
What makes someone a good candidate for HIFU treatment?
Men with cancer confined or localized to the prostate may be good candidates for HIFU. Prostate size, tumor size and location (as determined by MRI), urinary function and sexual function are all factors that your HIFU physician will consider in discussing your candidacy for HIFU treatment.
I have a history with cardiac health problems. Do I still qualify?
In most cases, yes but all cardiac patients will need to visit with their cardiologist and get “cardiac clearance” as well as be reviewed by the anesthesiologist to ensure that the administration of general anesthesia is safe prior to the procedure. Make sure you discuss all health concerns with your Vituro Health partner physician.
I am diabetic. Will this interfere with the procedure?
It should not, but again make sure you discuss all prior health concerns with your Vituro Health partner physician
How HIFU works
What is focal treatment?
HIFU is a minimally invasive prostate tissue ablation option that allows the physician to deliver precise and focused ablation to the tumor and the surrounding area only. Focal treatment means that only a portion of the prostate is treated
During HIFU is the entire prostate destroyed?
HIFU treatment can be used to destroy as much or as little of the prostate as is necessary as determined by biopsy and MRI information
What are the chances of urinary incontinence?
The risk of urinary incontinence is very low. With focal therapy, the risk is 1% or less
Is the HIFU procedure painful?
Generally no, and you can return to normal activity within a few hours
What happens to the prostate after the procedure?
Your body will reabsorb (internally heal) the prostate. Most patients will pass a small amount of treated prostate tissue in the urinary stream
How does HIFU compare to other treatments in terms of side effects?
HIFU is less invasive than traditional treatments like surgery or radiation. The risk of incontinence is extremely low and most men will maintain erectile function. When focal (targeted partial treatment) can be done, the risk of urinary leakage or drip is under 1% and 90% of men maintain erectile function. You are encouraged to discuss your specific risks with your Vituro Health partner physician.
What can I expect if I choose HIFU to treat my prostate cancer?
Through the Vituro Health Ambassador program, you can speak with someone confidentially about their treatment journey. You will be paired with a peer who will share their firsthand experience with prostate cancer. To learn more about the ambassador program, click here
Is the procedure repeatable?
HIFU uses ultrasound energy, not radiation, to destroy targeted tissue so the procedure can be repeated, if necessary.
Is there a chance the cancer could return at some point after treatment?
Yes. Prostate cancer can return after any prostate cancer treatment. The chance of recurrence is 10 – 30% based on the grade (aggressiveness) and stage of your cancer.
Will I require additional medications after treatment?
Most men will take medications for a few weeks to help with recovery of urinary function.
When will I be able to have a glass of wine or beer?
You may return to resume a normal diet within a few hours of your treatment. It is best to wait 24 hours after anesthesia to consume alcoholic beverages.
How long will I have to wear a catheter after my treatment, and what kind?
Most men have a standard Foley catheter for 5 – 14 days depending on how much of the prostate was treated.