Many patients feel stress and anxiety when facing a medical procedure. Understanding what to expect from the procedure can help eliminate some of these feelings. If you opt for HIFU as your prostate cancer treatment, here is what you can expect from treatment.

Before Treatment

Prior to HIFU treatment, you will be given two enemas to empty the colon. Next, an IV is inserted to administer a light sedative to keep the patient still during the procedure. Then, spinal anesthetic given.

During Treatment

Patients do not experience pain during the treatment because of the anesthetic. The treatment begins with the insertion of a small probe into the rectum. This probe sends ultrasound waves into the prostate gland. When the Sonablate is the delivery device, the probe also captures real-time images of the gland and all surrounding tissue. This allows the physician to monitor the destruction of the tissue and change the treatment as needed. Treatment lasts between one and four hours, depending on the size of the prostate gland.

After Treatment

Most patients will remain at the treatment center for one to two hours after treatment. During this time, a catheter is inserted to allow urine to drain during healing, and most patients wear this for between one to four weeks. The average patient is able to walk within hours of receiving HIFU, returning to a normal lifestyle after just a few days. Mild side effects from treatment may include urgency, discharge in the urine, discomfort when urinating, frequency, or other mild urinary complaints. More serious side effects are less common but include rectal fistula, retention, incontinence urinary stricture, and erectile dysfunction.