Welcome to Melbourne HIFU
Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I’m on blood thinners, do I qualify?
A. Anticoagulants such as Asprin, Clopidogrel, Warfarin etc have to be ceased temporarily during HIF treatment, but can be started again soon after treatment.

Q. I’m taking hormone therapy, do I qualify?
A. Hormonal therapy can be used in conjunction with HIFU.

Q. Is there possibility that cancer can regrow within any remaining prostate at some point (eg 10 yrs) after treatment?
A. Recurrence of prostate cancer after HIFU is possible, as it is after any form of treatment. There are no long term studies to compare results of HIFU with surgery or radiation treatments, so the relative risks are unknown. Longterm patient review is therefore very important, so that further treatment can be provided if needed.

Q. If I am impotent or incontinent after HIFU, is there a chance I may get better?
A. Mild urinary incontinence after HIFU does improve with pelvic floor exercises. Impotence after HIFU can recover with Viagra or similar drugs, but some men don’t recover full sexual function.

Q. Why do some patients need a repeat HIFU treatment?
A. HIFU is a minimal invasive treatment relying on focused ultrasound to ablate prostate tissue. If the treatment is incomplete for technical or other reasons, then this will be evident by 3-6 months later, and a repeat HIFU treatment can be performed. A previous HIFU treatment does not exclude a subsequent robotic/radical prostatectomy or external beam radiation treatment.

Q. My doctor tells me that HIFU is 'experimental'?
A. HIFU has achieved safety and efficacy standards, allowing its clinical use for prostate cancer treatments in Australia, UK, Europe, Japan and Canada. FDA (Federal Drug Administration) trials are currently underway in USA, comparing HIFU to Cryotherapy, but results won't be known for several years.

Q. How do I know if HIFU has worked?
A. PSA tests are done at 6 weeks, 3, 6 and 12 months after HIFU. The PSA level should be <0.5 and remain stable over time. If there is doubt about the response to HIFU, then a repeat prostate biopsy is performed to sample any remaining tissue. Longer term monitoring is required, as for any prostate cancer treatment.

Q. What is the cost of HIFU?
A. HIFU treatment in Australia is currently not covered under Medicare. Some private health insurers pay for all or part of the cost of HIFU. If you submit a patient profile via this website, then we can inform you of the cost of HIFU in your specific circumstance.


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