Welcome to Melbourne HIFU
Why is HIFU better?
  1. Lower complications and side effects
  2. Proven efficacy in studies (patient selection is important)
  3. HIFU is repeatable
  4. Short hospital stay (usually overnight)
  5. Fast recovery time
  6. HIFU can be used before or after other forms of treatment

Click above for more details on benefits of HIFU


1) Lower complication and side effects
Advice based on our own prospective data of HIFU treated patients
a) Short term complications
  • Some patients experience difficulty passing urine and may require a catheter for an extra week, failing which they would require a Cystoscopy as a day procedure, to clear the treated tissue from the prostate. Our own studies on HIFU treated patients showed no overall increase in urinary symptoms up to 12 months after treatment.
  • A small number of patients may experience mild redness or swelling around the scrotum and penile skin that resolves within a week.
  • 7% patients experience mild rectal symptoms such as bleeding, loose stools or mucus in stools that resolves within a week.
  • 1% of patients have risk of a rectal fistula, which is a communication between the prostate and rectum due to overheating of the rectum during HIFU. This complication may require surgical correction. (The rectal cooling safety features with HIFU technology have now minimized the risk of this complication)
b) Long term complications
  • Urethral stricture risk 9%, which may require urethral dilation or incision.
  • Urinary incontinence risks
  • Stress incontinence requiring a pad 4% (leak with cough, sneeze or straining)
  • Overall normal continence 88% after HIFU
  • Overall normal continence 88% after HIFU
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Sexual/erectile function assessed with IIEF self administered patient questionnaire (International Index Erectile Function) showed overall sexual activity reduced by 20%, and specific erectile function reduced by 25% at 6-12 months after HIFU.
  • The risks of HIFU compare very favourably with Robotic/Radical Prostatectomy and are comparable to Brachytherapy/Radiation Therapy.

2) Proven efficacy as Prostate Cancer Treatment

Following successful HIFU treatment patients are evaluated with PSA blood tests, and in some cases a repeat prostate biopsy. The objective is to achieve PSA <0.5 with either no further increase in PSA level and/or negative repeat prostate biopsy.

This is referred to as clinical disease free survival.

Long term data on prostate cancer specific mortality rates are currently not available.

Selected Reports of Efficacy HIFU treatment Localised Prostate Cancer.
(Ab = Ablatherm HIFU, Son = Sonablate HIFU)
Study Device Number
Stage Median
Follow up
after HIFU
Thuroff 2003 Ab 402 10.9 2-4 (13.2%)
5-7 (77.5%)
8-10 (9.3%)
T1-2 13 87.2%
Uchida 2006 Son 63 11.2 2-4 (21%)
5-7 (73%)
8-10 (15%)
T1-2 23.3 87%
Warmuth 2007
HIFU Review
3018     T1-2 15 80%
Blana 2008 Ab 163 7.6 </=7'
T1-2 57 92.7%
Son 172 8.1   T1-2 12 92.4%
Ab 803 9.1 <=6(63.5)
7 (30.1)
T1-2 42 85%

3) HIFU is repeatable
Some patients may not achieve complete prostate ablation after the first HIFU treatment, and this would be evident as PSA >0.5 and a repeat prostate biopsy.

This may be due to technical reasons such as prostate size or prostate calcification. However HIFU can be repeated if necessary, with the intention of achieving complete ablation of remaining prostate tissue.

4) Short hospital stay
Patients are taught self care of the urinary catheter before the procedure, and usually only stay in hospital overnight. Patients then return for removal of the catheter within 3-4 days.

Catheter care and removal is under the supervision of our Oncology Nurse in the Urology suite.

5) Fast recovery time
HIFU patients report occasional discomfort, but HIFU is not a painful treatment and the majority of men are back to work or usual physical activity within a week.

6) HIFU can be used before or after other forms of treatment
HIFU can be used as salvage treatment for men who have failed previous radiotherapy treatment.

If HIFU was used as a primary treatment and there is treatment failure, patients can then opt for other forms of treatment such as prostate surgery (robotic/radical prostatectomy) or external beam radiation therapy.
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