What is HIFU?
The basic concept
In order to understand the basic concept of high intensity focused ultrasound (or HIFU), an analogy can be drawn between the focusing of sound waves and the ablation of prostate tissue, to the focusing of sun rays and burning a leaf. When a magnifying glass is held above a leaf in the correct position on a sunny day, the sun's rays are focused below the lens, causing the leaf to burn at the focal point.
The same principle is at work with HIFU. Instead of light as the energy source, HIFU utilizes sound; instead of a magnifying glass, HIFU uses a transducer that is shaped to focus the sound waves at a specific depth. Just as the light rays between the magnifying glass and the paper would not burn your hand, the ultrasound waves do not burn the tissue through which they travel to get to the focal point; they only generate enough heat to cause tissue damage at the focal point of the transducer. With Sonablate® state-of-the-art technology, HIFU can be used to ablate targeted tissue in a procedure that is customized by the physician according to each patient’s clinical diagnosis and prostate needs.