A Minimally Invasive Treatment Option for Prostate Cancer

Destroying cancer cells while sparing healthy surrounding tissue has always been a goal of prostate cancer treatment. That’s possible with technology offered at the Eugene M. & Christine E. Lynn Cancer Institute.

High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a minimally invasive treatment for select prostate cancer patients. The treatment involves no cutting, no surgery and no radiation. But it can destroy prostate cancer with minimal risk of side effects.

About HIFU Treatment

HIFU treatment for prostate cancer uses sound waves to raise the temperature of prostate tissue, effectively killing cancer cells. Our Focal One® Robotic HIFU system combines precise imaging and robotic technology for focal ablation. Focal ablation allows us to target a specific area of the prostate without treating the entire prostate gland.

HIFU prostate treatment is like sunlight passing through a magnifying glass. Just as you can direct sunrays to raise the temperature of a specific point on a dried leaf, we can concentrate ultrasound waves and raise the temperature of a single point of the prostate. The waves pass through healthy tissue without doing damage until they reach their target.

Benefits of High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound

With Focal One HIFU, we personalize treatment to your specific cancer and anatomy. We avoid important structures, like nerves and muscles. So, there’s a low risk of side effects, such as erectile dysfunction and incontinence, which are possible with other treatments. Usually, you can resume most regular activities a short time after treatment.

The Focal One HIFU treatment for prostate cancer is relatively recent technology. However, physicians have used focused ultrasound in medicine for decades. It’s a proven and safe technology that offers positive outcomes.

Meet Our Team 


David A. Taub, M.D.

Director of Urologic Oncology and Robotic Urology

Frequently Asked Questions

  • HIFU works best for early-stage cancer confined to the prostate. Your healthcare team will talk with you about whether HIFU is a good option for you.

  • Before you come to the surgery center on the morning of your procedure, you will administer an enema to clean out your rectum. When you arrive for treatment, physicians use a general anesthetic so you will sleep through the procedure. Then, they insert an ultrasound probe into your rectum. This tool allows them to combine real-time ultrasound images with MRI imaging you get beforehand and your biopsy information. Your physician uses all this data to locate your cancer accurately and treat the problem area with ultrasound.

    Following HIFU prostate treatment, we insert a temporary catheter in your urethra. This thin, plastic tube allows urine to drain from your bladder and can be helpful if you experience temporary swelling after your procedure. The catheter typically stays in place for a week or less. Your healthcare team will teach you how to care for it.

  • We do HIFU treatment on an outpatient basis, so you can return home the same day of your procedure.

  • The HIFU ablation procedure itself usually takes 45 minutes to one hour. However, we take time to prepare you before your procedure. And after your treatment, we make sure you’ve recovered from anesthesia before allowing you to leave. Because of the anesthesia, you will need someone to drive you home.

  • You will have a follow-up visit five to seven days after your procedure. During this visit, your physician will remove your catheter.

    We do blood tests to check your prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels three months, six months and one year after your procedure. These tests help us monitor your response to treatment. We also do a follow-up MRI.

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