Ultrasound Ablation (HIFU Therapy)

Ultrasound ablation is a new treatment for benign and malignant tumors. For the first time, a modern technique after thoughtful clinical trials was used in 2009. And immediately they started talking about her as a technology with great potential.

HIFU therapy

The method is known because of non-invasive nature, high efficiency and the possibility of repeated use. Experts believe that HIFU therapy gives good results in the treatment of formations of various localization and can be used for lesions of the abdominal cavity and genitourinary system.

The peculiarity of the procedure is that it is carried out not according to the scans, but according to the image in real time. This allows you to act on the affected area with maximal accuracy.

Over the past years, the high efficiency of the technology is confirmed by statistical data. One important indicator is the 5-year survival rate after the intervention.

Today, the HIFU method has been successfully applied in many countries. During this time, more than 100 thousand operations were performed in the world.

The benefits of ultrasound ablation

In addition to high efficiency, ultrasonic ablation has other important advantages. It differs from other methods:

  • Non-invasive character - during the intervention, the skin integument surrounding tissues and organs are not damaged. This makes it possible to avoid prolonged postoperative recovery and preserve the organ;
  • Safety - lack of radiation exposure;
  • It does not require long preparation of the patient, as when with other methods of treatment of oncology. It significantly reduces the time spent in the hospital or allows you to completely do without hospitalization;
  • Possibility of application at different stages of the disease - the effectiveness of the HIFU method has been proven when used both in the early stages of the oncological process, and in large formations, as well as metastatic tumors;
  • If necessary, the procedure can be combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

The mechanism of action of HIFU therapy

Ultrasound Ablation

The ultrasonic ablation method is based on the action of high-intensity focused ultrasonic waves. For HIFU therapy, special devices are used that focus ultrasonic waves in a given area. Due to the effect of the acoustic beam on soft tissues, a thermal effect occurs.

The temperature in the affected area can reach 1000С and cause tissue boiling. The death of cancer cells occurs already at values above 500C. The necessary therapeutic effect is achieved by changing the intensity of exposure and its duration. The generation of thermal energy occurs only at the center of the exposed area. Nearby lying tissues and organs remain intact.

Under the influence of waves on the damaged area, other mechanisms are also triggered that contribute to effectiveness of the intervention.

Emerging Effects:

  • Cavitation - the appearance of air bubbles under the influence of ultrasound. This phenomenon also contributes to the destruction of cancer cells;
  • Damage and destruction of the vessels that supply the tumor. Disruption of blood circulation in this area causes a cessation of oxygen supply and tissue growth, which leads to its death.

One therapeutic session lasts about 1.5 hours. In most cases, 1-2 sessions are performed. Anesthesia is usually not required.

The main methods of ultrasonic ablation

Various effects of HIFU therapy are built on the emerging effects. Their choice depends on many factors, including the stage of the disease.

HIFU therapy methods:

  1. Thermal ablation - is used most often. Ultrasound penetrates the lesion, increasing the temperature in the affected area to 90-1000С. High temperature causes the death of cancer cells;
  2. Acoustic cavitation - ultrasound causes microvibration in tissues. The therapeutic effect is achieved by controlled changes in the length, intensity and frequency of the pulse;
  3. The method of direct damage to blood vessels supplying the tumor. It is used less often than the first two methods.

HIFU Oncology Therapy

Haifu-oncology therapy

Despite the fact that HIFU-therapy is a surgical treatment of cancer, complications after the intervention are minimal.

HIFU therapy in oncology:

  • Does not leave scars after treatment;
  • Does not cause blood loss;
  • Does not expose the patient to radiation;
  • Allows the patient to recover in the shortest possible time.

HIFU therapy for cancer can be repeated several times if necessary. Unfortunately, the procedure is not effective for all types of oncology. The method is not used in the treatment of cancer of the skin, lungs, brain.

The cost of HIFU therapy in clinics abroad

The cost of ultrasound ablation will depend on the condition of the patient, the stage of the disease, as well as on the class of the clinic and the qualifications of the selected specialist. For each patient, it is calculated individually. The exact price of HIFU therapy in clinics abroad can be found only after consulting a doctor.

Average cost of treatment is 22900 EUR, minimal cost – 10000 EUR, maximal – 35000 EUR.