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HIFU Specialist

Mehran Movassaghi, MD

Urologists located in Santa Monica, CA

The diagnosis of prostate cancer can be life-changing. Board-certified and fellowship trained, Dr. Mehran Movassaghi of Pacific Men’s Health Providence is here to help you navigate the sometimes confusing and overwhelming options for cancer treatment. High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a treatment option that may be available to you. Dr. Movassaghi treats patients in the greater Santa Monica, California, area. To discuss the possibility of HIFU as a treatment for your prostate cancer, call Dr. Movassaghi’s office today or request an appointment online.


What is HIFU and how does it work?

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment for prostate cancer. It uses focused sound waves to produce heat in a specific spot in order to destroy the cancerous tissue. These sound waves are generated by an ultrasound transducer.

After you are diagnosed and have imaging scans to map the precise location of the cancer cells, Dr. Movassaghi begins the HIFU procedure. You’re given medication to help relax you and ease any discomfort you may feel. A catheter is inserted in your bladder to drain your urine. Dr. Movassaghi places the ultrasound transducer in your rectum and against your rectal wall. Using the transducer, he directs the sound waves to the precise location of your cancer cells. As the sound waves are produced, heat is generated, which destroys the cancer cells.

The ultrasound transducer is removed after Dr. Movassaghi completes your treatment. You’ll then return home to rest and recover. A post-procedure appointment with Dr. Movassaghi is scheduled at this time as well.

What are the advantages of HIFU?

The advantages of using HIFU to treat your prostate cancer are:

  • Non-surgical, minimally-invasive
  • Outpatient procedure
  • No radiation
  • Targeted treatment
  • Faster recovery
  • Fewer side effects

Does HIFU hurt?

Before the HIFU procedure, you’re given medication to help with any discomfort you may feel. During the course of your procedure, the transducer generates heat, so you may feel discomfort as the heat is destroying the cancerous cells. You’ll go home with a catheter in your bladder after your procedure is complete. In most cases, your discomfort can be relieved by taking non-prescription pain medications.

What are the possible side effects of HIFU?

Side effects are always a possibility with any treatment or procedure. However, HIFU has fewer side effects than traditional surgical interventions. The possible side effects of HIFU are:

  • Urinary incontinence
  • Urinary frequency
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Narrowing of the urethra
  • Narrowing of the bladder neck
  • Rectal wall injury
  • Prostate infection

If you have a diagnosis of prostate cancer, make an appointment with Dr. Movassaghi at Pacific Men’s Health Providence to discuss if HIFU is appropriate for you by calling his office or using the convenient online scheduling tool.