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First Prostate Cancer Patients Treated with HIFU Technology

Author: HIFU Prostate Services, LLC : Contact:

Published: 2016-05-25


Cordell Nwokeji, MD and Don Berardinucci, MD perform first Sonablate HIFU treatments in Houston, Texas at Houston Metro Urology in partnership with HIFU Prostate Services.

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HIFU, or high intensity focused ultrasound, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses sound waves to destroy tissue in the prostate. When the sound waves are focused to a specific point, the temperature at the point is rapidly elevated which causes the tissue to be destroyed. Any tissue or structures surrounding the focal point are unharmed which minimizes the risk for side effects such as impotence and incontinence after HIFU treatment.

High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU, or MRgFUS for magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound, is a new medical technology in various stages of development worldwide to treat a range of disorders. Focused ultrasound uses an acoustic lens to concentrate multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound precisely on a target in the body. Each individual beam passes through tissue with no effect. But at the focal point where the beams converge, the energy can have useful thermal or mechanical effects. The approach may be a stand-alone therapy or utilized to enhance the delivery or effects of chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

"I am extremely pleased and honored to perform the first HIFU surgery in Houston since it was approved in the U.S.," said Nwokeji. "The patient that was treated fared well after the procedure and was happy to announce that his erectile function was preserved the morning after his surgery. He said he had no pain or discomfort. This is why I have performed HIFU for the last 9 years. It is an excellent, minimally invasive, outpatient treatment with outcomes similar to surgery but with quick recovery."

Nwokeji, who is also a proctor for HIFU Prostate Services using the Sonablate, originally trained in 2007 and worked with the technology outside of the country until October 2015 when it was cleared by the FDA for prostate tissue ablation. He was also one of three urologists who gave a testimonial to the FDA panel about his experience with Sonablate HIFU prior to clearance.

"HIFU is a great technology that is finally available in the U.S.; patients will no longer need to leave the country to obtain minimally invasive prostate treatment. This is a single day, outpatient procedure without the drawbacks of surgery or radiation," said Berardinucci. "We have an expert team dedicated to uncompromising patient care. I look forward to performing many procedures right here in Houston."

The Sonablate is the only HIFU device available for prostate disease ablation with the ability to offer patients a truly customized treatment by allowing doctors to decide exactly what tissue to target and how much HIFU energy should be applied. Sonablate HIFU has unique software and imaging capabilities that make it the most advanced technology available for HIFU treatment today.

HIFU Prostate Services, LLC, the leading provider of minimally invasive treatments using high intensity focused ultrasound, partnered with Houston Metro Urology and HIFU Houston, PLLC, led by Nwokeji, to bring Sonablate HIFU technology to Houston.

HIFU Prostate Services, LLC

HIFU Prostate Services (HPS) was founded to provide men access to a less invasive treatment option for prostate cancer that has the ability to eliminate cancer and preserve patient quality of life. Our mission is to deliver the highest quality of care, support, and technology to the patient and to the urology community for the treatment of localized prostate cancer using Sonablate HIFU. The company is headquartered in Charlotte, NC and has established partnerships with physicians and urology practices throughout the country. More info:

Houston Metro Urology

Houston Metro Urology was founded in 2006 as the result of a merger of several established practices in and around the city of Houston. Since the merger, Houston Metro Urology has grown to 20 urologists, an uro-gynecologist, two radiation oncologists, a pathologist, and a team of radiologists who collaborate across multiple locations to provide comprehensive care for men and women who have a wide array of genitourinary conditions including genitourinary cancers as well as many benign urologic conditions. For more information, visit

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