High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, from a Patients Point of View.
I chose to have my prostate cancer treated with HIFU, high intensity focused ultrasound. On Sunday, July 23, I had my prostate treated at a clinic in Toronto, Canada. It was necessary to go to Canada, because, although this procedure is used around the world, including Europe, Russia, South Korea , Japan, South Africa and some Latin American nations it has only just been approved by the FDA for clinical trials, which will not start yet for half a year to two years out.
It was an outpatient procedure which took approximately seven hours from the time I arrived at the clinic in the morning until I came out of the anesthesia and was steady and sound enough to walk out of my own accord and across the street to the hotel at which I was staying. That night, although I felt that I had best stay in, I ate a light dinner and stayed up until midnight watching TV and rather antsily pacing the suite.
I had traveled to Toronto four days before the procedure in order to tour a bit, walking this wonderful city of endlessly captivating neighborhoods. For folks in the West, it is done in Puerto Vallerta, in both cases in American owned and run clinics. The afternoon before the procedure I met with the medical staff, which through a stroke of luck and friendship, included a urologist from Milwaukee who had become interested in the procedure and wished to view it.
(Ultimately, he was so impressed that he is thinking of coming out of retirement and working with HIFU himself. Neither is this urologist just anyone; under
Clinton he came close to being Surgeon General, except that he himself had health problems at the time of his consideration.) The doctors and the nurse answered any questions those of us to be treated the next day still had; another patient for the next day, a dentist pressed them hard because his friends were questioning why he was pursuing an “experimental” intervention, not yet approved by the FDA – I will address the lack of HIFU in the United States below.
I felt they answered all questions so my satisfaction, and it seemed to his as well. I ate a light dinner that evening and turned in relatively early in order
to get a good night ‘s rest before hand. I awoke at 5:00 a.m. Sunday and administered two successive fleet enemas in order t