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On the day of your HIFU treatment, an anaesthetist will explain the anaesthetic options available to you and make sure that your preferred option is both appropriate and safe. The anaesthetic will usually be a general anaesthetic (which puts you into a deep sleep during which you cannot feel anything). This is so that you do not move during the procedure, so that the HIFU treatment is effective.
The HIFU treatment will use a probe, slightly larger in size to the one used when you had your very first prostate biopsies taken, that is placed into the rectum. The treatment normally takes between one and two hours.
Before starting the treatment, a urinary catheter (a tube that drains urine from the bladder) is placed in the bladder. This is normally placed through the water passage in your penis (urethral catheter). This tube can feel uncomfortable and unusual to pass urine through. It can cause your bladder to feel like it is full. This is because there is small balloon filled with water at the end of the catheter holding it in place to prevent it from slipping out of the bladder. Sometimes this balloon can make your bladder irritable and spasm. This usually settles but can be helped with some tablets that calm the bladder down.
The HIFU probe is inserted into your rectum (back passage) by the surgeon. The HIFU device is directed towards the prostate area so that the ultrasound waves can target your prostate gland through the rectum.
Once the HIFU treatment is complete your anaesthetist will wake you up. Most men will be able to have their treatment and go home about three to four hours later, provided there is someone to escort them and stay with them overnight. Occasionally, there will be the need for an overnight stay after treatment if your medical team think it is safer.
You will be taught all about your catheter and how to look after it. Mild pain killers and a seven day course of antibiotics will be provided. We usually give you some tablets that relax the prostate called alpha-blockers. A contact number will be given if you have any problems at home.
As a group of consultants we are passionate about prostate cancer sufferers knowing about all of their treatment options.
We know that settling on the right treatment is a big decision for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable patient advocates about your diagnosis and the HIFU Focal Therapy treatment option then please do not hesitate to get in touch today.
All enquiries to The Focal Therapy Clinic are confidential, and we are delighted to offer our advice and support with no obligation.