Focused ultrasound treatment for the prostate is now available in the United States. Two systems for destroying diseased prostate tissue are now approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, noninvasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients with BPH. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets in the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling BPH to be treated without surgery.
The primary options for treatment of BPH include medication and invasive surgery.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a noninvasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is noninvasive, so it does not carry added concerns like surgical wound healing or infection.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
A clinical trial in Finland is looking at a transurethral approach for several prostate conditions, including BPH.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
There are two focused ultrasound systems approved in the US for the ablation (destruction) of prostate tissue: SonaCare Medical and EDAP-TMS. Both of these use the transrectal approach. A transurethral approach is manufactured by Profound Medical, and is approved in Europe but not in the US.
Treatment for BPH is approved in the US, Canada, China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Middle East, Russia, and South America. Insurance coverage varies, and many US companies may not cover this procedure.
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