Focused Ultrasound Therapy
Focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive, therapeutic technology with the potential to improve the quality of life and decrease the cost of care for patients desiring a vasectomy. This novel technology focuses beams of ultrasound energy precisely and accurately on targets within the body without damaging surrounding normal tissue. Where the beams converge, the ultrasound produces precise ablation (thermal destruction of tissue) enabling vasectomy to be accomplished with minimal (and possibly without any) invasion of the body. While significant preclinical work has been accomplished, human trials have not yet begun.
For certain patients, focused ultrasound could provide a non-invasive alternative to surgery with less risk of complications and lower cost.
- Focused ultrasound is non-invasive, so it does not carry added concerns associated with acid agents.
- Focused ultrasound can reach the desired target without damaging surrounding tissue.
- It can be repeated, if necessary.
At the present time, there are no clinical trials recruiting patients for focused ultrasound vasectomy.
Regulatory Approval and Reimbursement
Focused ultrasound vasectomy is not yet approved by regulatory bodies or covered by medical insurance companies.
Roberts WW, Wright EJ, Fried NM, Nicol T, Jarrett TW, Kavoussi LR, Solomon SB. High-intensity focused ultrasound ablation of the epididymis in a canine model: a potential alternative to vasectomy. J Endourol. 2002 Oct;16(8):621-5.
Roberts WW, Chan DY, Fried NM, Wright EJ, Nicol T, Jarrett TW, Kavoussi LR, Solomon SB. High intensity focused ultrasound ablation of the vas deferens in a canine model. J Urol. 2002 Jun;167(6):2613-7.
Fried NM, Sinelnikov YD, Pant BB, Roberts WW, Solomon SB. Noninvasive vasectomy using a focused ultrasound clip: thermal measurements and simulations. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2001 Dec;48(12):1453-9.
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