HIFU is an acronym which stands for High Intensity Focused Ultrasound.
The ultrasound beam passes through the tissue without damaging it – similar to diagnostic ultrasound. It is just in the focal point, where with the help of special transducer the energy of the ultrasound generates enough heat so that the pathogenic cell can be targeted and destroyed.
Sometimes there is a confusion about the difference between “high-intensity”(HIFU) and “high-frequency”(for ultrasound diagnostic)transducers. HIFU works with frequencies from 0,5 to 2Mhz, while US diagnostic transducers work with frequencies from 2,5 to 10MHz.
The ultrasound guidance, unique for the system, allows the physician to correct the direction, position and intensity of the ultrasound beam according to the observed tumor image in real time and to compare it with MRI/CT image.
In cases where the tumor formation is located close to the surface of the skin it is possible, rarely though, some red rash or small blisters to appear (similar to those after sunburn) on the skin. Some people may feel internal discomfort after the procedure, which also soon disappear. Standard, over the counter pain-relief medications can be taken.
Because the therapy is 100% non-invasive and extracorporeal, hospital stay is not mandatory. However, the patients usually stay at the HIFU-center one day for medical supervision.
Yes. Due to the fact that the procedure is non-toxic and non-ionizing, it will not cause the appearance or aggravation of symptoms from other conventional types of therapy (nausea, hair loss in chemotherapy) formerly used. This is the reason why HIFU therapy can be applied as many times as necessary to achieve the desired results.
The cancer cells, which were treated with HIFU are dead. There is some evidence that HIFU stimulates the immune system, which additionally helps to decrease the risk from the development of new tumors.
Most patients with uterine fibroid are appropriate for HIFU treatment as a first method of choice.
It depends on the rate at which the uterus is recovering. If all other parameters are within norm and the fibroid is the only hindrance to pregnancy, in general, the conception could be expected from 6 months to 1 year after the procedure. We recommend MRI examination to be performed beforehand to assess the current state of uterine recovery.
No abortions should have been made in the last 3 months before the procedure; the patient should not be with inflammation of the vagina or the small pelvis; the patient should not be in her period during the HIFU procedure and must not be with any contraceptive device in use at a time of the procedure.
Unfortunately the HIFU-procedures are still not reimbursed by the NHIF. Initial planning and assessment whether the patient is suitable for the procedure costs 150 BGN. It is performed by qualified and certified to work with the HIFU model JC system specialists of “Sveta Marina” hospital – Pleven. All the prices of the clinical procedures are on our website, section “Process of treatment and prices”.
HIFU-ablation is absolutely harmless procedure for the uterus and ovaries, and there is no risk for the woman’s child bearing potential!
Dobromir Dimitrov MD, PhD – Surgeon, Tihomir Andreev MD –“Imaging diagnostic” specialist; Dobrinka Gincheva MD -Gynecologist
Yes. All assessed and approved for treatment patients have underwent successful HIFU procedures.
The aim of the simulation examination before HIFU-ablation is to select only and precisely the appropriate for the treatment patients. In other words, these cases, in which 80-90% of tumor-necrosis in a single procedure are expected to be achieved. In some very rare cases an additional second procedure may be needed to achieve the desired result.
On the average -2-3 hours. The time of the treatment is very individual.
As a result of the ultrasound ablation coagulation necrosis is formed in the tumor, which the human organism gradually “resorbs” in time and as a result the nodule shrinks in size.
During the treatment the patient may feel slight discomfort in the pelvic region. This is normal and indicates that the therapy is effective.
The patient is sedated–she is conscious during the procedure.
The patients recover in 1-2 days after HIFU-treatment, returning to their usual routine, however, after HIFU-ablation each patient is briefed on what to expect. The only restriction is to refrain from sexual intercourse in the first month after HIFU- ablation.
There might be a pain similar to the menstrual one a few days after the procedure.
The approved patients are given special diet that they must start 4 days before the treatment. After that the patients can return to their usual diet.
Depends on the program and the sport, but it is good to slow down the physical activity during the first month after HIFU treatment.
It is mandatory to go to control examinations after the procedure. They are scheduled in 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after the treatment and must be carried out by certified HIFU-doctors.
You must refrain yourself from sex life in the first month after the procedure (until the first control examination).
There are strict indications and contraindications for HIFU ablation. They are assessed at the simulation examination and are individual for each patient.
The patient must not try to conceive for at least 6 months. This period is strictly individual! It is determined by the size of the treated uterine fibroid/-s and the rate at which they shrink.