HIFU for Prostate Cancer Treatment Approved for Use in the United States
Robert Pugach, MD is the 4th most experienced HIFU urologist in the United States
By: Yvettte M. Manard, MPH
High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), a non-invasive, radiation-free therapy to treat localized prostate cancer, was approved for use in the United States by the FDA in October, 2015.
This technology is not new to the United States as it originated in the 1970’s at the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been in use throughout the world – from Europe to Asia, the Middle East, South and Central America, Mexico and Canada.
”Historically, the conventional treatment for prostate cancer is the surgical removal of the prostate,” explains Dr. Robert Pugach, Medical Director of Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center. “While this surgery is now done robotically, it still has the potential to cause significant side effects, such as permanent urine leakage and erectile dysfunction,” continues Dr. Pugach.
Consistent with his focus on bringing advanced, minimally invasive technologies to his patients, Dr. Pugach was an early adopter of HIFU technology. He has been traveling outside of the US once every two months to treat successfully patients with HIFU for 14 years. He is now the 4th most experienced HIFU urologist in the US and is in an elite group of less than 1% of the urologists in the US certified to perform HIFU.
Dr. Pugach is excited to now be able to offer HIFU to his patients locally at the Los Alamitos Surgery Center. Patients no longer have to travel to Mexico for this procedure. “HIFU fits perfectly within the focus of my minimally invasive urologic practice as small prostate cancers can be treated in less than an hour and patients can return to normal activities within a few days with a dramatic reduction in quality of life issues like erectile dysfunction or incontinence,” explains Dr. Pugach.
HIFU technology has been clinically tested for use to treat a wide variety of diagnoses, including localized whole gland prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and recurrent prostate cancer.