Posted on: June 30, 2016

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound, or HIFU, is an exciting new treatment for prostate cancer that is all the buzz in the medical community. Although, to say it’s new is not quite accurate since it’s been used successfully internationally for years. But HIFU is new in the United States and here in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Just last October, the FDA approved the procedure after seeing the evidence of over 50,000 men who successfully treated early-stage prostate cancer.

HIFU is non-invasive, has virtually zero recovery time, and because it targets only the unhealthy cells, it rarely has side-effects like erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence that other prostate cancer treatments see. So, with all the exciting news and the safe, effective track-record, you may be wondering, where can I find a urologist certified to use HIFU?

As you may be aware, North Carolina is one of the top places in the world for medical and technological research. Because of that, it’s no coincidence that our state is the homebase of the HIFU procedure, made by SonaCare Medical. SonaCare is based in Charlotte, and in fact, there are more HIFU-trained urologists in North Carolina than any state other than Florida. We have more than New York and New Jersey combined.

As a procedure that is relatively new though, you may be wondering if these doctors have the experience yet to perform the procedure safely. Thankfully, because HIFU uses high intensity ultrasound waves to carefully target only cancerous cells, it is actually a much safer procedure than surgery or radiation. In addition, here in the Raleigh Durham area, we are lucky to have Dr. Frank Tortora, who has been performing this procedure for years.

Dr. Tortora, based in Cary, North Carolina, would fly with patients to Mexico or the Bahamas to do the procedure before the FDA finally decided to approve it. Not only has Dr. Tortora practiced this procedure for 10 years and with over 100 HIFU cases, but he’s been practicing urology in general for 30 years. Those living in the Triangle area of North Carolina are fortunate to have a man of his experience working in their region.

North Carolina has really shown itself to be a key part of the global progress in medical advancement of recent years. One of these advancements our state should be proud of is the use of high intensity focused ultrasound on prostate cancer cells. HIFU is an important step forward in the fight against prostate cancer, which is the most diagnosed cancer in men. Men in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Wake Forest, Clayton, Dunn, Clinton and the surrounding areas should contact Associated Urologists of North Carolina to see if a HIFU procedure with Dr. Frank Tortora would be right for them. We can be reached at (844) 371-HIFU (4438).