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HIFU Treatment

IEO is the most advanced developing Center in using HIFU technology for cancer treatment in the West. HIFU is a cutting-edge,  non-invasive technology, developed in China for destroying cancer without scalpels, irradiation or needles. Interventional Radiology in IEO has the largest number of HIFU cancer treatments in western countries. This huge success is the result of the Institute’s investment in the development of Interventional Radiology in Oncology, consistent with its philosophy aimed from the beginning to the development and promotion of new treatments based on the “minimal effective” concept, thus guaranteeing treatment maximum efficacy while protecting the patient’s quality of life. 

 

The possibility to focus the HIFU beam into a target, thanks to the ultrasound imaging, allows for the treatment of solid tumors inside the body in a very precise way and without percutaneous needle insertion or surgical cuts. 

 

 

  

How does it work

The HIFU device is composed of a bed where the patient is laying in the more suitable position for the treatment: prone, supine or lateral position. In the center of the bed there, a tank containing purified water, the medium where sound waves spread from the HIFU source (called transducer) to the patient’s skin until they will reach, very precisely, the target to be treated. Image targeting of the tumor tissue to be treated is the first step of the treatment. This step, very important for the final outcome, may take few minutes and is usually performed a few days before the treatment.

 

 

Once the target is precisely centered, the treatment itself starts with the emission of focused ultrasound waves, exactly delivered into the tissue to be treated. According to the involved organ, lesion(s) size and, mainly, patient’s clinical conditions, the treatment can be performed under general anesthesia, deep sedation or mild analgesia. The treatment length greatly may vary, according to the target characteristics and position. In some cases, therefore, when treatment may be very long, general anesthesia is needed just for maintaining the patient very still in the most suitable position for the treatment. 

 

 

 

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