What is the difference between the TULSA Procedure and HIFU?
‘Ultrasound Ablation’ or ‘Thermal Ultrasound’ is the process of using heat created by ultrasound energy to ablate (remove) tissue.
The TULSA Procedure and HIFU both use thermal ultrasound to ablate prostate tissue, but their delivery method is different. How thermal ultrasound ablates prostate tissue is one of the main differences between the TULSA Procedure and HIFU.
HIFU stands for ‘High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound’.
When HIFU is used to ablate prostate tissue, a device inserts into the rectum, which delivers the thermal ultrasound energy through the rectal wall and is focused on a particular prostate area. The heating pattern created is focused, and is referred to as a sonication. Many close or overlapping sonications are needed to ablate a specific region of the prostate. The prostate tissue is ablated using an ‘outside-in’ approach because the focused ultrasound energy comes from the rectum, which is located outside the prostate.
TULSA stands for ‘Transurethral Ultrasound Ablation’.
During the TULSA Procedure, a device inserts into the urethra (transurethral), which delivers the ultrasound energy towards the prostate. This device rotates, creating a sweeping heating pattern that is directional and travels outwards towards the edge of the targeted prostate region. The prostate tissue is ablated using an ‘inside-out’ approach because the directional ultrasound energy comes from the urethra, which is located inside the prostate. The ability to ablate from the inside-out means the TULSA Procedure is incision-free. Another difference to HIFU, is that the TULSA Procedure takes place within an MRI suite. Real-time imaging throughout the entire ablation ensures that the procedure is very controlled and predictable. Your doctor can see in real-time what is happening within your prostate.
The TULSA Procedure also actively cools the urethra and rectum to help preserve the patients’ natural functions. During the TULSA Procedure, no thermal energy passes through the rectum. Instead, a cooling device is inserted into the rectum, protecting the tissue from the ultrasound energy. Simultaneously, the transurethral device cools the urethra, also protecting it from the ultrasound energy.
To learn more about the benefits of the transurethral delivery method and the benefits of having an incision-free procedure such as the TULSA Procedure, visit our ‘About TULSA Procedure‘ page today.