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High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) in France

High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), also known as focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is a procedure that uses non-ionizing ultrasound waves to heat a person’s body tissue. It can be used to increase the blood and lymph flow, to stimulate cell division, and destroy tumor cells. The procedure can also be used to treat several medical conditions, including various types of cancer and uterine fibroids. It is particularly popular for treating prostate cancer. Additionally, some cosmetic procedures, such as reducing wrinkles or lifting loose skin, can also use this procedure, especially around the jawline and cheeks.

During the procedure, the area that will be sonicated is cleaned with an alcohol swab to make sure there is no germs and bacteria. Then, a gel is applied on to the skin and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound is used to focus the exact tissue, tumor, or organ that needs to be treated. The procedure can be done differently depending on its purpose. Generally, your doctor will use an acoustic lens to focus sound waves on the targeted organ. The sound waves are emitted through the transducer device. When the sound waves reach the tumor, the temperature is increased to 90°C for only 20 seconds. The heat destroys the cancer cells. You will be sedated to avoid discomfort and pain. Your doctor may apply a topical anesthetic cream before the start of the procedure.

HIFU takes between 1 to 4 hours to complete and you may leave the hospital on the same day once the effect of the sedative has worn off. However, plan to stay in the France for at least 14 days after the procedure. The recovery time depends on the reason HIFU was performed. You may experience pain and discomfort for 3 to 4 days and you may also feel soreness and swelling for 2 to 3 weeks. The overall success rate for prostate cancer is 84%. 

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