High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)

A high-intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, is a noninvasive treatment that uses focused ultrasound to heat and kill (ablate) cancerous cells in the prostate. This procedure is meant for patients with low to medium aggressive prostate cancer.

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UC Health is the only healthcare system in the region with prostate cancer specialists that can offer high-intensity focused ultrasound as an effective treatment for patients that have prostate cancer.

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To schedule an appointment, please call the UC Genitourinary Cancer team at 513-585-UCCC.

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Answers to Your Questions about High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound

The high-intensity focused ultrasound procedure works by applying ultrasound energy in an amount specifically designed for the cancerous cells to then heat and kill them. 

HIFU is a treatment alternative for some low to medium aggressive prostate cancers that are bound to the prostate only, as opposed to having spread beyond the prostate.

New imaging methods help your doctor center the ultrasound to the tumor growth region alone, instead of the entire prostate organ.

After the procedure is complete, imaging at the area of the prostate is done to determine the result of the treatment.

The most ideal patient to receive HIFU has low to intermediate aggressive prostate cancer as opposed to a higher risk or more advanced prostate cancer, such as prostate cancer that has metastasized or spread to other areas beyond the prostate. While not everyone may be a candidate for this treatment, we work with the patient to determine the best option for them.

If you have an early stage or low to medium risk prostate cancer diagnosis, this procedure could be a great option for you. The procedure is efficient in multiple ways, including low risk for side effects, no need for surgery and it does not require admittance to the hospital. Talk with your physician to determine if this is the best treatment for your situation.

While this treatment is generally low risk, side effects and complications after receiving HIFU can include:

  • More frequent urination with an urgency to urinate.

  • Urine leakage or urinary incontinence.

  • Erectile dysfunction.

  • Recurrence of cancer.


Before your treatment, you will meet with your doctor to:

  • Review your medical history.

  • Review your treatment plan.

  • Schedule a treatment date.



This procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure and is performed under general anesthesia. The full procedure only takes about two hours to complete.



A follow-up appointment will need to take place once a week or more after your treatment. We will work with you before your treatment to choose a day and time for this visit. During this appointment, you meet with your doctor and other members of your care team to:

  • Review your treatment results.

  • Address any concerns such as side effects or recurrence.

  • Determine any necessary next steps.

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Featured Insight

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound: In Action

High Intensity Focused Ultrasound - Patient Story

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