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Frequently Asked Questions



What is HIFU?

HIFU or High Intensity Focused Ultrasound is energy used to ablate tissue within the body. HIFU directs sound waves to a specific location within the prostate called the focal point. At the focal point the tissue temperature rapidly (within 1 second) rises to almost 195 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius) and the targeted tissue is destroyed, while the tissue located outside the focal lesion remains unharmed.

Am I a HiFU Treatment Candidate?

Please consult your personal urologist for qualifications and/or restrictions about becoming a Sonablate HiFU patient.

Why choose HiFU?

HIFU is a minimally invasive prostate tissue ablation option that allows the physician to deliver precise and focused ablation. HIFU uses ultrasound energy, not radiation, to destroy targeted tissue so the procedure can be repeated, if necessary. It is up to you and your physician to determine if Sonablate HIFU is an option for you.

Do patients undergo traditional treatment with the possibility of a lesser quality of life OR do they live with the uncertainty of no treatment?

Neither! HIFU offers a new clinical option between Active Surveillance and more invasive procedures, such as Radiation or Robotic Surgery.

What features are unique to the Sonablate product that are focused on patient safety ?


  • Neurovascular bundle detection helps the physician to avoid causing harm to sensitive structures surrounding the prostate, like neurovascular bundles. The ability to avoid a neurovascular bundle can have a significant effect on maintaining erectile function and help to preserve a patient’s quality of life.

  • Rectal wall monitoring helps determine the temperature of and proximity to the rectal wall. This helps the physician protect the rectal wall tissue during therapy.

  • The active cooling system circulates chilled water through the probe during the procedure while monitoring temperature, which helps the physician protect the rectal wall tissue from heat generated during thermal ablation.

  • Real-time imaging  allows the physician to view and compare the original image to the real-time image being treated, for visual ablation confirmation.

  • MRI/US fusion integration software allows the physician to merge MRI images into the Sonablate planning software, fusing them with the real-time ultrasound images. The physician can then determine a more precise ablation plan based on the fusion of these two key datasets.

  • TCM or Tissue Change Monitoring is a color display that (during tissue ablation) gives the physician enhanced feedback about the change in tissue at each point of HIFU delivery.


Is the Sonablate HiFU procedure performed in an outpatient setting?
Yes, this is typically an outpatient procedure.
How long does the Sonablate HiFU procedure take?

Usually, the procedure last approximately 2-4 hours. This depends on the amount of prostate tissue being ablated during the procedure.

Should I expect a urinary catheter after my HiFU procedure?

Yes, you may have a urinary catheter after your procedure. It will be up to your doctor to determine what type of catheter and how long you may need to have the catheter.

What is the cost of a Sonablate procedure?

The patient's cost of a HiFU procedure slightly varies among different healthcare providers.

Can I expect insurance reimbursement for a Sonablate procedure?

Over the past 8 years, patients were required to pay an average of $25,000 plus travel expenses to another country. Since FDA approval in October of 2015, most insurance companies are still not reimbursing for the HIFU procedure. HIFU USA will collect the $25,000 from the patient and provide all the paperwork for the patient to file for reimbursement. HIFU USA also works with an insurance company, which specializes in getting pre-authorization from the patient’s private health insurance company. The patient is required to pay a $450 fee to have this specialty insurance reimbursement company process the claim. Because each insurance company plan is different, and the claims process is complicated, we strongly suggest the patient use this service if you wish for a favorable pre-authorization.

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  •   8250 Exchange Drive, Suite 110,
         Orlando FL 32809
  •   1.800.654.HIFU (4438)

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