HIFU procedure option using EDAP’s technology presents low risk of impotence, incontinence for patients.
(Courtesy of WestMed) At Greenwich Hospital, part of the Yale New Haven Health System, Judd Boczko, M.D., performed a new, minimally invasive prostate cancer procedure using ultrasound technology. Dr. Boczko was part of the team that performed the first HIFU procedure in New York State in 2016. The procedure—High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU)—directs high-frequency sound waves that heat up and burn off cancerous tissue, with a low risk of triggering the common side effects of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
Dr. Boczko, who is a partner at Westmed Medical Group, commented: “We are thrilled to begin treating patients with EDAP’s Ablatherm HIFU. Having been involved in HIFU for more than 10 years, I am quite familiar with the device and technology and have a comprehensive understanding of the benefits of HIFU for prostate tissue ablation. This innovative, noninvasive technique has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life of certain prostate cancer patients, and we look forward to using the technology for the benefit of numerous men in the Connecticut and New York area. HIFU is not a replacement for radical surgery and radiation, but an alternative option that, for the proper patient, has excellent efficacy with much less side effects and risks than those other options.”
In 2015, the FDA cleared HIFU for prostate tissue ablation. Urologists like Dr. Boczko are now using HIFU to ablate parts of the prostate on patients with localized prostate cancer, that is, cancer that has spread in but not beyond the capsule of the prostate gland, and has not reached other parts of the body. According to the Urology Care Foundations, more than 90% of men who are told they have prostate cancer have localized disease, meaning a majority of these patients could benefit from a minimally invasive procedure like HIFU. Dr. Boczko is the only certified HIFU surgeon in Westchester County and Connecticut.
Most recently, as of January 1, 2021, HIFU is covered by Medicare, and patients with private insurance can submit claims for reimbursement, under a Category 1 CPT Code, assigned by the American Medical Association.
In Europe and around the world, HIFU has been used to treat more than 65,000 patients with encouraging results. For instance, a multicenter study conducted by the French Association of Urology (AFU) showed optimal preservation of continence for 97% of patients and erectile function for more than 78% of them.