What is HIFU

High-intensity focused ultrasound (abreviation, HIFU,or sometimes FUS for Focused UltraSound) is a medical procedure that applies high-intensity focused ultrasound energy to locally heat and destroy diseased or damaged tissue through ablation.

How HIFU works


As an acoustic wave propagates through the tissue, part of it is absorbed and converted to heat. With focused beams, a very small focus can be achieved deep in tissues (usually on the order of milimeters, with the beam having a characteristic “cigar” shape in the focal zone, where the beam is longer than it is wide along the transducer axis). Tissue damage occurs as a function of both the temperature (nearly 195 ºF = 90 ºC) to which the tissue is heated and how long (3 seconds) the tissue is exposed to this heat level in a metric referred to as “thermal dose”. By focusing at more than one place or by scanning the focus, a volume can be thermally ablated. At high enough acoustic intensities, cavitation (microbubbles forming and interacting with the ultrasound field) can occur.


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The entire therapeutic target is treated by moving the applicator on its robotic arm in order to juxtapose multiple shots, according to a protocol designed by the physician. This technology can achieve precise ablation of diseased tissue, therefore is sometimes called HIFU surgery.