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Posted by Dr. Stephen Scionti on Apr 23, 2014 12:38:34 PM

My HIFU Experience

I am 46, so my results may be a bit more optimal than most. I had focal HIFU done on a left side only tumor, 7 Gleason score (3/4), 4.1 PSA on March 20. I ran a mile and a half 4 times in the last week, but I wouldn't recommend running much earlier than that (I walked pretty much right away, but the pounding of running had me a bit wary). I had my catheter for about 10 days. That second week, I played some light tennis with my daughter.

I never had a problem with urinary leakage at all. Pain was also not an issue for me even immediately post surgery. There is no cutting at all if you have a regular catheter instead of a supra-pubic.

Sexually, I was functional as soon as the catheter was removed. I took 2 of the 3 Cialis pills from the original prescription because I thought I was supposed to, but the third one is gathering dust. Ejaculate had blood in it for about a month, and urine did when I over-exerted myself (which typically involved playing tennis with my daughter or carrying something too heavy).

Right now, I am very happy about my health. I went back to work (I am a solo attorney) part time within a week, and eased up to a full load within another week and a half.

Atlantis is okay, but expensive, and everything is charged a la carte. You do want to be near there, though, because that is where the team stays if you have some kind of a problem. I did not, and was taking the $3 ferry over to Nassau the day after my surgery to eat and go shopping. I ate a lot of conch within a couple of days of my surgery -- the natives swear by it as a male aphrodisiac, but I just thought it was tasty and I wanted to eat something local. I have wondered if that might have helped my healing though.

Frankly, I felt better two days after the surgery than the day before. My energy levels had been really compromised for months, and I noticed a difference right away. I am sure some of that was mental, but I don't think it all was. The catheter is no fun, though.

Dr. Scionti is great, the team was great, the facility was fine. I couldn't recommend it any higher. There was a gentleman at the orientation meeting Friday (surgery was Saturday) who was there for salvage treatment because he'd had a recurrence after da Vinci robotic surgery 7 years ago. But that does get to one of the bigger questions -- what can you expect in 7 years? I believe that magic bullet therapy will be killing cancer cells only with little or no side effects in the foreseeable future. See, for example, the ARM-P research currently being done at Yale:

I did this to preserve function, buy time, and restore my health in the short term. So far, it has surpassed my wildest expectations, but it has only been 6 weeks today. I submitted a package to my health insurer for reimbursement, but have not yet gotten a response.

I don't think Dr. Scionti would push you in the direction of focal therapy if he wasn't justifiably confident that you are a suitable candidate -- that is one of the reasons I picked him out in the first place. He may be cutting edge, but he is legitimate, and he is not just going to tell you what you want to hear. I intend to continue to follow up with him, even though I will be traveling to from Ohio to New York to do it. The staff at NYU is very user-friendly -- this is not a route them to the procedure and collect the money atmosphere at all.

Good luck to you. I hope I have been of some assistance.


Topics: HIFU Patient Stories