Doctors Hospital has been a pioneer in minimally and non-invasive surgeries in the Bahamas with the first Laparoscopic colon surgery performed locally in 2009; today high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) has been added to its portfolio for treatment of prostate cancer. Doctors Hospital thus joins a select group of hospitals that is offering this innovative treatment for prostate cancer and becomes the first hospital in the Bahamas to offer this technology.
HIFU delivered with the Sonablate® 500 medical device (“Sonablate HIFU”) destroys prostatic tissue with extreme heat generated from focused ultrasound waves. Initially, the Sonablate captures real-time images of the prostate gland, allowing the physician to create a customized treatment plan for each patient. The physician then uses the Sonablate to deliver the ultrasound energy to extremely small target sites, or focal points, throughout the prostate gland. The ultrasound energy is delivered in rapid-fire succession to targeted tissue throughout the gland. The tissue at each target is destroyed while surrounding tissue remains unharmed.
HIFU treatment typically is a one-time, 2-4 hour procedure performed on an out-patient basis under spinal anesthesia. Patients generally are up and walking within hours after HIFU and can return to a normal lifestyle within a couple of days.
Considered a promising technology within the non-invasive or minimally invasive therapy segments of medical technology, HIFU uses non-ionizing, or clean, energy and may be repeated if necessary should there be a recurrence and may be used as a salvage therapy if some other treatments have failed.
Men over age 50 years are still encouraged to have an annual rectal examination and a blood test called a PSA as prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men and the third leading cause of male cancer deaths worldwide.
The newest facility to become a part of the US HIFU international treatment program, Doctors Hospital joins more than one hundred (100) centers in thirty-plus countries to offer the innovative treatment. The program provides patients from the United States access to the Sonablate technology in international facilities. Just a forty-five minute flight from Florida, this high- tech procedure can now be offered close to home for some US patients and in a beautiful island setting.
According to an article published in one of the local dailies, there is a sizeable medical tourism market for the Bahamas to tap into. In 2007, some seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) Americans traveled abroad for overseas medical services, spending approximately $2.1 billion. The former number is predicted to swell to within six million by the end of this year.
Poised to take advantage of the door the medical tourism opens, Doctors Hospital recently accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI), Doctors Hospital joins an elite group of few hospitals worldwide, which have passed JCI’s stringent clinical quality standards. Joint Commission International (JCI) is the global arm of the US-based Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO); The distinction certifies that the hospital’s programs meet international standards and follow the latest US clinical guidelines establishing it as a facility with exceptionally high standards, and as part of a high-quality network offering highly-skilled doctors, state-of-the-art equipment and innovative treatment.
Source: Doctors Hospital