What is MRgFUS or HIFU?

Focused Ultrasound describes the focusing of high frequency sound waves (in the 0.2 – 10 MHz range) for the purpose of heating and ablating tissue. Also known as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound or HIFU (due to the immense intensity at the focus), focused ultrasound treatments can be guided by ultrasound or MRI.

Ultrasound image guidance is capable of providing feedback on changes in tissue density and elasticity.

MRI is capable of providing temperature feedback to an accuracy of 3 degrees Celsius. As a result, focused ultrasound provides a highly precise form of heat ablation.

Furthermore, since ultrasound is capable of penetrating through skin and other tissues, no incisions are needed. Focused Ultrasound truly is a non-invasive procedure, and requires less recovery time than minimally invasive procedures such as laser, cryoablation and RF ablation.

The ExAblate 2000 system uses MR guided focused ultrasound technology which combines high intensity focused ultrasound beam that heats and destroys targeted tissue, non-invasively and Magnetic Resonance Imaging system (MRI) which visualises patient anatomy, and controls the treatment by continuously monitoring the tissue effect.

Why is MR guidance and control important for a non-invasive procedure? It provides:

– Imaging in 3 orientations for precise targeting and accurate identification of pathology

– Beam path visualisation for controlled treatment.

– MR thermometry for real-time and continuous temperature feedback allowing the physician to see temperature changes during treatment.

– Post treatment contrast imaging for precise treatment validation.

MR Guided Focused Ultrasound treatment is now available at FMIG. They are the first private group to provide this service with vast experience in this field.

Recently some health insurance companies have started reimbursing partially or fully the cost of this procedure, notable amongst these being- Accuro Health Insurance, New Zealand; Partners Life Ltd, New Zealand; Westfund Health Insurance, Australia; Fullerton Health, Singapore; Phoenix Insurance Company Ltd, Israel

GE MRgFUS is currently available at their Hawthorn location.

For more information, contact:

Siobhan Tuohy
Patient Co-Ordinator – FMIG
(03) 9818 9400