How does MRI guided HIFU work?
The MRI acquires high-resolution 3-D images of the fibroid and surrounding structures. These images are used for accurate planning and mapping of the treatment. During treatment, the HIFU transducer focuses the ultrasound beam into the fibroid as per the planned areas (cells) and heats the tissue up to 650C, coagulating it. This is called sonication.
Sonalleve MRI guided HIFU ensures patient safety by having a number of safety mechanisms built into the system. All of these ensure that apart from the tissue being targeted, no other organ or tissue is affected by the treatment.
During treatment, the MRI plays an important role by monitoring temperatures within the treatment areas as well as in the surrounding tissues. The recorded temperatures are then superimposed in the form of colour-coded maps on the 3-D images that are being used for treatment monitoring.
The real-time feedback loop ensures that adequate heating takes place, treating every bit of tissue that has been targeted and volumetric ablation (a Philips proprietary technology) helps treat larger volumes efficiently and quickly.
Thermal mapping contributes to safety by ensuring that the treatment remains within the recommended temperature levels and that the surrounding tissues are not affected at all.
In addition, Motion detection with automatic adjustment/suspension of sonication also ensures that the procedure is safe.
An emergency stop button that is controlled by the patient allows the patient to pause the treatment whenever she needs to, and the treatment can be resumed once she is comfortable.