SonaCare Medical (Charlotte, NC) is launching the Sonatherm HIFU Surgical Ablation System at the Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), currently underway in San Diego. HIFU, short for high-intensity focused ultrasound, uses a bundle of high-energy ultrasound waves focused onto a single location, ablating the tissue at that location. Where the company’s earlier product, the Sonablate, used a rectal probe for the treatment of prostate cancer, the Sonatherm system is meant for soft tissue ablation during laparoscopic surgery.
The Sonatherm system is currently the only FDA-cleared laparoscopic HIFU system. It consists of a transportable console, two high frequency robotic 11mm laparoscopic probes, each equipped with multiple robotic transducers that image (6.5 MHz) and treat (4.0 MHz), along with Sonachill for water degassing and circulation. Specific tissues can be targeted using the integrated ultrasound imaging and procedure results can be tracked in real-time with advanced tissue change monitoring software. Sonatherm is able to ablate a cubic centimeter of tissue per minute, with 1mm precision.
The system has been cleared for the laparoscopic or intraoperative ablation of soft tissue from the ultrasound focal zone back to the surface of the targeted ablation area in general surgery. It is specifically not indicated for the ablation of prostate tissue. SonaCare is planning to further develop HIFU surgical ablation systems for a wide range of urological indications, and has prototypes ready for the application of HIFU in bladder tissue. From the press release:
“Sonatherm overcomes the difficulties that other ablative technologies have in delivering energy into the desired target by combining ultrasound imaging and therapeutic focused ultrasound into a single unit that can be introduced through a standard 12 mm surgery access port, with an easy-to-use intuitive single screen control interface,” said Mark Carol , M.D., Chief Development Officer for SonaCare Medical. “Unlike other forms of thermal ablation, Sonatherm does not require puncturing the target with a needle, which can cause bleeding. It is the only ablation system capable of using integrated ultrasound imaging for targeting and monitoring of the treatment. Sonatherm uses the same skill sets urologists have been practicing for decades and can be applied to a wide range of clinical conditions.”
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