Pictured left to right: Barry Rassin, President, Doctors Hospital; Dr.
George M. Suarez, F.A.C.S., F.A A.P. Medical Director, USHIFU,
International HIFU, Board Certified Urologist; James Roth, HIFU patient in
Nassau, Bahamas - 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
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.
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.
Pictured right: Dr. George M. Suarez, F.A.C.S., F.A A.P. Medical Director,
USHIFU, International HIFU, Board Certified Urologist
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