CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- US HIFU, a worldwide leader in the development, distribution and use of minimally invasive high intensity focused ultrasound ("HIFU") technologies, is pleased to announce that its HIFU treatment for prostate cancer is now available in Bermuda. King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Bermuda joins more than 100 centers in 30-plus countries to offer the innovative treatment with the Sonablate® 500 medical device.
Bermuda is the newest location to become part of US HIFU's international treatment program, which provides patients from the U.S. access to the Sonablate technology ("Sonablate HIFU") in international facilities where it is approved or authorized, since Sonablate HIFU is in the final phase of the FDA clinical trials and not approved for use in the U.S. As part of the US HIFU international treatment program, which began in 2004, patients and physicians travel to the Bahamas, Mexico, Canada and other jurisdictions outside the U.S. for the procedure.
"We were strategic in our selection of Bermuda so we could open up access to Sonablate HIFU for interested patients and physicians in the northeast," said US HIFU's CEO Steve Puckett, Jr. regarding the company's decision to introduce Sonablate HIFU in Bermuda at this time. "For ease of transportation, we expect to see a good number of patients and doctors from that area and eastern seaboard in general, but Bermuda's King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is just one more high-caliber choice open to any patients and doctors throughout the country."
Dr. Donald Thomas, the hospital's chief of staff, said, "We are very pleased to be able to offer this treatment. As we are only about a two-hour flight from the eastern U.S., we can offer this high-tech procedure very close to home for some U.S. patients in a stunningly beautiful island setting."The first two patients were treated at the beginning of May by Dr. Stephen Scionti, NYU clinical associate professor of urology, who has been involved with Sonablate HIFU since 2006. "The hospital is a modern, first-rate organization staffed by world-class physicians. As with the other US HIFU facilities, I believe patients can feel as confident in traveling offshore for the treatment as they can in going to their local hospital for an already approved procedure," said Scionti. "As a physician working away from my regular office, I am able to focus on my patients and their treatment when everything in the venue is in perfect order; King Edward VII Memorial Hospital was no exception."