Incision-free procedure at Houston Methodist Willowbrook offers advanced treatment for prostate cancer to protect patient functions
As part of its mission to bring leading medicine to the Houston area, Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital now offers transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) to treat prostate cancer and other prostate diseases. This outpatient procedure uses real-time MRI and precise temperature control to deliver incision-free and highly accurate prostate ablation, which helps protect the patient’s urinary, sexual and bowel functions.
“This is the first time the TULSA procedure has been performed in a hospital setting in the Houston area, giving patients with prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate a significant opportunity to maintain their lifestyle,” said Steven Sukin, MD, a board-certified urologist and medical staff member of Houston Methodist. “Countless men will benefit from this procedure because of the low risk of causing long-term incontinence and the ability to preserve the patient’s sexual health.”
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men, according to the American Cancer Society. While there are many treatment options for prostate cancer, the TULSA procedure is a non-invasive, outpatient procedure that allows most men to return to their regular life in just two days.
During the TULSA procedure, a urologist uses real-time MR visualization and thermometry to heat cancerous cells to the exact point of ablation, thereby protecting surrounding tissue from damage. This precise control of directional ultrasound provides a customizable and predictable outcome for patients, who are under general anesthesia during the procedure.
“The real-time MRI provides visibility to the tumor so that we can focus explicitly on cancer cells and not the entire prostate,” Sukin explained. “This precision makes the TULSA procedure a viable option for men with enlarged prostates, as some traditional treatments involve a higher risk for hemorrhaging.”
Not everyone is a candidate for the TULSA procedure. Candidates must be able to undergo MRI and general anesthesia.
“I’m excited to be on the forefront of new technologies in cancer treatment,” added Sukin. “We understand that preserving a patient’s way of life before a cancer diagnosis is extremely important, and we want to do as much as we possibly can to honor that.”
The Dr. Mary and Ron Neal Cancer Center at Houston Methodist Willowbrook offers a vast scope of high-quality, specialized services for prostate cancer care — including screenings, diagnostics, genetic testing, advanced technology, clinical trials and patient support — conveniently located in northwest Houston.
Through a collaborative approach with medical, radiation and surgical oncologists, hematologists, patient navigators, infusion therapists and nurses, Houston Methodist Willowbrook ensures each patient has a personalized treatment plan and receives the best possible care. This partnership draws on each team member’s expertise to help patients fight cancer in a compassionate, caring and supportive environment. To learn more, visit our website at: houstonmethodist.org/cancer/locations/willowbrook
About Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital
Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital is a Magnet-recognized, not-for-profit, faith-based hospital that serves the growing Northwest Houston community. With 358 licensed beds, Houston Methodist Willowbrook is committed to providing quality, cost-effective health care in a compassionate environment for a full range of services, including emergency care, cardiology, orthopedics and sports medicine, comprehensive women’s services, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, and primary and general medicine. U.S. News & World Report ranked Houston Methodist Willowbrook the No. 7 hospital in Houston and No. 12 in Texas on its 2021 Best Hospitals list.