It’s a busy time for Louisville urologist Dr. John Jurige, who has seen an “explosion of cases here” as a result of the October decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve Sonablate, a device that uses high-intensity ultrasound waves to destroy cancerous prostate tissue.
According to a Passport-sponsored article in Insider Louisville, Jurige learned eight years ago that one of his patients was traveling to the Bahamas to undergo the procedure, which uses high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to treat early stage prostate cancer. Intrigued, he went on a fact-finding mission there to get more information, and eventually learned how to perform the procedure himself.
Since that time, he has traveled to the Bahamas and other countries to do more than 400 of the operations for patients. Until the FDA approval was granted in October, it couldn’t be performed in the U.S., though Jurige said it was available in 40 countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, and parts of Europe. But now, because of Jurige, Louisville is one of only six regional referral centers for patients in the U.S. He said that he is so busy, he has 20 procedures scheduled in the next four weeks.
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