Focused ultrasound (FUS), also called high-intensity focused ultrasound, is a procedure that uses sound waves to treat some conditions. The sound waves heat up and destroy tiny patches of your body tissue without affecting the surrounding tissue. Similar to how a magnifying glass can focus beams of light on a single point, focused ultrasound uses an acoustic lens to concentrate multiple sound waves on a point in the body. Your providers use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to guide the waves and target the area for treatment. In Parkinson’s Disease, this area of treatment is the subthalamic nucleus (STN) or the globus pallidus internus (GPI).
Focused ultrasound allows your providers to target areas deep in the body, such as the brain, without an incision. These areas can be very small (≤1×1.5mm) and targeted with extreme precision and accuracy. There is no hardware implantation, use of radiation, risk of infection, or bleeding with the focused ultrasound procedure.
Patients recover quickly. Because there are no incisions and general anesthesia is unnecessary, patients usually go home the same or the next day after the procedure. Physicians can determine if treatment is working in real-time during the procedure as well as stop immediately if adverse effects occur.