ST. LOUIS – SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital recently performed the first transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) procedure in Missouri as well as the larger Midwest region. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that uses directional ultrasound to produce very high temperatures to ablate or destroy targeted prostate tissue for prostate cancer.

Dr. Sameer Siddiqui, a urologist at SSM Health SLU Hospital, says the TULSA procedure is a game-changer for patients battling prostate cancer but also has incredible advancements for the patient’s experience.

“We actually place them in an MRI machine, and we can see their prostate in real time. Then we place an ultrasound probe through the urethra; the probe heats up the prostate, and it’s that heating mechanism that kills the cancer cells. There’s a robotic instrument that moves the probe inside the body,” Siddiqui said.

The benefits, he says, are that “it’s less invasive than traditional options like traditional robotic or radical prostatectomy. And the reason we’re interested in it is that the side effects are better with this treatment than they have been with traditional options. So, you don’t get any exposure to any radiation. There’s no cuts or incisions.”

SLU Hospital is the only hospital in the region to perform and offer this less-invasive treatment for prostate cancer.

“We are looking to provide new types of treatment to patients that are effective for treating cancer, specifically prostate cancer, but also do it in a way that reduces their risk of having side effects from the treatment,” Siddiqui said. “And so, for us, this was a major, major step forward in providing a new type of option to patients that hasn’t been available in the area before.”

To learn more about the TULSA procedure and treating prostate cancer with SSM Health, click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs Wednesdays on KPLR News 11 at 7 p.m. and FOX 2 News at 9 p.m.