Renowned Miami Urologist Pioneers Use Of Ultrasound Therapy To Treat Erectile Dysfunction
By Christopher Pearson
I have hundreds of patients who will tell you that the procedure accomplished what nothing else could — restoring intimacy in their relationships and making them feel whole again. And when my patients are doing well, I’m as happy as can be.
“LIFU is a life-changer for men with erectile dysfunction,” said George M. Suarez, M.D., the renowned Miami urologist who developed and pioneered the FDA-approved use of ultrasound to successfully treat conditions such as erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer.
LIFU stands for low-intensity focused ultrasound, explains Dr. Suarez. “When people hear the word ultrasound, they think of blurry baby images,” he said. “Understanding the physics of the device, I have adapted it to treat erectile dysfunction. I have hundreds of patients who will tell you that the procedure accomplished what nothing else could — restoring intimacy in their relationships and making them feel whole again. And when my patients are doing well, I’m as happy as can be.”
And Dr. Suarez is happiest when he is developing new solutions and therapies for medical problems. “Some people think outside the box,” he said. “To tell the truth, I don’t even see a box. I’m one of very few urologists who is a solo practitioner because I am committed to what is in the best interest of my patients, not the interests of pharmaceutical companies.”
The basic principles of LIFU are based on specific ultrasound therapy called pulse wave therapy. Essentially, pulse waves break up scar tissue and restore blood flow to the penis, resulting in an improved erection quality that is satisfactory for penetration and mutual couple satisfaction. The FDA-approved outpatient procedure is painless, highly effective and, compared to medicines that can cost up to $75 per pill, reasonably priced.
“We all know that there are medica-tions to improve the quality of erec-tile function, such as Viagra, Cialis and Levitra,” Dr. Suarez said. “However, the bottom line on medical therapy for erectile dysfunction is that there are multiple side effects and the cost is prohibitive — on average five pills per month or up to $375. Even more troubling is that the efficacy of those medicines is short-term. Eventually they will stop working.”
There are numerous other advantages to LIFU to treat erectile dysfunction. The typical treatment protocol is either twice a week for three weeks or once a week for six weeks. LIFU has a 98 percent success rate and lasts for two years on average, if not forever. Treatments can be repeated as needed, with no side effects.
What many people do not know is that 50 percent of men over the age of 40 experience sexual dysfunction and 50 percent of women cannot achieve orgasm. “People would rather go hungry than not have sex,” Dr. Suarez said. “It’s a fundamental part of being a healthy human being, and it’s critical for a positive self-image. But people don’t want to talk about it.”
The good news is, LIFU works on women, too, the doctor says with a grin. “You wouldn’t believe the results we achieve in improving the sex lives of couples who come see us,” he added.
LIFU also is used to treat a debilitating condition in men known as Peyronie’s disease — a disorder in which fibrosis and/or plaque forms within the penis causing a curvature of the penile shaft. This can result in erectile dysfunction and painful erections. “Prior to my development of LIFU to treat this condition, the most common remedy for patients was to undergo surgery, which comes at a high risk of multiple complications,” Dr. Suarez added.
In addition to revolutionizing the LIFU treatment protocol, Dr. Suarez was instrumental in the development and evolution of HIFU (high-intensity focused ultrasound) as a revolutionary technology in the treatment of prostate cancer. Dr. Suarez oversaw the clinical trial that garnered FDA-approval of HIFU in the United States, providing American men a non-invasive procedure that heats and destroys specifically targeted cancerous areas without damage to the surrounding tissue. HIFU was approved in 2015 for use in treating prostate cancer and, based on medical data, proffers a 98 percent success rate.
Cuban-born and a former standout quarterback at Christopher Columbus High School and graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine, Dr. Suarez inspires confidence in a patient with direct eye contact and a gentle hand on the arm as he speaks. “My father died of prostate cancer,” he explained. “For me, the practice of medicine is personal. I give all my patients my cell phone number and urge them to use it if they have questions or concerns.”
Next on the horizon of urologic medicine is the groundbreaking research Dr. Suarez and others are performing to combine HIFU with immune therapy to treat prostate cancer. White blood cells called dendrites are being cultured from patients and injected back into the patients for dramatic results. “Lives are being saved. Self-immune therapy is the future of all cancer treatment,” Dr. Suarez reports earnestly.
The office of Dr. George Suarez is located at 9195 Sunset Drive, Suite 110, Miami, Florida 33173. For more information, call 305-595-0199 or visit www.internationalhifucenters.com.