MIAMI UROLOGIST, GEORGE SUAREZ, M.D., RECEIVES 2016 HEALTHCARE VISIONARY AWARD

Dr. Suarez

MIAMI UROLOGIST, GEORGE SUAREZ, M.D.

Dr. George Suarez, a Miami-based urologist and founder of International HIFU Centers, has been awarded the 2016 Healthcare Visionary Award by the Miami Herald. This prestigious recognition is given to a medical pioneer who has made a major contribution to the advancement of healthcare that benefits the community.

Dr. Suarez was one of over 250 overall nominees and three finalists within the healthcare Visionary category.  His dedication to finding a better treatment for prostate cancer that not only cures men of the disease, but also preserves their dignity, resulted in the FDA approval of HIFU (high intensity focused ultrasound) in October of 2015.

HIFU is a targeted, non-invasive therapy that uses ultrasound energy to heat and destroy specific areas of tissue without damage to surrounding areas. It is done in an outpatient setting and does not require surgery, chemotherapy or radiation.   In 2003, Suarez first sought approval for the use of HIFU in the U.S. for prostate cancer –which had already been approved in Europe and Japan because of its positive results –but was denied and told further research was needed.

Suarez spent a dozen years, and a large sum of personal funds, advocating for HIFU while conducting research to prove its benefits to patients. HIFU significantly decreases the risk of impotence, from 80% to 2%, and incontinence, from 20% to .4%, when compared to other prostate cancer treatments such as surgical removal of the organ or radiation. In addition, studies show a 95.4% decrease in PSA levels with 80% of patients remaining cancer-free for up to 10 years.

While waiting for the FDA to act and not wanting to deny men in need a better treatment option, Suarez offered HIFU in centers he established in the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Canada. Thanks to Suarez, it is now no longer necessary for American men to travel overseas to obtain the life-altering treatment. Dr. Suarez has since performed over 2,300 HIFU treatments – more than any other doctor in the world – and has trained over 500 physicians in how to administer HIFU.

“Having changed the culture of how we treat the most common cancer in men and having the opportunity to impact the entire community of urologists around the world is deeply gratifying,” said Suarez. “But most importantly, we can now provide an effective treatment that offers a cure without compromising quality of life and dignity for men.”

The Miami Herald South Florida Visionary Awards recognizes 13 community leaders who have made a positive impact in their respective fields which include: architecture, arts/culture, business, civic leadership, education, environment, government, healthcare, next generation, philanthropy, real estate development, quality of life and the 305 award.

Nominations from Herald readers were provided for each category. A panel of community judges narrowed down the field to 3 nominees per category. Readers were once again given a voice with the opportunity to vote online while also factoring votes from a panel of community judges who looked at the vision, impact and inspiration of each finalist. Winners were announced on June 13, 2016.

For more information on Dr. George Suarez, visit www.hifumedicalexpert.com or call 305-274-7144.

 


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1 Comment on "MIAMI UROLOGIST, GEORGE SUAREZ, M.D., RECEIVES 2016 HEALTHCARE VISIONARY AWARD"

  1. A Medical Story about HIFU

    I was a college professor (PhD in mathematics) and afterward a programmer at Hewlett Packard for 10 years. I am now retired.

    I herein submit a shortened version of a medical story. I write this narrative not to register a complaint, but because I hold fast to the chance that someone, by the reading of my fate, might be spared some measure of suffering and grief.

    In July 2007, I underwent a HIFU procedure in an attempt to alleviate urinary problems caused by a benign, enlarged prostate. Dr George M Suarez of Miami, FL, accompanied by Dr Dianne Heritz of St Catherines, Ontario, carried out the procedure in Niagara Falls, Ontario using the Sonablate 500® system designed by USHIFU (now SonaCare Medical) of Charlotte, NC.

    These were the immediate results:
    inaccessible catheter entry from the urethra into the bladder
    prolapsed pelvic floor—irreversible
    bulges in the rectal wall—irreversible
    pudendal nerve damage—irreversible
    lymph system obstruction—irreversible
    urethral scarring—recurrent after removal

    Added to those horrors, a few months later, the original prostate symptoms returned.

    The pelvic traumas impede and distort the body’s ability to store and eliminate solid and liquid waste—painful, destructive, and gruesome. A colo-rectal surgeon put forward that colostomy was the only way to bypass the pelvic and rectal damages.

    Twice I had the urethral scarring surgically removed. Each time the scarring returned. A local urologist advised that open reconstruction might be necessary to repair the urethra.

    A vascular surgeon prescribed compression stockings—to manage swelling in the lower extremities brought on by the lymph obstruction—and later an anti-coagulant—to manage a blood clot that had developed. Both the swelling and clot will be everlasting.

    My encounter with HIFU has permanently impaired my health. The HIFU experience has saddled me with agonizing disabilities. It has deformed my legs. It has increased the likelihood of blood clots. It has obligated me to be at all times within short range of a bathtub with a nearby toilet. It has ruined my life, turning it into a torturous ordeal. HIFU damages mandate abnormal exertions for waste elimination, contortions which put pressure on my spine and injure healthy tissue. All disorders have worsened with time. All of them generate enormous stress; and all of them distort peacefulness, sleep, and normal living—day and night. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years undergoing medical examinations, tests, and procedures to find relief from the agony and havoc that HIFU had wrought. No relief has been forthcoming.

    Shortly after a Nov 2012 MRI substantiated multiple pelvic injuries, I wrote to each of the orchestrators of the HIFU procedure/fiasco (Dr George Suarez, Dr Dianne Heritz, and USHIFU) asking for an explanation of what went wrong. I’ve not received any response—not even a note of concern—to this tale of torment.

    Robert Katz, Little Rock, AR

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