What was your main motivation in becoming a doctor? When did you decide on this path?
Both biology and anatomy fascinated me at an early age. My father was interested in medicine, however, serving in World War II changed his path. I think this inspired my early interest in science and medicine. I can remember in middle school having an interest in anatomy and how the body worked. I later decided in high school that I could apply my interest in biology and anatomy while helping people, in the field of medicine
How did you decide on your particular specialty? Why urology?
I was fascinated with all the surgical specialties in medical school. I enjoyed urology the most as it involved treatment of patients medically as well as surgically. Urology is very unique in the blend of medical and minimally invasive techniques to treat patients.
What is your favorite part about being a physician?
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to see patients and establish a relationship and be able to diagnose problems and disease, and cure them. I feel that this is a gift, and I treat it as such, to motivate me every day.
When did you first learn about HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
I first learned about HIFU 8 years ago when I traveled to a HIFU training course out of the country prior to its approval in the United States. I saw the future of the technology and knew that it would meet a need for many patients with localized prostate cancer once approved in the U.S.
When did you become involved in treating patients using HIFU technology?
I first began treating patients with the HIFU technology in 2011. I saw the future of this technology in the U.S. but several of my patients wanted it prior to FDA approval. I traveled with my patients to Nassau where it was authorized and approved for use and gained experience there.
Why did you initially become interested in HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
I have had 25 years of experience treating prostate patients with radiation, surgery, and cryotherapy. I learned that I could manage many prostate cancer patients without the side effects they experienced with these other modalities by using the localized, precise treatment that HIFU offers. I am very excited to be able to offer HIFU to my patients from Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.
What do you typically tell a patient when they are first diagnosed with prostate cancer?
I have an extensive discussion about their pathology and will order genetic analysis and x-ray imaging if needed. I then review all of the treatment options with the patient. I always set up a follow up appointment to allow the patient to review his options and then address all of his questions and concerns to help him make the right individualized decision.
What different types of treatments do you offer men with localized prostate cancer?
Even though I have done almost 700 DaVinci surgical robotic procedures, not all patients need surgical removal. Some patients can be placed on active surveillance. Urology has many new molecular markers and imaging modalities to allow us to safely follow some patients. Other patients are not candidates for surveillance, and I offer radiation, cryotherapy, surgery, and of course, HIFU.
In your professional opinion, what are the benefits of HIFU as a treatment for prostate cancer?
HIFU therapy is equivalent to surgery in terms of cancer control. It is the best treatment to minimize the risk of impotence and incontinence. HIFU also has several advantages in patients who are unable to undergo radiation or surgical removal of the prostate.
If you would like to learn more about Dr. Gajewski or schedule a HIFU consultation call 1-877-884-4438.