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SANTA BARBARA –Cottage Health is the first health system on the California Central Coast to offer
Focal One’s noninvasive Robotic High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) treatment to patients
with localized prostate cancer. HIFU, an outpatient procedure, is today’s most advanced
technology for precisely targeted ablation of diseased prostate tissue. Dr. David Laub, urologist
with Cottage Health, performed the first three procedures on June 23, 2023, at Cottage Outpatient
Surgery Center.

The addition of HIFU builds on Cottage’s reputation for advanced patient care and the health
system’s multidisciplinary approach to cancer treatment.

Patients who undergo the HIFU outpatient surgery procedure can go home the same day. HIFU
combines real-time ultrasound image guidance, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and biopsy
data in a 3D visualization. This approach allows urologists to navigate to the tumor with a
transrectal probe in real-time, directing high-speed ultrasound energy precisely at the target area
and selectively ablating only the diseased portion of the prostate—eliminating the need for
incisions. This approach ensures that patients receive effective treatment with minimal

“For men diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, HIFU is a less invasive alternative between
active surveillance, surgery and radiation,” said Dr. David Laub. “This technology allows us to
precisely target cancerous tissue within the prostate, mirroring the approach of a lumpectomy
where only the diseased portion of the breast is treated, rather than resorting to complete breast
removal for a single lump.

The fusion of these technologies enables urologists to establish more precise contours around the
cancerous tumor than was possible in the past. They can then ablate a smaller portion of the
prostate, which lessens the damage to surrounding healthy tissue and minimizes the risk of side
effects of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction for patients commonly associated with
radical prostatectomy and radiation.

“The fusion of these technologies enables us to customize the procedure for each patient,
ensuring the best possible outcomes,” said Dr. Scott Tobis. “We are not only sparing healthy tissue
but also protecting our patients’ quality of life.”

With HIFU, the urologist can customize the procedure for each patient and each clinical condition
using high-performance ultrasound technology that allows for precise targeting and destruction of
part of the prostate, sparing healthy surrounding tissue and minimizing side effects.

Cottage Health is committed to advancing cancer care and providing the Central Coast community
with comprehensive services across the cancer care continuum. From prevention and early
detection to cancer treatment and management, Cottage Health offers state-of-the-art diagnostic
and treatment technologies, specialized expertise, and a caring, personal approach to patient care.
To learn more about cancer care at Cottage Health, visit


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