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Cottage Health 1st to Offer Robotic Ultrasound Technology for Prostate Cancer

Cottage Health First in Central Coast to Offer Breakthrough Ultrasound Technology for Prostate Cancer

Noninvasive technology delivers precise tissue ablation, reduces debilitating side effects

SANTA BARBARA Cottage Health is the first health system on the California Central Coast to offer Focal Ones 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 prostateeliminating the need for incisions. This approach ensures that patients receive effective treatment with minimal discomfort.

"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

About Cottage Health

The not-for-profit Cottage Health is the leader in providing advanced medical care to the Central Coast region. Specialties include the Cottage Children’s Medical Center, Level 1 Trauma Center, Neuroscience Institute, Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Orthopedics, and Rehabilitation Hospital. The Cottage Health medical staff is comprised of more than 700 physicians, many with subspecialties typically found only at university medical centers. Last year, the Cottage Health hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley provided inpatient care for 19,000 people, treated 81,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,000 newborns.

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