Cottage Health is the first health system on the 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 at Cottage Outpatient Surgery Center. 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.

The technique 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.

HIFU ensures patients receive effective treatment with minimal discomfort, Cottage Health reports.

“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,” he said.

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 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.

For more about cancer care at Cottage Health, visit Cottagehealth.org/roboticHIFU.