Thomas Edward Ahlering

picture of Thomas Edward Ahlering

Vice Chair, Urology
School of Medicine

M.D., St. Louis University School of Medicine, Residency - Felloship USC, BS (Chemistry ) University of California Berkeley

Phone: (714) 456-6068
Fax: (888) 378-4524

University of California, Irvine
333 City Blvd West, Suite 2100, RT 81
Mail Code: 5395
Orange, CA 92868
Research Interests
Robotic Prostatectomy
Research Abstract
The initiation of the UC Irvine Department of Urology Robotic Prostatectomy Program was put in the skilled hands of its experienced prostate surgeon, Dr. Thomas Ahlering in 2002. Dr. Ahlering was already a very highly regarded surgeon in Urologic cancers, being listed as one of the original "America's Best Doctors" since his membership in 1994 and had already performed 500+ open radical prostatectomies, before transitioning to the da Vinci system.

The UC Irvine Robotics program performed the first Robotic Prostatectomy in Southern California in June 2002, and Dr. Ahlering now has done over 1600 cases. In addition to being one of the oldest programs in the world, Dr. Ahlering has one of the largest series of publications relating to robotic prostatectomy in the literature. Since the robotic program inception in 2002, Dr. Ahlering has written 100+ scientific publications and book chapters, specifically on robotic prostatectomy, of which 7 papers bring forth new advancements in techniques.

This work demonstrates that robotic prostatectomy produces superior outcomes for the patient in reduced blood loss, nearly zero blood transfusion, low complication rates, earlier return to work, and excellent oncological outcomes with low positive margin rates. The rate of return for pad-free urinary control in men is ~80% at 3 months and ~95% at one year after surgery. These findings validate the wisdom of the transition from open surgery to robotic prostatectomy. Dr. Ahlering has made significant advances in robotic prostectomy cancer control by reducing surgical margins, inproving postoperative sexual function by elimination of electrocautery and earlier return to urinary continence with the newly developed technique of hypothermia

Surgeons come from around the world to visit UC Irvine’s Douglas Hospital in Orange County, via our Mini-Residency and Intuitive da Vinci training programs, to learn from Dr. Ahlering's techniques. His recent honors include Physician of Excellence, Orange Coast Magazine (2005), and Intuitive Surgical's Pioneer of da Vinci Urology Surgery (2005).
Available Technologies
Ahlering TE, Skarecky D, Lee DI and Clayman RV.
Successful Transfer of Open Surgical Skills to a Laparoscopic Envirnonment Using a Robotic Interface: Initial Experience with Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy.
J. Urology, 170(5):1738-1741, Nov. 2003
Finley D, Chang A, Morales B, Osann K, Skarecky DW, Ahlering TE ,
Impact of Regional Hypothermia on Urinary Continence and Potency following Robot-assisted Radical Prostatectomy. J Endourology 24(7): 1111-1116, July 2010.
Finley D, Osann K, Skarecky DW, Ahlering TE,
Hypothermic nerve sparing radical prostatectomy: rationale, feasibility, and impact of early continence. Urology 73(4), 691-696, April 2009.
Rodriguez E, Finley D, Skarecky DW, Ahlering TE:
Single Institution 2 Year Patient-Reported Validated Sexual Function Outcomes after Robotic-assisted Radical Prostatectomy. J Urology 181(1), 259-263, Jan 2009,
Finley D, Rodriguez E, Skarecky DW, Ahlering TE,
Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Potency Recovery following Unilateral Nerve sparing Prostatectomy (RLP). BJU Int 104 (10), 1484-1489, Nov 2009.
Ahlering TE, Rodriguez E, Skarecky DW,
Overcoming Obstacles: Nerve Sparing issues in Robotic-assisted Laparascopic Prostatectomy.
J. Endourology 22(4), 745-750, April 2008.
Borin J, Skarecky DW, Narula N, Ahlering TE:
The Impact of Urethral Stump Length on Continence and Positive Surgical Margins in Robot-assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy (RLP). Urology 70(1):173-177, July 2007.
Ahlering TE, Borin J, Skarecky DW:
Impact of Cautery versus Cautery Free Preservation of Neurovascular Bundles on Early Return of Potency J. Endourology 20(8): 586-589, Aug 2006
Eichel L, Chou D, Skarecky DW, Ahlering TE:
Feasibility Study for Laparoscopic Radical Prostatectomy Cautery Free Neurovascular Bundle Preservation Urology 65(5): 994-998, +video, May 2005
Ahlering TE, Eichel L, Edwards R, Lee D, Skarecky DW:
Robotic Radical Prostatectomy: Is elimination of pT2 Positive Margins Possible?
Urology 64(6):1224-1228, +video, Dec 2004.
Van Velthoven RF, Ahlering TE, Peltier A, Skarecky DW, and Clayman RV. Technique for Laparoscopic Running Urethrovesical Anastomosis "The Single Knot Method" Urology 61(4), 699-702, April 2003.
Ahlering TE, Skarecky D.
Long-term Outcome of Detectable PSA Levels after radical prostatectomy. Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases 8(2):163-6, 2005.
Astellas Pharmaceutical: Study of Solifenacin in the Treatment of Post Prostectomy Incontinence
Professional Society
Society of Urological Oncological
Other Experience
Graduate Programs

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