Dr. Ahlering is the top of his field. He truly cares about his patients. He preformed a prostatectomy and after 9 years I am cancer free. I have sent several of my friends to him and they have all had rave reviews. His staff is wonderful to work with.
It is very rare that you get to see a world renowned surgeon like him to have this kind of genuine care for the average patient. After the surgery I was basically pain free and only took 1 Tylenol! I was able to walk at length couple of days after the surgery.I completely regained my urinary continence 2 weeks after the surgery. ALL the other functions have returned to normal a month after the surgery. Dr Ahlering, thank you very much for giving me another shot at life!
Dr. Ahlering is a great doctor for prostate robotic removal because that is his main focus. If you want someone who has done thousands of robotic prostate removals, please see Dr. Ahlering. Dr. Ahlering does his own work and it is not done by an intern. He is a niche doctor and considering all the complications that can occur you want a doctor like Ahlering because he has seen it all many times before. He is a ten.
Dr Ahlering and his staff are amazing. It's been a while since a ran across a doctor and staff that were so kind. Dr. Ahlering is at the pinnacle of his field and is committed to implementing better and better ways to conduct robotic prostatectomy. I highly recommend him.
Excellent surgeon and professional in all aspects. Dr. Thomas Ahlering has done close to 1500 robotic surgeries. He knows his stuff and takes pride in his work. His staff is top notch and very caring. I would highly recommend him. I had surgery 10 days ago and all is going very well with my recovery. I'm off all medications and everything is working just as they were prior to surgery. I am very thankful to Dr. Ahlering and his staff.
I recently underwent a robotic prostatectomy procedure by Dr. Thomas Ahlering of The University of California Irvine. I found him to be very direct, extremely knowledgeable, patient, and compassionate. My experience was spectacular from the moment I first contacted the Assistant to Dr. Ahlering, Lydia Cruz-Reyes, to discuss my elevated PSA to when I returned to Oregon one week following the surgery. I'll be the first to admit I'm a sensitive guy when it comes to anything dealing with needles and pain. However, I experienced very little post-surgical pain, very little blood, and what pain I did have was easily managed by Motrin. One week after surgery, I was walking two miles a day, and when the catheter was removed, I was fully continent! As I write this coming up upon my 3rd-week post surgery, I'm back swimming at 1/2 my pre-surgical workout and walking 4 miles in between swim days.

My outcome was the best I could have possibly imagined. I sincerely believe that this was the result of Dr. Ahlering’s surgical skill, the vast experience he has obtained over the thousands of robotic surgeries he has performed, and the time and care that he takes throughout the operation. My entire surgical procedure was flawlessly executed from start to finish with everyone on the team working in perfect concert. Watching all of this unfold when I wasn't under anesthesia gave me an overwhelming sense of comfort.

After my original diagnosis of a rising PSA at the age of 54, my physician recommended a prostate biopsy. Researching online at the time, I learned that biopsies were not always accurate. I reached out to a good friend who is a professional in the field of urology robotics, and he gave me his list of the top 3 urological surgeons. Dr. Ahlering being at the top of that list as a highly respected original adopter of robotic surgery for prostatectomies, and widely known as a constant innovator of surgical techniques to maximize the best possible outcome for patients. He is also passionate in his research and advocacy for the early screening and treatment of this disease and also has the reputation of being the surgeon that other doctors and surgeons turn to when diagnosed with prostate cancer.

After meeting with Dr. Ahlering and discussing my options for biopsy, I settled on a contrasted multi-parametric 3 Tesla MRI with an MRI guided needle biopsy. Unlike other biopsies, the contrasted MRI procedure is non-invasive and does not involve the older method of using a Trans-Rectal Ultrasound, or TRUS. Once the MRI results highlighted the potential cancer sites, the same process was used to verify the accurate biopsy needle placement. Multi-parametric MRI guided needle biopsies assure the most precise core samples of the suspect tissue "the first time." This procedure is becoming the standard biopsy method over the ultrasound-guided biopsy methods. Unfortunately, my test results were positive for two of the three sites tested, and I ended up with a Gleason 3+3 or 6, PIRAD-4, PSA Density 0.014 ng ml/cc.

After my diagnosis, I set off on a path of extensive online research. Over the coming months, we met and talked with numerous other professionals involved with various protocols both mainstream and research. These included Brachytherapy, Proton Beam therapy, High-Intensity Focal Ultrasound (HIFU), Focal Laser Ablation, and "Watchful Waiting." I also spoke with other prostate cancer survivors who had all had undergone various types of protocols. At the same time, I started an intensive physical training program and reduced my intake of unhealthy foods, replacing them with nourishing alternatives. I began to walk as much and as far as possible, increased my swimming to develop core strength and lean body mass, and added weight and TRX training to my program. My training also helped me deal with the stress of my diagnosis and all my research leading up to my decision for the best course of treatment.

A total of 22 months had passed since my original diagnosis and I was even hopeful that in seeing my PSA drop from 5.8 to 4.2 that somehow I was getting on top of this. However, another multi-parametric MRI showed cancer still active. Over this time of exhaustive research, countless discussions with Dr. Ahlering who all the while remained very understanding with me, leaning on “watchful waiting,” and hoping for a pill of some type for a cure, I finally scheduled my surgery with Dr. Ahlering. The post-surgical biopsy came back showing advancement in my grade of the prostate cancer, a Gleason 3+4; now my Gleason 6 became a Gleason 7 within 22 months. However, I was still fortunate that my cancer remained within the prostate and my margins were negative or clean.

The change in my Gleason score from a 3+3 to a 3+4 elevated the probability of the return of my prostate cancer from near 0 to 10 percent. Having conducted numerous studies on the effects of diet and exercise on prostate cancer patients, Dr. Ahlering is confident that as I move past my surgery and continue with my healthy lifestyle, I can lower the 10 percent significantly.

I feel incredibly relieved that I’m fully continent and no longer dealing with the thought of carrying cancer that I had for the last 22+ months. I give full credit to Dr. Ahlering for the success of my robotic surgical procedure. However, he stressed the importance to me that the patient has a lot of control over the successful outcome as well. By preparing and being in their best nutritional and physical shape possible and following the post-surgical recovery recommendations, a patient can improve the surgical and recovery processes dramatically.

I cannot finish without mentioning the fantastic surgical support team. Throughout my experience at the surgical center of MiVIP, from pre-surgery to post-surgery, everything was executed with the utmost care and consideration to my comfort and concern. The team at the surgery center takes great pride in working with Dr. Ahlering and even refers to themselves as "The A-Team," providing one-on-one patient care that you wouldn’t typically find in a hospital environment today. They are a highly professional and seasoned team having worked with Dr. Ahlering for many years and extremely familiar with the robotic prostatectomy surgery. They provide an invaluable continuity in experience and teamwork that is very challenging to get in hospitals today.

When arriving at MiVIP the day before my surgery, Aubrey provided me with a very comprehensive pre-surgery briefing discussing the necessary post-surgical catheter and was later responsible for its removal. Aubrey even continued to check in with me throughout my recovery after my surgery. Alma is the head of the nurse team and has an incredibly warm and angelic personality making me feel as I was going to be in expert caring hands. Alma, along with the other lead nurse Amy, made me incredibly comfortable throughout the pre-surgery and post-surgery process. They provided a pre-surgical tour which included a viewing of the latest generation of the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System, and the private recovery areas. At all the phases of my surgery, my anesthesiologist Dr. Kelvin Nguyen made sure that I was entirely relaxed and comfortable going into and coming out of the operating room, and treated me like a member of his family, even following up with me for several days, checking in to see how I was doing. The night team nursing staff of Lola and Airea kept me comfortable and well cared for throughout my first night. As I awoke on-and-off throughout my early hours following surgery, they were always right there or nearby checking on me regularly. Others told me that I would love the experience at MiVIP and they were right.

Reflecting on this experience, I am convinced that robotic surgery and world-class surgeons such as Dr. Ahlering will continue to radically change the future of medicine by maximizing the best possible surgical outcome for the patient while also minimizing patient discomfort and recovery time. I am 100-percent convinced that I made the right choice in every way.

Christopher Hattasch