Surgeons: Ashutosh Tewari and Richard Gaston

Moderators: Bernard Rocco and Thomas Ahlering


Dr. Ashutosh Tewari is the Professor and System Chair of the Milton and Carroll Petrie Department of Urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, an integral component of the Mount Sinai Health System which includes seven New York Hospitals. He also serves as a member of the Tisch Cancer Institute and Institute of Immunology at Mount Sinai. Before coming to Mount Sinai Dr. Tewari was Director of the Lefrak Center for Robotic Surgery at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center, and was Ronald P Lynch Professor of Urologic Oncology in the Department of Urology Center and Professor of Public Health at Weill Cornell Medical. Dr. Tewari was the founding director of the Center for Prostate Cancer at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical Center.
Since 2013, the Department of Urology has undergone significant expansion under the leadership and vision of Dr. Tewari, and today it provides state-of-the-art services for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and management of a wide variety of urologic conditions, including genitourinary cancers. Among his other significant achievements are the recruitment of basic scientists, surgeon-scientists in the areas of kidney cancer, bladder cancer, kidney stones, endourology, and the recruitment of new medical directors for Interventional Urology, Focal Therapy program and Men’s Health programs.
Dr. Tewari has been a pioneer in Robotic Surgery and has been involved in the development of Robotic Prostatectomy from its inception. He has made a major impact on the anatomical foundations as they apply to Robotic platforms and has performed over xxxx robotic prostatectomies in his career. He is a clinician scientist who has incorporated the use of molecular diagnostic tools like Onctotype Dx, Decipher, Prolaris, Precision medicine, Sema-4 and FoundationOne for risk stratification and decision support.

Dr. Tewari has made seminal contributions to prostate cancer research. Over the past several years Dr. Tewari has studied various aspects of prostate cancer including surgical prostate anatomy, genetic risk profiling, epidemiology, racial disparities, risk modeling and survivorship issues. Dr. Tewari leads a multidisciplinary team of basic and clinician scientists with key focus on immunotherapy clinical trials, studies on racial disparity of cancer, radio-genomics and functional genomics of tumors; inter and intra-tumor heterogeneity, drug resistance, tumor-microenvironment and immune adaptation, epigenetics, viral vectors for gene therapy, neo-antigen and biomarker discovery platforms for GU cancers. He has also contributed to the understanding of MRI based imaging and racial disparities in prostate cancer.

Richard Gaston is the Head of the Department of Urology at Saint Augustin Hospital, Bordeaux since 1985. In 1991 he started with laparascopic surgery and in 1997, he performed the first radical prostatectomy in Europe. Richard Gaston is active member of various urological societies and on the editorial board of a variety of international journals.


Prof. Bernardo Rocco was born in Milan, 31 October 1973. Graduated in 1998 (110/119 cum laude) at the University of Milan, Italy. He post graduated in Urology in 2003 (70/70 cum laude) and registered to the state medical board of Milan, Italy and Switzerland. In 2009 he attended a one-year research and clinical fellowship in Robotic Surgery at Global Robotics Institute, Celebration (FL).
From 2003 to 2011 we worked as Medical Assistant at the Department of Urology at Istituto Europeo di Oncologia, Milan; during 2009-2011 he was Deputy Director and Director of Surgical Robotic School at the same Institution. From 2011 to November 2016 he worked as First Level Medical Executive at Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Milan. On November 2016 he became Associate Professor in Urology at the University of Modena e Reggio Emilia and First Level Medical Executive at Nuovo Ospedale Civile Sant' Agostino Estense di Baggiovara, Modena, Italy.
Since November 2018 he is the Chief of the Department of Urology at the University of Modena, Italy, and Full Professor in Urology at the same Institution.
He is a mentor in robotic surgery – in both adults and pediatrics - at national and international urological units and performed several live cases of robotic procedures; he is a co-inventor of the posterior reconstruction technique (Rocco’s stitch) and promoter of its use during minimally invasive radical prostatectomy.
He is Author of more than 190 articles indexed in Scopus and Pubmed, accounting for an overall H-index of 29 and more than 3600 citations.

Dr. Thomas Ahlering is a highly regarded surgeon in Urologic cancers, with years of experience in treatment of prostate, bladder, kidney and testicular cancers. He did his residency and a two-year fellowship in urologic oncology under Dr. Donald Skinner at the University of Southern California. His research concentrates on maximizing functional recovery through patient-reported outcomes following RARP. He has collaborated in pioneering new treatment modalities and principles such as the van Velthoven urethrovesical anastomosis, reducing NVB traction injury, multi-center trial on an online email patient portal, etc. He has multiple investigator-initiated trials on continence and sexual function, including the predictive capability of 30-day continence and 90-day percent fullness on long-term patient outcomes. Further, his publications have established that delay of recovery of sexual function is best explained by well-established Neurosurgical principles of peripheral nerve injury and recovery. In one of his RCTs he strongly demonstrated that surgeon skill and not inflammatory-based surgical injury is far more responsible for more complete and faster potency preservation and recovery. Thus, robotic prostatectomy produces improved outcomes for the patient in reduced blood loss, nearly zero blood transfusions, low complication rates, earlier return to work, and excellent oncological outcomes with low positive margin rates.