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Douglas M. Dahl, MD, FACS, is the Chief of Urologic Oncology and a urologic surgeon in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Urology. He specializes in the treatment of cancer, minimally invasive surgery, and related research.
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Dr. Dahl graduated from Princeton University with honors where he majored in molecular biology. His thesis project was to study genes related to the development of cancer. He then attended medical school at Yale University, where he graduated in the top 10% of his class as recognized by the AOA honor medical society. His internship and residency training were at Harvard. He spent two years in general surgery training at the Brigham and Women's hospital, Boston Children's hospital, and West Roxbury V.A. hospital. He then completed four years of training in Urology in the Harvard Longwood Area program in Urology. This program included training at the above mentioned hospitals and the Beth Israel Hospital of Boston. He served as a research fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute where he studied the genetics of prostate cancer. He then moved to the University of Massachusetts Medical Center where he was the head of urologic laparoscopic surgery. It was there that many firsts in New England took place: The first laparoscopic kidney donor surgery for transplant, and the first laparoscopic radical prostatectomy surgery.
In 2001, he was recruited to start the program in laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. His contributions have been recognized by the hospital where he serves as Director of Robotic Surgery and Chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology. He has also been honored by Harvard Medical School with the title of Associate Professor of Surgery.
Dr. Dahl's current research focus is in two areas: novel techniques and technologies for minimally invasive Urologic surgery and clinical trials in Urologic oncology. He developed techniques in laparoscopic radical prostatectomy and laparoscopic partial nephrectomy that are now in clinical use. He has published novel techniques in renal transplant and renal surgery, laparoscopic radical prostatectomy, and laparoscopic hernia repair, and has overseen the design and engineering of devices for improving laparoscopic surgery. He has worked with several of the major equipment makers in developing and testing new equipment for minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Dahl's current area of oncology research interest is in clinical trials in multimodality treatment of urologic malignancies. He served as an investigator for several national studies in treatment of bladder cancer, salvage surgery for radio-resistant prostate cancer, and a prostate cancer prevention trial. He served on the Human Subjects Committee charged with review and approval of all clinical investigations. His current role at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital, includes serving as the co-Principal Investigator of one of five sections of the Harvard SPORE grant studying renal cell carcinoma serum and tissue markers. He is the national Urology chair for two national studies under the auspices of the RTOG (Radiation Therapy Oncology Group).
View my most recent publications at PubMed
Robotic surgery can decrease blood loss and patient pain, lead to a shorter recovery time than a traditional laparoscopic approach, and offers surgeons a shorter learning curve.
About one in seven men will be affected by prostate cancer in their lifetime. Massachusetts General Hospital urologists share updates on prostate cancer screening and treatments.
This video is a detailed explanation – and view – of the surgery. It contains some graphic footage.
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