Co-Director of Ohio State's Center for Advanced Robotic Surgery
Director of Robotic Urologic Surgery
Assistant Professor of Urology, The Ohio State University
Clinical Background & Robotic ExpertisePatient OutcomesScholarly PublicationsRegional Lectures on Robotic SurgeryPress CoverageContact Information
Clinical Background and Robotic Expertise
Years in Practice: 5 +
Board Certified: Yes
Medical School: Northwestern University Medical School (Chicago, IL)
Residency: University of Toledo Medical Center (Toledo, Ohio)
Clinical Interests: Practice dedicated exclusively to robotic urologic surgery
Number of robotic procedures performed: >2,000
Dr. Ronney Abaza is currently the most experienced robotic surgeon in the state of Ohio across all surgical specialties and is among the top 5 surgeons in the country in the number of robotic procedures he performs. Unlike most surgeons who offer robotic urologic procedures, Dr. Abaza's practice is dedicated solely to robotic surgery, and he typically performs 10 or more robotic surgeries weekly, with usually 8 or more robotic prostatectomies weekly for prostate cancer.
Dr. Abaza has been performing robotic surgery since 2006 when he founded the Robotic and Minimally-Invasive Urologic Surgery Institute of Northwest Ohio, where he was the first in the region to perform robotic kidney, ureteral, adrenal and bladder cancer surgeries. He was also director of the Laparoscopy, Simulation & Robotics Training Center at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center and served on the faculty at the University of Toledo as Assistant Professor of Urology where he also performed kidney transplantation.
In 2008, Dr. Abaza left his hometown of Toledo to join OSU as Director of Robotic Urologic Surgery, where he leads an experienced team dedicated to patients undergoing robotic surgery for the treatment of urologic conditions, such as prostate, kidney and bladder cancers. He has worked extensively since then with surgeons at OSU in development of a multispecialty robotic surgery program leading to his appointment, along with Dr. Jeffrey Fowler, as Co-Director of Ohio State's Center for Advanced Robotic Surgery.
Dr. Abaza collaborates closely with medical and radiation oncologists for multidisciplinary treatment of urologic cancers, including a weekly multimodality clinic with Drs. Steven Clinton and Douglas Martin, where patients with prostate cancer can see all three specialists to allow them access to the best treatments and clinical trials currently available.
Click here for more information on the multidisciplinary Prostate and Genitourinary Cancer team and clinical trials at The James.
Dr. Abaza also continues to develop new techniques in robotic urologic surgery and currently has one of the most active clinical research protocols at The James. He has presented at national and international meetings, including more than 90 presentations on robotic prostate, kidney, and bladder surgery in the past three years, and has won awards from state, regional, and national urologic societies for his research. His work in robotic surgery has been published extensively in medical journals, including several new robotic procedures and techniques performed for the first time ever by Dr. Abaza. Two such techniques were featured on the covers of major urology journals in 2011, including the Journal of Endourology and European Urology.
Dr. Abaza is also passionate about teaching robotic surgical techniques and has been instructing surgeons in multiple fields for several years. He organizes and is course director for the National Urology Resident Preceptorship in Robotic Urologic Surgery which has been held annually for residents from around the country since 2009. He is also director of a robotic urologic surgery fellowship at OSU offering one year of additional training in robotic surgery for graduates of U.S. urology training programs. Dr. Abaza frequently serves as faculty for educational courses both in the U.S. and internationally and as a panelist, moderator or course director for programs at the annual meetings of various national and international medical societies, including the American College of Surgeons and American Urological Association.
Because of his extensive experience and dedication to robotic surgery, Dr. Abaza’s patient outcomes are tantamount to those of the best robotic surgeons in the world. He is also able to offer robotic surgery to many patients who were previously not considered candidates, such as obese patients, patients with previous abdominal and prostate surgery, patients with high-risk cancers and patients who have had radiation. As one of the highest volume robotic surgeons in the nation, Dr. Abaza closely monitors his patients’ outcomes by tracking detailed data for each patient, including over 500 data points for prostate cancer patients, to ensure quality and continually improve patient experiences.
The following data from Dr. Abaza’s surgical database is representative of his own patient outcomes and is taken from a recent series of 1,000 consecutive prostatectomy patients treated by Dr. Abaza at OSU:
Average operative time: 2.5hrs
Conversion to open surgery: 0%
30-day reoperation rate: <1%
Average blood loss: 4 ounces
Hospital discharge day after surgery: 99%
Drain-free rate: >99%
Average catheter time: 5.6 days
Average number lymph nodes removed per patient: 10 nodes
Negative margins in organ-confined disease (T2c or less): >92%
Bladder neck contracture: <0.5%
Urethral stricture: <0.5%
Rectal injury: <0.1%
Bowel injury: <0.1%
Fecal (stool) incontinence: 0%
Additionally, Dr. Abaza believes in reproducing traditional, open surgical techniques during robotic surgery to afford the benefits of minimally-invasive surgery without compromising the quality of the operation. This is typified by his outcomes in robotic procedures beyond prostatectomy as well, such as an extended lymph node dissection in bladder cancer patient (which has proven survival benefit) yielding an average of nearly 40 nodes per patient and a warm ischemia time in partial nephrectomy patients of typically <20 minutes (and sometimes 0 minutes) to prevent kidney damage while removing tumors. Dr. Abaza has developed clinical pathways taking advantage of his shorter operative times, lower blood loss, and less use of narcotics for pain control that allow for typical hospital discharges three days after bladder removal, the day after nephrectomy and partial nephrectomy for kidney tumors, and the day of surgery for some kidney and reconstructive procedures.
Dr. Abaza’s research parallels his clinical focus on robotic surgery and urologic cancers. He is also a reviewer of manuscripts for the Journal of Urology, Urology, European Urology, and the Journal of Endourology among several other medical journals.
Dr. Abaza’s recent scholarly publications as primary or senior author include:
2011 Abaza, R.: “Initial Series of Robotic Radical Nephrectomy with Vena Caval Tumor Thrombectomy,” European Urology
2011 Abaza, R.: “Robotic Surgery and Minimally-Invasive Management of Renal Tumors with Vena Caval Extension,” Current Opinion in Urology
2011 Abaza, R., Lowe, G.: “Feasibility and Adequacy of Robotic Lymphadenectomy for Renal Cell Carcinoma,” Journal of Endourology
2011 Lavery, H.J., Prall, D., Abaza, R.: “Active Patient Decision-Making Regarding Nerve-Sparing During Radical Prostatectomy: A Novel Approach,” Journal of Urology
2011 Abaza, R.: “Techniques for Robotic Nephrectomy with Vena Caval Tumor Thrombectomy,” Journal of Endourology, Part B: Videourology
2011 Lavery, H., Martinez-Suarez, H., Abaza, R.: “Robotic Extended Pelvic Lymphadenectomy for Bladder Cancer with Increased Nodal Yield,” BJU International
2011 Gibson, B., Abaza, R.: “Robotic Repair of Access-Related Aortic Injuries: Unexpected Complication of Robotic Prostatectomy,” Journal of Endourology
2011 Mues, A., Box, G.N., Abaza, R.: “Robotic Instrument Insulation Failure: Initial Report of a Potential Source of Patient Injury,” Urology
2011 Shah, K., Abaza, R.: “Comparison of Intraoperative Outcomes with New and Old Generation da Vinci Robot for Robotic Prostatectomy,” BJU International
2011 Shah, A., Abaza, R.: “Clinical Pathway for Three-Day Stay after Robotic Cystectomy,” Journal of Endourology
2010 Dangle, P., Abaza, R.: “Contemporary Referral Pattern for Robotic Prostatectomy: Evidence of Growing Acceptance in the Urologic Community,” Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
2010 Dangle, P., Moore S., Abaza, R.: “Robotic Nephroureterectomy with Partial Duodenectomy for Invasive Ureteral Tumor,” Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
2009 Abaza, R.: “The Robotic Surgery Era and the Role of Laparoscopy Training,” Therapeutic Advances in Urology
2009 Abaza, R.: “Current Status of Robotic and Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery in the United States,” Invited manuscript, Czech Journal of Urology
2009 Abaza, R., Miocinovic, R., Keck, R. & Selman, S: “Prevention and Treatment of Transitional Cell Carcinomatosis with Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in a Rat Model,” Journal of Urology
2009 Abaza, R., Miocinovic, R., Keck, R. & Selman, S: “Prevention and Treatment of Transitional Cell Carcinomatosis with Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy in a Rat Model,” Journal of Urology.
2009 Abaza, R. & Zafar, S.: “Techniques for Laparoscopic & Robotic Localization of Intraluminal Ureteral Pathology,” Urology.
2009 Picard, J. & Abaza, R.: “Role of Stent Placement in Laparoscopic Ureteroureterostomy,” Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.
2009 Bargnesi, D., Abaza, R. & Selman, S.: “Laparoscopic Management of extensive ureteral polyposis,” Canadian Journal of Urology
2009 Abaza, R.: “Current Status of Robotic and Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery in the United States,” Invited manuscript, Czech Journal of Urology, September 2009.
2009 Abaza, R.: “The Robotic Surgery Era and the Role of Laparoscopy Training,” Accepted for Publication, Therapeutic Advances in Urology.
2008 Miocinovic, R. & Abaza, R.: “Testicular Seminoma Presenting with Duodenal Perforation,” J Med Case Rep.
2008 Abaza, R. & Picard, J.: “Novel Technique for Laparoscopic or Robotic Partial Nephrectomy—Feasibility Study,” Journal of Endourology.
2008 Zafar, S. & Abaza, R.: “Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy for Adrenocortical Carcinoma: Initial Report and Review of the Literature,” Journal of Endourology.
2007 Abaza, R., Wiegand, C. & Martinez, B.: “Laparoscopic Aortorenal Bypass in an Acute Porcine Model Under Warm Ischemia: Feasibility Study and Resident Training Module,” Journal of Endourology.
2006 Abaza, R., Diaz, L., Laskin, W. & Pins, M.: “Prognostic Value of DNA Ploidy, Bcl-2 and p53 for Localized Prostate Adenocarcinoma Incidentally Discovered on Transurethral Prostatectomy,” Journal of Urology.
2006 Abaza, R.
, Keck, R. & Selman, S.: “Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for the Prevention of Transitional Cell Carcinoma Implantation,” Journal of Urology
Invited Lectures on Robotic Surgery
Dr. Abaza has given lectures on robotic surgery to educate the community and other physicians and health care providers for several years. Some of these include:
2011 9th Annual Turkish Endourological Society (Ankara, Turkey), “Robotic Extended Lymph Node Dissections” and “Lymph Node Dissection in Lower Tract Urologic Cancers”
2011 33rd Annual Meeting of the Taiwan Urological Association (Tainan, Taiwan), “Why Use a Robot for Laparoscopic Urologic Surgery?”
2011 Georgia Society of the American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting (Atlanta, GA), “Present Status of Robotic Surgery: Implications for Your Practice”
2011 Third-Annual Advanced Robotic Renal Surgery Workshop (Detroit, MI), “Robotic Nephroureterectomy: Why and How To,” “Complex Robotic Partial Nephrectomy,” and “Robotic Nephrectomy for Complex Renal Tumors”
2011 International Robotic Urology Symposium (Las Vegas, NV), “Robotic Nephrectomy,” “Robotic Lymph Node Dissections: Kidney and Bladder,” and “Unusual Robotic Urologic Applications”
2011 American Society of Clinical Anatomists (Columbus, OH), “Anatomic Foundations of Robotic Prostatectomy”
2011 3rd Annual Kropp Symposium Keynote Lecture, University of Toledo Department of Urology (Toledo, OH), “Emerging Concepts and Unusual Applications in Robotic Urologic Surgery”
2010 American College of Surgeons Annual Meeting (Washington, DC), “Robotic Surgery Applications in Urology”
2010 Aultman Cancer Center 10th Annual Cancer Conference, “Robotic Urologic Surgery: Is this a New Standard?”
2010 Clinical Robotic Surgery Association (Chicago, IL), “Robotic Surgical Education in Urology”
2010 2nd Annual Istanbul Robotic Urology Symposium (Istanbul, Turkey), “Robotic Lymphadenectomies for Urologic Cancers”
2010 Intuitive Surgical Global Distributors Meeting (Sunnyvale, CA), “Robotic Urologic Surgery”
2010 Mary Rutan Hospital CME, “Robotic Urologic Surgery: Prostate Cancer and Beyond”
2009 Intuitive Surgical National Sales Meeting (Las Vegas, NV), “Robotic Surgery in Urology: Foundation to the Future”
2009 American Urological Association North Central Section Annual Meeting (Scottsdale, AZ), “Other Applications of Robotic Surgery: Partial Nephrectomy, Cystectomy, and Sacrocolpopexy”
2009 James Comprehensive Cancer Center Annual Oncology Update, “Robotic Surgery for Prostate, Kidney and Bladder Cancer”
2009 Central Ohio Men Against Prostate Cancer Annual Prostate Cancer Educational Conference, “Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer”
2009 Genesis Healthcare System Zanesville, “Robotic Surgery: Beyond Prostate Cancer”
2008 Scioto County Medical Society 39th Annual Current Therapy Seminar, “Robotic Urologic Surgery: Prostatectomy and Beyond”
2008 Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network of Fairfield County, “Robotic Prostatectomy”
2008 Holzer Medical Center, “Robotic Urologic Surgery”
2008 Kettering Memorial Hospital, “Update in Robotic Surgery: Prostatectomy and Beyond”
2008 Southern Ohio Medical Center, “Robotic Urologic Surgery”
2008 JamesCare for Life Prostate Cancer Support Group, “Robotic Prostate and Urologic Surgery”
2007 Fremont Memorial Hospital, “Robotic Surgery: Current Status & Focus on Urology”
2007 St. Anne Mercy Hospital, “Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery”
2007 Lima Area Medical Educational Development, “Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery”
2007 American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Lima, “Robotic Surgery for Cancer”
2007 Henry County Hospital, “Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery”
2007 Man to Man Cancer Support Group, St. Luke’s Hospital, “Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer”
2007 Man to Man Group, St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, “Robotic Surgery for Prostate Cancer”
2007 Keynote Address, 18th Annual Luncheon in Honor of St. Vincent Retirees, “Robotic Surgery”
2006 Keynote Address, Ohio Association of Physician Assistants Annual Meeting, “Robotic Surgery”
2006 St. Charles Mercy Hospital (Oregon, OH), “Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery”
2006 Mercy Hospital of Defiance, “Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery”
2011 Best Urology Paper, 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting, Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons
2011 First Honorable Mention, Best Videos, Annual Meeting of the American Urological Association (Washington, D.C.)
2011 First Prize and Second Prize Overall, Ohio Urological Society Annual Resident Research Forum (Principal Investigator)
2011 Research Presentation featured as a Take Home Message at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting (“Quality of Lymphadenectomy is Equivalent in Robotic and Open Cystectomy Using an Extended Template”)
2011 Peer-selected for “Best Doctors in America”
2010 Best Video for “Techniques for Robotic Nephrectomy with Vena Caval Tumor Thrombectomy,” American Urologic Association North Central Section Annual Meeting
2009 Distinguished Robotic Surgeon Award: Pioneer of da Vinci Urologic Surgery, Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
2009 Best Urology Poster and Best Overall Poster Awards, Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Annual Meeting, “Robotic Extended Pelvic Lymphadenectomy for Bladder Cancer: Initial Experience with Greater Nodal Yield”
2009 Elected to Fellowship, American College of Surgeons
2009 First Prize Overall, Ohio Urological Society Annual Resident Research Forum (Principal Investigator)
2009 Selected for Marquis “Who’s Who in America”
2008 Board Certified, American Board of Urology
2008 Selected for “America’s Top Urologists” by Consumers’ Research Council of America
2008 Best Urology Poster and Best Overall Poster Awards, Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Annual Meeting, “Prediction and Implementation Strategies in Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgical Education”
2007 Distinguished Medical Researcher Award of St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center
2006 First Prize Overall, Ohio Urological Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2006 First Prize Overall, Toledo Surgical Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2006 Distinguished Medical Researcher Award of St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center
2006 Best Oral Presentation and Best Poster, St Vincent Mercy Medical Center Research Symposium
2005 Traveling Scholar of the American Urological Association North Central Section
2005 Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons Outstanding Laparoendoscopic Resident Award
2005 American Urological Association Praecis Gerald P. Murphy Scholar
2005 First Prize Overall, Ohio Urological Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2005 First Prize Overall, Toledo Surgical Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2004 First Prize Overall, Ohio Urological Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2004 First Prize Overall, Toledo Surgical Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2003 First Prize (Clinical Category), Ohio Urological Society Annual Resident Research Forum
2003 First Prize (Clinical Category), Toledo Surgical Society Annual Resident Research Forum
For more information about Dr. Abaza and robotic surgery at Ohio State or to make an appointment to speak with one of our robotic surgery experts, please call us at 1-800-293-5123.