Arieh Shalhav appointed urology chief at the University of Chicago Medical Center

Arieh Shalhav appointed urology section chief at the University of Chicago Medical Center

April 24, 2007

Arieh Shalhav, MD, interim urology section chief for the department of surgery at University of Chicago since July, 2006, has been named permanent section chief for urology, effective this month.

A nationally recognized authority on minimally invasive urologic surgery, Shalhav serves as Director of the University's Minimally Invasive Urology (MIU) Program and Fellowship at the University of Chicago, which combines clinical instruction with didactic and laboratory teaching.

"Arieh Shalhav is known for performing even the most difficult nephrectomies without making the typical 8-to-12 inch incision required for 'open' surgery," Jeffrey B. Matthews, Chair of the Surgery Department at the University of Chicago Medical Center says. "Approximately 95 percent of both partial and radical nephrectomies at University of Chicago are performed laparoscopically using small portals, while around the country the number is more typically 50 percent for radical nephrectomies and 10 percent for partial nephrectomies."

Shalhav was also the first urologic surgeon in the region to adopt the tools of robotic surgery for surgical treatment of prostate cancer. This program quickly caught on and the team recently performed their 1,150th robotic prostatectomy. It is now one of the five largest such programs in the country.

He serves on the Laparoscopy Education Committee of the American Urological Association and has recently been selected President and host of the 2010 World Congress of Endourology.

Shalhav, joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2002, as Associate Professor of Surgery and was promoted to Professor in 2006. In the last four years as the Director of the University's Minimally Invasive Urology (MIU) Program and Fellowship, he has developed what Dr. Matthews calls "one of the most prominent laparoscopic and robotic surgery programs in the Midwest and has became one of the national leaders in MIU for the management of urologic malignancies."

The new section chief and his faculty are training two clinical fellows per year in Minimally Invasive Urology. That number will grow to three per year starting this summer. Shalhav also serves as faculty and course director on multiple laparoscopic and robotic MIU courses.

From 2003 to 2006, the medical center has seen a growth in the number of prostate cancer cases seen--from 130 in 2003 to 410 last year. The volume of renal cancer cases increased during that same period from 66 to 118.

"This volume bodes well for the University of Chicago Medical Center's patients as studies show clinical outcomes are linked to how frequently certain procedures are performed," says Matthews.

While at the University, Matthews says Shalhav and his team have shed light on medicine's understanding of the effects of renal ischemia (deficiency of blood in one or both kidneys) and ways to avoid its related damage. He now collaborates with researchers from the Argonne National Laboratories to develop an ice slurry to protect the kidney during laparoscopic partial nephrectomy. He also conducts extensive clinical outcome studies on MIS management of cancer and benign urologic disease.

Following three years of service in the Israeli Army, Shalhav graduated from the Hadassah School of Medicine of Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1987. He then completed general surgery and urology residency training at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University (1988-95). He remained there for residency training in urology (1988-95) and one year as an Instructor. He then undertook fellowship training in laparoscopy and endourology at Washington University in St. Louis (1996-98) and was appointed Assistant Professor (1998-99). After a year on the faculty at Washington University, he moved to the University of Indiana (1999-02), where he developed a program in minimally invasive surgery.