Duke Health Provider question

Thomas J. Polascik, MD

Urologic Oncologist

Duke Health Provider question
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Board Certified
American Board of Urology, Urology
Where I See Patients
Duke Cancer Center - Durham, NC
My Locations
Duke Cancer Center
20 Duke Medicine Circle
Durham, NC 27710
Use My Current Location to calculate the distance to this facility.
This location is currently 5.5 miles from your current location.
About Me

I am a urology surgeon and researcher who specializes in prostate and kidney tumors. I’ve been in practice for 24 years, and at Duke for 17. I always wanted to become a surgeon. I grew up as a classical pianist and wanted to get into a field where I used my hands and could help make a big difference in people’s lives. I had excellent mentors who specialized in urology, so I followed in their footsteps when it came time to choose a specialty. When I see a new patient, I first try to determine how fast their tumor is growing. When treating those who have fast growing tumors, I try to use the least invasive method possible. I enjoy being able to treat patients and get them back to a point where they can resume a high quality of life.

School of Medicine Department
School of Medicine Division
Languages I Speak
English, Spanish
Call for an Appointment
Ratings and Reviews

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to care provider related questions on our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Learn more about our survey process. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

Overall Provider Rating
4.62 out of 5
359 ratings, 47 reviews
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Training and Education
Board Certification
American Board of Urology, Urology
Fellowship
Urologic Oncology, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Maryland), 1997-1998
Residency
General Surgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Maryland), 1991-1993
Urology, James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital (Maryland), 1993-1997
Education
MD, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine (Illinois), 1991
Clinical Focus and Research
My Research Interests

I study minimally invasive surgical outcomes (robotics, laparoscopy) for prostate and kidney cancers. I perform and research needle-based outpatient treatments called “focal therapy,” which removes the cancer while preserving the remainder of the prostate and a man’s sexual/urinary function. I also study imaging techniques for prostate cancer (e.g. MRI) and prostate cryosurgery for primary and recurrent prostate cancer. In 2008, I founded the first international meeting on focal therapy in prostate and kidney cancer. I conduct research into minimally invasive robotic and laparoscopic surgery for prostate cancer. We aim to optimize functional outcomes, such as preservation of erections and urinary control for men while curing prostate cancer. Patients can benefit by having minimally invasive robotic surgery or cryotherapy, thereby optimizing their cancer outcomes, potentially preserving their bodily functions and minimizing their stay in the hospital setting. My research team has an interest in kidney cancer ranging from minimally invasive treatments to handling complex kidney tumors, often involving several tumors in one or both kidneys. We conduct research on outcomes, development of new treatments and imaging methods to characterize kidney tumors. Patients benefit by having access to minimally invasive treatments such as needle ablation approaches, cryotherapy, robotics and laparoscopy.

Publications
View my publications on PubMed
Insurance Accepted

Duke Health contracts with most major health insurance carriers and transplant networks, including the ones listed below.

  • Aetna
    • Aetna Choice POS, Aetna Choice POS II
    • Aetna Elect Choice HMO, Aetna Open Access Elect Choice
    • Aetna Health Network Only, Aetna Health Network Option
    • Aetna HMO
    • Aetna Limited Benefit Insurance PPO
    • Aetna Managed Choice POS
    • Aetna Medicare HMO Open Access
    • Aetna Medicare Plan (HMO, PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Premier Plan (PPO)
    • Aetna Medicare Prime Plan (HMO, PPO)
    • Aetna Open Access HMO, Open Access Aetna Select, Aetna Open Access Select, Aetna Open Access Managed Choice
    • Aetna Open Choice PPO
    • Aetna PCP Coordinated POS Plan
    • Aetna Quality Point of Service (QPOS)
    • Aetna Select HMO
    • Aetna Traditional Choice
    • Aetna Voluntary Indemnity Group Plan
    • Aetna Whole Health – Duke WakeMed WKCC
  • Ambetter
    • Ambetter of North Carolina
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
    • Blue Advantage
    • Blue Medicare (HMO, PPO)*
    • Blue Options (123, PPO, HSA)
    • Blue Select
    • NC State Employees Health Plan
    • *Duke HomeCare and Hospice does not participate in the plan.

  • CIGNA
    • Cigna Choice Plus
    • Cigna Open Access
    • Cigna Open Access Plus
  • Duke Group Plans
    • Duke Basic
    • Duke Select
  • First Health
  • Gateway Health Alliance
  • Gateway Health Plan
    • Gateway Health Medicare Assured Prime (HMO)
    • Gateway Health Medicare Assured Select (HMO)
  • Halifax Physician-Hospital Organization
  • Healthgram
  • Humana
    • Humana Choice (PPO)
    • Humana ChoiceCare (PPO)
    • Humana Gold Choice (PFFS)
    • Humana Gold Plus (HMO)
  • MedCost
  • Medicare
    • First Medicare Direct*
    • Medicare Part A
    • Medicare Part B
    • *This is for Wake County only.

  • MultiPlan / Private Healthcare Systems
  • NC Medicaid
    • NC Medicaid*
    • *Not all Duke locations and doctors participate in this plan. Please contact the location you will be visiting to determine what is accepted.

  • OneNet PPO
  • Optima Health
    • FAMIS
    • Optima Family Care (Medicaid HMO in VA)
    • Optima Individual & Family (On & Off Exchange Plans)
    • Optima Plus (PPO)
    • Optima Vantage (HMO)
  • TRICARE
    • TRICARE Extra*
    • TRICARE for Life*
    • TRICARE Prime*
    • TRICARE Prime Remote*
    • TRICARE Standard*
    • *Duke Primary Care does not participate with the plan.

  • United Healthcare
    • AARP Medicare Complete (HMO, PPO)
    • AARP Medicare Complete Essential (HMO)
    • All Savers Alternate Funding
    • All Savers Fully Insured
    • State Employee Health Plan (for retirees)
    • United Healthcare (HMO, PPO, POS)
    • United Healthcare Charter/Charter Balance/Charter Plus
    • United Healthcare Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Core/Core Essential
    • United Healthcare Navigate/Navigate Plus/Navigate Balanced
    • United Healthcare of the River Valley
    • United Healthcare Option PPO
    • United Healthcare Options PPO with Harvard Pilgrim
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Choice/Choice Plus
    • United Healthcare Passport Connect Options PPO
    • United Healthcare Select/Select Plus
    • United Medical Resources (UMR)

Before scheduling your appointment, we strongly recommend you contact your insurance company to verify that the Duke Health location or provider you plan to visit is included in your network. Your insurance company will also be able to inform you of any co-payments, co–insurances, or deductibles that will be your responsibility. If you proceed in scheduling an appointment and your health insurance benefits do not participate with Duke, your out of pocket liability may be higher. We will contact you regarding your coverage and patient liability. If you are uninsured, learn more about our financial assistance policy.

Industry Relationships
Duke requires faculty members to report certain relationships outside of their employment in order to ensure potential conflicts can be addressed. This faculty member has no reported outside relationships with industry.