Physician Detail

Joseph Robert Wagner, MD

Director, Robotic Surgery, Hartford Hospital


Hartford HealthCare Medical Group


Urology, Board Certified < Accepting new patients for this specialty

Areas of Interest

Bladder Cancer, Genitourinary Cancer, Genitourinary Surgery, Minimally Invasive Surgery, Prostate Cancer, Robotic Prostatectomy, Robotic Surgery, Urologic Cancer

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Tonight in Medical Rounds…Prostate Cancer is the third leading cause of death in American men…in fact one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.

The month of September is dedicated to raising awareness of this disease…and joining us live is Dr. Joseph Wagner, Urologist and Director of Robotic Surgery at Hartford Hospital…Good evening Dr. Wagner…

Good evening!

Q. There has been a fair amount of conflicting information regarding prostate cancer screening, the PSA test…What are the current recommendations?

A. Absolutely correct. There has been a lot of debate over the years as to the benefit of prostate cancer screening but the dust finally seems to be settling. A number of years ago the United States Preventative Task Force recommended against prostate cancer screening. There have been a number of studies since then that have shown that the incidence of metastatic prostate cancer and prostate cancer deaths have gone up because of that move. Based on these studies, the Task Force has softened their stance.

There was an excellent study released just this month conducted within the Kaiser healthcare system. They looked at over 400,000 men. The bottom line was men aged 55-75 those who got a yearly PSA test had much lower risk of prostate cancer death. Not only that, they also had a decreased risk of death from other causes as well.

Q. What are some of the treatments the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Urology and Kidney Institute offers men with prostate cancer?

A. First, it is important to recognize that treatment for prostate cancer needs to be individualized. Treatment is really determined by the aggressiveness of the man's prostate cancer along with his health and life expectancy. We offer robotic surgery, radiation, various forms of androgen deprivation, and chemotherapy. Just as importantly, active surveillance is a reasonable option for many men. Currently, it is an option for approximately 50% of the men I see in the clinic.

Q. What do you want men to know about prostate cancer?

A. I want men to know that low prostate cancer is slow growing still the most in American man because of cancer death. The only thing in their control to battle this is early detection.

Q. Recently your abstract along with your colleagues was chosen to be included in the American Urological Association…tell us about the abstract and what it means…

A. When a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer, sometimes genomic testing is helpful in deciding whether or not to embark on active surveillance or move straight to treatment. In genomic testing the DNA of the biopsies is analyzed and helps to further determine the aggressiveness of the prostate cancer. There are various tests on the market. We compared them and made some conclusions that certain tests might be better for certain individuals.

Thank you, Dr. Wagner, for sharing such valuable information for all men.

There is a free community education class coming up in Avon on October 9th, “Understanding Prostate Cancer: Active Surveillance.” To register, call 1-855-HHC-HERE.

Dr. Wagner's Recognitions:

Hartford Magazine Top Doctors in Hartford: 2011

Hartford Magazine Top Doctors in Hartford: 2010

Hartford Magazine Top Doctors in Hartford: 2009

Hartford Magazine Top Doctors in Hartford: 2007

Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors in Connecticut: 2011

Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors in Connecticut: 2010

Connecticut Magazine Top Doctors in Connecticut: 2006

Best Doctor in America: 2005

New York Metro Area Top Doctor: 2003

New York Metro Area Top Doctor: 2002

New York's Top 100 Minimally Invasive Surgeons, New York Magazine 2002, January Edition




  • Amherst College 1985

Medical School

  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine 1989


  • Boston University Medical Center 1991
  • Boston University Medical Center 1995

Faculty Appointments

University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Urology, Clinical Instructor

Professional Organizations

American Urological Association, Member
Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, Member

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