Dennis S. Kao M.D.

Dennis S. Kao M.D.
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  • English
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Taiwanese


  • Hand and Wrist Surgery
  • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery


Dr. Kao is a plastic surgery physician specializing in hand and wrist reconstructive surgery at Harborview Medical Center and the Hand, Elbow, and Shoulder Center at Northwest Hospital.

He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Washington, and his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He then completed plastic surgery residency and hand surgery fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Following his interested in hand and microsurgery, he completed an additional fellowship at Chang-Gung Hospital in Taiwan, focusing on reconstructive microsurgery and brachial plexus injury.

Dr. Kao is experienced in treating common hand problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome and finger fractures, as well as complex hand issues such as finger replantation, toe-to-hand transfer, and brachial plexus reconstruction. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese.

Patient Care Philosophy

Often for a specific condition, there are several different solutions. It is important for the patients to understand all the treatment options available, and help patients choose the option that best work with their current life circumstances.

Clinical Interests

Finger and wrist fractures; thumb arthritis; wrist arthritis; nerve injury; brachial plexus injury; tendon injury; carpal tunnel syndrome; cubital tunnel syndrome; finger replantation; thumb replantation; thumb reconstruction; brachial plexus reconstruction; tendon reconstruction

Research Interests

MR neurography for evaluation of peripheral nerve and brachial plexus injuries; application of mobile technology for patient care enhancement; partial joint denervation for treatment of joint pain


Institution Credential Year
Medical College of Wisconsin Fellowship 2010
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Fellowship 2011
University of Texas Southwestern Teaching Appointment 2016
Univ. of Texas - Galveston Medical Education 2003
Medical College of Wisconsin Residency 2009

Board Certifications

Certification Specialty Year
American Board of Plastic Surgery Hand Surgery 2014
American Board of Plastic Surgery Plastic Surgery 2012