Koon Ho Rha, MD., F.A.C.S., Ph.D.
Seoul, Korea




Dr. Koon Ho Rha is Assistant Professor of Urology and Robotic and Minimally Invasive Surgery Center. He was a State of California Scholar at South Pasadena High School, and received both his premedicine education magna cum laude and his M.D. degree from the Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea in 1992. In 1995, Dr. Rha was trained during his urological rotating residency training at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After his mandatory military service in both Korean and U.S. Army Hospitals in Korea from 1997 to 2000, he then underwent fellowship training in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions in Baltimore, Maryland as Engineering and Urology endowed fellow, and served as visiting Assistant Professor in Urology at the Johns Hopkins Unviversity School of Medicine. During his stay at Hopkins, he also completed ‘Business in Medicine” a 1-year MBA program at the School of Business Administration and Education.

He returned to the faculty at the Yonsei University Severance Hospital as Assistant Professor of Urology and Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery (Urology). Prior to his return to Yonsei in 2003, Dr. Rha obtained extensive experience in minimally invasive and laparoscopic surgery under the direction of world-renowned Dr. Seung Choul Yang at Yonsei University and co-invented a novel surgical procedure called “Video-Assisted Minilaparotomy Surgery (VAMS)” and it is currently commercially available through Thompson Surgical Inc. (Traverse City, MI, USA). Later at Johns Hopkins, he continued his interests in the field of minimally invasive surgery/laparoscopy, especially in the area of laparoscopic radical and partial nephrectomy and robotic surgery, and conducted further scientific studies with Dr. Louis R. Kavoussi, the inventor of laparoscopic urologic surgery including radical nephrectomy, radical prostatectomy and donor nephrectomy and international expert on laparoscopic and robotic surgery. With his unique combination of experiences from both Yonsei University and Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rha is skilled in advanced, complex laparoscopic surgical techniques including both retroperitoneal and transperitoneal methods and extending his specialty to robotic surgery. With his background in surgical treatment of prostate cancer under the tutorship of Professor Patrick C. Walsh of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Rha began to set up the robotic surgery program at Yonsei University in 2004 and first performed robotic prostatectomy in East Asia in 2005. Dr. Rha’s robotic prostatectomy technique was further refined by the guidance of Dr. Mani Menon of Henry Ford Hospital and Dr. Thomas Alhering of University of California at Irvine, both of whom are world expert in the robotic prostatectomy.

Dr. Rha has numerous scientific journal publications on minimally invasive urological surgery. He has had strong interests in the development and application of novel technologies, instrumentation, robotics, and surgical techniques pertaining to minimally invasive surgery in clinical and research settings. With emphasis on minimizing surgical morbidity in patients, Dr. Rha’s practice encompasses a multitude of oncologic and non-oncologic problems in urology, and these include the laparoscopic and minimally invasive surgical treatments of adrenal tumor, kidney cancer, ureteral cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and ureteropelvic junction obstruction.

Dr. Rha is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Urological Association, American College of Surgeons, Endourological Society, and Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. He is the editor of Korean Journal of Endourology and serves as reviewer for Journal of Urology and Journal of Endourology. He works primarily at the Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Seoul, Korea and also serves as a consultant to the 121 U.S. Army Hospital in Seoul.

Clinical Interests
· Robotic Surgery : nerve saving radical prostatectomy
· Laparoscopic/ minimally invasive surgery of the adrenal gland, kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate
· Laparoscopic/ minimally invasive oncologic surgery
· Laparoscopic/ minimally invasive reconstructive surgery

CLINCIAL EXPERIENCE : More 1150 Laparoscopic procedures including 800 robotic cases