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Title Section Head of Hand Surgery
Department Plastic Surgery
Primary Location Fairview Hospital
Type of Doctor Adults Only
Languages English, Taiwanese
Surgeon Yes
Fairview Hospital
Primary Location

Fairview Hospital


Additional Locations

Specialties & Treatments

Treatment & Services

  • Amputation
  • Arm Reconstruction
  • Benign Soft Tissue Tumor Surgery
  • Brachia Plexus Reconstruction
  • Endoscopic Carpal Tunnel Surgery
  • Fracture Care
  • Hand and Arm Reconstruction
  • Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
  • Hand Reconstruction
  • Hand Surgery
  • Neck Surgery
  • Nerve Biopsy
  • Nerve Transfer Surgery
  • Peripheral Nerve Decompression/transfer
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Regenerative Peripheral Nerve Interface (RPNI)
  • Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR)
  • Thumb Reconstruction
  • Upper Extremity Surgery
  • Wrist Reconstruction
  • Wrist Surgery
View all 21 Treatment & Services +

Specialty in Diseases & Conditions

  • Anterior Interosseous Nerve (AIN) Palsy
  • Arthritis of the Thumb Base
  • Arthritis of the Wrist & Hand
  • Benign Soft Tissue Tumors
  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Brachial Plexus
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Broken Bones
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • De Quervain's Tenosynovitis
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • DeQuervain's Disease
  • Dupuytren's Disease
  • Finger Sprains
  • Fractures Of The Hand
  • Hand and Wrist Arthritis
  • Hand and Wrist Injuries
  • Hand Problems
  • Nerve Compression of the Hand
  • Nerve Diseases
  • Nerve Injuries
  • Nerve Tumors
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Neurogenic Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
  • Neuromas
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Neuropathy - Diabetic
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Peripheral Nerve Disorders
  • Peripheral Nerve Injury
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Posterior Interosseous Nerve (PIN) Palsy
  • Trigger Finger and De Quervain's Disease
  • Ulnar Nerve Entrapment
  • Wrist Diseases
View all 35 Specialties +


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About Dennis Kao, MD

Dennis Kao, MD, is a hand surgeon and peripheral nerve surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. He received his medical training 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 microsurgery and peripheral nerve surgery, he completed an additional fellowship at Chang Gung Hospital in Taiwan. 

Dr. Kao’s special interests include reconstructive hand surgery, peripheral nerve and brachial plexus injuries, and treatment of neuroma pain. 

He is board-certified in plastic surgery, with certificate-added qualification in hand surgery. His main clinical interests include endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery, peripheral nerve transfer, brachial plexus reconstruction, thoracic outlet syndrome, and surgical management of neuroma.

Education & Professional Highlights

Education & Professional Highlights


Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
Taoyuan, Taiwan

Fellowship - Medical College of Wisconsin
Hand Surgery
Milwaukee, WI USA

Residency - Medical College of Wisconsin
Plastic Surgery
Milwaukee, WI USA

Medical Education - The University of Texas Medical Branch
Medical Doctor
Galveston, TX USA

Undergraduate - University of Washington
Seattle, WA USA


  • Plastic Surgery - Hand Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery

Specialty Interests

Hand surgery, peripheral nerve surgery, brachial plexus surgery, neuroma surgery

Research & Publications

Research & Publications

See publications for Dennis Kao, MD.

(Disclaimer: This search is powered by PubMed, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. PubMed is a third-party website with no affiliation with Cleveland Clinic.)

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 10/10/2022, Dr. Kao has reported no financial relationship with industry that is applicable to this listing. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers' discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Patient Satisfaction Reviews

172 Patient Satisfaction Reviews

The Patient Satisfaction Rating is an average of all responses to the care provider related questions shown below from our nationally-recognized Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Survey. Patients that are treated in outpatient or hospital environments may receive different surveys, and the volume of responses will vary by question.

Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best score.

The comments are submitted by patients and reflect their views and opinions. The comments are not endorsed by and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cleveland Clinic.

Overall Star Ratings
4.9 out of 5
Explains 4.8
Listens 4.1
Courtesy, Respect & Concern 4.9
Patient Rating of Doctor 4.9

34 Patient Comments

Reviewed on Mar 2, 2023

The doctor and staff were outstanding

Reviewed on Feb 27, 2023

Dr. Kao was excellent and would refer him and want to use him again if needed. He was very good in his explanations and what I should expect.Very good surgeon.

Reviewed on Feb 23, 2023

Dr. Kao has very good bedside manor

Reviewed on Feb 13, 2023

Dr Kao listened carefully and answered all my questions.

Reviewed on Feb 8, 2023

Scheduler was courteous & helpful. My PCP (Dr. Mark Mekhail) suggested several physicians who were appropriate for my hand issue.

Reviewed on Feb 1, 2023

I would recommend anyone to DR. Kao in his field. I'm thankful for his expertise and got me back to work and daily duties. He was attentive to my needs during surgery and my aftercare and therapy.

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2023

Dr kao was amazing

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2023

Dr. Kao was wonderful during my consult with him. He was patient and kind while I asked my series of questions. I am now at ease and ready for my surgery with Dr. Kao.

Reviewed on Jan 16, 2023

Dr. Kao is the best! He is patient and explains all of the complex medical stuff in a way for the patient to easily understand.

Reviewed on Jan 9, 2023

I can't say enough good things about Dr. Kao. He genuinely cares for his patients and spends as much time as needed with them during their appointments

Reviewed on Dec 21, 2022

I am so impressed with Dr Kao. He is so nice, so easy to understand, explained my case so simply and easily. I wish more doctors were like him.

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2022

Dr Kao was excellent!

Reviewed on Dec 19, 2022

Dr. Kao is among the very best physicians from whom I have ever received care.

Reviewed on Dec 12, 2022

Scheduling was fast and easy! Dr Kao was awesome and informative

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2022

Dr Kao explained to me and my wife what he thinks would help for. We were pleased with what he said we said let's do the surgery on my right hand.

Reviewed on Nov 30, 2022


Reviewed on Oct 13, 2022

Dr. Kao was very helpful and understanding with my issue. We have talked about a potential surgery next year.

Reviewed on Oct 6, 2022

The gentleman was working with Dr.Kao. He introduced himself.i can't remember his name. He looked at my wrist. We talked about how it looked and how it healed and he was taking my stitches out as Dr.Kao intered the room . Dr.Kao discussed with me on the care for my wrist after the stitches were out and discussed my returning to work. Professional work well done

Reviewed on Sep 8, 2022

Excellent care. Complex surgery well explained. I give Dr. Kao and his team 5 stars

Reviewed on Sep 7, 2022

The Labor Day weekend was part of the reason I was unable to get in sooner. Also I was informed Dr Kao was the only hand specialist available in this area for much of September due ton2 other providers out of town

Reviewed on Sep 1, 2022

Dr. Kao is a very concerned caring person. He explained everything throughly. What to expect,how long I'd be laid up,answered all my questions and took the time to do so.

Reviewed on Aug 29, 2022

Dr Kao was excellent. He did a thorough exam and gave me the options and outcomes. I was able to make an informed and thoughtful decision to proceed with surgery. He is very personable and easy to talk to. I would recommend this surgeon without reservation. He really listened to my needs and expectations in regard to Carpal Tunnel Surgery 5 Stars.

Reviewed on Aug 15, 2022

Doctor Dennis Kao was very gentle and competent

Reviewed on Jul 7, 2022

Doctor was Very ATTENTIVE. And comfortable with the removal of stitches when the time comes.

Reviewed on Jun 13, 2022

Dr. Kao has taken excellent care of me for the past 9 months. He is always willing to answer all questions during our visit and on MyChart. I highly recommend him.

Reviewed on Jun 9, 2022

Very well taken care of by staff and Doctor.

Reviewed on Jun 2, 2022

Dr.Koa is an amazing Dr. He listen carefully to what was explained my problem .he explained everything to me even show me on my mri where the injury was and what kind it was. When checking my wrist our he was gentle and observant and knew what he was doing. The nurse practitioner that was there was focused and watching the Dr. And they discussed the problem. Very nice man.

Reviewed on Jun 1, 2022

The doctor and the helper were very good!!

Reviewed on May 23, 2022

Was a very good meeting with dr kao

Reviewed on May 12, 2022

Never had any questions answered by doctor kao I don't really know what's wrong with my hand I only took 2 xrays and he gave me 2 different reasons why my right hand is still having pain the last visit he used the same xray to tell me a new problem

Reviewed on Apr 25, 2022

Dr. Kao is top notch!

Reviewed on Apr 13, 2022

I like what the Doctor explained to me and listen to my issues and provided me with what I needed Thanks to my Doctor

Reviewed on Apr 4, 2022

Dr. Kao explained my injury and treatment thoroughly. He was patient and very kind. He answered all my questions. I would recommend him to others.

Reviewed on Mar 23, 2022

Dr Kao was outstanding.

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