Kenneth K. Kao, MD

Kenneth K. Kao, MD
Hawaii Permanente Medical Group
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Dr. Kenneth Kao’s inspiration to specialize in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery came to him during his training as a general surgeon at the University of California, Los Angeles. He witnessed the impact that congenital defects, cancer or trauma could have on patients, and while working with breast cancer survivors, he learned that quality of life could be as important as quantity of life. He ultimately completed his plastic surgery training at UCLA and learned how procedures such as breast reconstruction after mastectomy, can help restore one’s identity.

One of Dr. Kao’s favorite sayings is “form follows function”, and he feels that plastic surgery exemplifies this by integrating reconstructive and aesthetic principles. He utilizes a balanced approach towards body and facial cosmetic surgery, making sure to understand his patients’ goals, while adhering to the highest standards of safety.

Dr. Kao loves to travel, has been to over 50 countries, and has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. Besides English, he is fluent in French and Spanish. He enjoys chess, photography, swimming and ocean sports, such as surfing and scuba diving.

Quality time with his family is paramount with him. His wife is also a physician at Kaiser Permanente and they are happy to be able to live in and raise their children here in Hawaii.


Bachelor of Arts (Biology), Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, Ithaca, NY
Doctorate of Medicine, University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry Rochester, NY
Internship: Harbor, UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA
Residency, General Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
Residency, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA


Diplomate, American Board of Surgery

Honors & Awards

International Medicine Award 2001: Center for Disease Control, Taipei, Taiwan
International Medicine Award 2004: San Vito Health Center, San Vito, Costa Rica
Humanities Award for Photography 2004: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Sengupta Memorial Award for Excellence in Surgery 2005: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
University of Rochester Distinction in Research 2005: University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
UCLA Department of General Surgery Resident Teaching Award 2009: UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Department of General Surgery Resident Teaching Award 2010: UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Volunteer Experience

Peace Corps, Rural Health Educator, Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa
Social Worker Assistant, Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture

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