Remembering Herbert Homer Dedo, MD

August 16, 2021 | By Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Herbert DedoIt is with sadness that we inform you that Dr. Herb Dedo passed away on August 5, 2021.

Herb was an inveterate innovator and tinkerer who was a renowned laryngologist and head and neck surgeon.

He was responsible for many new techniques and many instrument iterations which made the practice of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery more facile. He was a pioneer in adapting the laser to be of precise utility in the difficult to access regions of the airway. He was an early fellowship trained head and neck oncologic surgeon having spent time in St. Louis at Washington University with Joseph Ogura, MD who himself was a graduate of UCSF  It was Frank Sooy, MD who gave Herb his first job as an academic otolaryngologist here at UCSF in 1966.

Dr. Dedo spent the vast majority of his academic career at UCSF. He was a character and was opinionated, but he was always willing to help in difficult clinical situations and had viewpoints based upon vast clinical experience. Dr. Dedo published a truly elegant surgical atlas called Surgery of the Larynx and Trachea in 1990 that exquisitely outlined his painstaking surgical approaches. This was in addition to many papers, presentations, chapters, and speaking engagements. When Herb was in the operating room at UCSF, he often hosted visiting surgeons from around the world. He was a true pioneer in the treatment of laryngeal dystonias, laryngeal paralysis, and also was a surgeon who was in the forefront of managing recurrent respiratory papillomatosis and laryngeal and tracheal stenosis. Multiple generations of UCSF OHNS surgeons and students could recite Herb’s approaches to clinical problems by heart.

On a personal level, Herb had many outside interests. He was a member of the Bohemian Club. He enjoyed reading history books, was fascinated by airplanes (especially World War II fighter aircraft), and also was a sailor. Herb is survived by his wife, Sigrid Homs Dedo. His son, Bill, is a physician in Lafayette, LA.