Herbert Homer Dedo, MD 1933-2021

August 18, 2021
Dr. Herb Dedo

It is with sadness that I report 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 loved opera and enjoyed introducing others to SF Opera.  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. 

Below are some career highlights for Herb:
University of California, Berkeley Class of 1954
University of California, San Francisco Class of 1958
University of California, San Francisco intern in surgery and resident in otolaryngology, 1959-1963
NIH fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis with Joseph Ogura, MD followed by a year with Dr. Erich Dunker in Hamburg, Germany
Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Otolaryngology at UCSF 1966-2010

Member, American Laryngological Association
Fellow, The Triological Society
Harris P. Mosher Award for his Triological Thesis, 1970
Over 200 invited lectures and honorific presentations

For those who would like to send condolences, Sigrid’s address is as follows:
Sigrid Dedo
1802 Floribunda Ave.
Hillsborough, CA 94010

Thank you.

Andrew H. Murr, MD, FACS
Professor and Chairman
Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
University of California, San Francisco
School of Medicine