Professor Howard Lau Urologist and Transplant, Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgeon

Professor Howard Lau

Prof. Howard Lau graduated from the Medical School of The Sydney University in 1986 and received his postgraduate urological training in several hospitals in Sydney including Westmead Hospital where he currently holds the position of VMO in Urology and Transplant Surgery. In 1995 he was appointed Clinical Lecturer at The Oxford Transplant Centre. His interest in laparoscopic surgery started with live donor nephrectomy hoping to reduce the disincentive for many potential renal donors.

He performed the first Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy in Australia in 1988, Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy in 2002, Robotic Partial Nephrectomy with Firefly in 2013 and Robotic Kidney Transplant in 2016.

Prof. Lau has been actively involved in the training and development of laparoscopic urology in Australia. Prof. Lau is an experienced Robotic Surgeon and has proctored surgeons in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

He has been invited to lecture and demonstrate surgery in numerous workshops and conferences both in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. He is regularly invited to overseas centres to assist the development in minimally invasive surgery. Prof. Lau has written chapters on International Urological Surgery textbooks on laparoscopic donor and radical nephrectomies as well as laparoscopic partial nephrectomy.

Prof. Lau performs Robotic Radical/ Laparoscopic Prostatectomy, Robotic Radical and Partial Nephrectomies and is a qualified Robotic Surgeon.

Prof. Lau operates out of Westmead Private Hospital, Macquarie University Private Hospital, Westmead Public Hospital, the Sydney Adventist Hospital (SAN) and the Hospital for Specialist Services (HSS).

Current Appointments

  • Urologist and Transplant Surgeon Westmead Hospital since 1996
  • VMO Westmead Hospital since 2004
  • Chairman of the Medical Advisory Council Westmead Private Hospital since 2015
  • Head of Urology and Robotic Surgery Westmead Private Hospital since 2015

Previous Appointment

  • 1995 -1996
    Clinical Lecturer in Transplant Surgery
    Dept. of Surgery
    Oxford University, UK


Secondary Education

  • 1979 - 1980
    The Scot’s College, Bellevue Hill NSW

Secondary Awards

  • 1979 NSW representative in the annual Australian Mathematics Summer School in The Australian National University.
  • 1980
    Prize Winner (top five of senior division) in the Australian Mathematics competition

Tertiary Education

  • 1986 M.B.B.S. University of Sydney
    Clinical Training under Royal North Shore Hospital

Post Graduate

  • 1995 F.R.A.C.S. ( Urology )

Professional Association

  • The Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • The United Medical Protection
  • The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • The Urological Society of Australia
  • The UK. General Medical Councal
  • The Hong Kong Medical Counca
  • The Australian Medical Association


  • Oxford Book of Trauma, Edition 1, 2000
    Author, Chapter on Genitourinary Trauma
  • Oncology, A clinical manual.
    Oxford University Press, Edition 1, 1999
    Chapter 7.3
  • TCC of ureter in solitary kidney
    Chapter 7.4
    Renal cell carcinoma with IVC extension
  • Advanced Urologic Surgery
    Blackwell 2005
    Chapter: Laparoscopic Transperitoneal Nephrectomy
    Chief Editor: Dr Hohenfellner, Mainz
    Section (Kidney) Editor:Dr Jens-Uwe Stolzenburg, Universitätsklinikum
  • Chapter on Transperitoneal laparoscopic partial nephrectomy in Operative Atlas on Reconstructive Laparoscopic urology.
    Editor M Ramalingham
    In Press By Springer, UK

Invited Lectures

Prof. Howard Lau giving Lecture

Invited Faculty at the World Congress of Video Urology July 2009 at Kaula Lumpur. I lectured on Laparoscopic renal Donors and live Surgical demonstration on Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy for a renal cancer.

  • Inivited guest on the South Australia Annual Scientific meeting for the Urological Society oF Australia. Lectured on management of small renal mass and early renal cancer and also lectured on Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy. This took place in November 2009. The Lecture was management of early kidney cancer and Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy.
  • Surgical Issuses in the management of RCC
    Best practice Uro-oncology Master Class
    July 2007, Sydney Convention Centre
  • Laparoscopic Adrenalectomy
    NSW Registrar paper day, July 2006
  • Laparoscopic renal surgery, Hospital Authority annual meeting, SAC, Hong Kong Jan 2005
  • Laparoscopic treatment for renal cancer
    17th APCC (Asia Pacific Cancer Congress), Bali Oct, 2003
  • Laparoscopic live donor nephrectomy
    1st NSW Transplant Sympoium Nov 2003, Double Bay
  • Lapaoscopic Radical Prostatectomy workshp
    St. Vincent Hospital, Sydney, Nov 2003
  • Frist laparoscopic nephrectomy workshop, National Insititu of transplant and Kidney, Phillipines Feb 2004
  • Asia Congress of Urology, Nov. 2004 Hong Kong on laparoscopic donor nephrectomy
  • Current State of Laparoscopic Renal Surgery
    Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, Oct 2001
  • RACS Annunal Meeting, ACT, May 2001
    Laparoscopic Live Donor Nephrectomy – Surgical Advance or Marketing Tool?
  • How to state laparoscopic surgery in Urology
    The First Asia-Pacific Congress of Uro-Oncology, Jan 02
  • Opening plenary lecture in 6th Asian Congress of Urology on Laparoscopic Surgery in Urology 2002
  • 43th Annual Conference of The Operating Theatre Association 2000 Invited speaker Keyhole Surgery for the Kidney Sydney, Australia, April 2000
  • The Singapore Urological Association Laparoscopic Renal Surgery, Report of 50 cases Singapore General and The New Changi Hospital, Singapore, April 2000
  • The NSW Nephrologist Meeting, Summer 2000 Laparoscopic Renal Surgery,Intercontinental Hotel,Sydney, Nov,2000

Other Achievement

  • First successful laparoscopic radical nephrectomy for renal call carcinoma in Australia , now with experience of over 700 cases of laparoscopic renal suregery. This is the largest personnel series of this operation in Australia
  • Instructor and demonstrator for the laparoscopic nephrectomy workshop Aug 2003 Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane Australia
  • Successfully preformed the first laparoscopic partial nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma in Australia Feb 2002
  • Chief instructor for first work shop on laparoscopic nephrectomy at Westmead Hospital, 19th June 2000
  • Convenor and instructor of First International Laparoscopic Donor nephrectomy Meeting at Westmead Hospital Nov,2000
  • Instructor of laparoscopic surgery workshop, USA meeting, March 2001
  • Invited demonstrator of laparoscopic ablative nephrectomy at The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, April 2001
  • Only urologist in Australia trained in pancreas transplant surgery
  • Guest surgeon for the first two laparoscopic donor nephrectomies in Hong Kong, at Queen Mary Hospital, Oct 2001
  • Invited Overseas Faculty of The First Asia-Pacific Congress of Uro-Oncology, Singapore, Jan 2002. (life demonstration on Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy and Adrenalectomy)
  • Invited Surgeon at Launceston General Hospital, Tasmania to demonstrate laparoscopic renal surgery, Oct 2002
  • Cheif demonstrator of laparoscopic ablative nephrectomy at The Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Feb 2002
  • Cheif demonstrator of laparoscopic renal surgery at The Institute of Urology, Ministery of Health, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, May 2002
  • Invited Surgeon at The Royal Horbart Hospital, Tasmania to demonstrate laparoscopic renal surgery May2002
  • Invited Overseas Faculty of Endo-Laparo-Urology Workshop, Minimal Access Surgery Training Centre Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital
    Hong Kong, July 2002. (life demonstration and lectures on Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy, Partial Nephrectomy, Pyeloplasty and Adrenalecotmy)
  • Invited Overseas Faculty of 6th Asian Congress of Urology, KL, Malaysia (Plenary State of the Art Lecture on Laparoscopic Surgery in Urology, Asia Forum: First 200 laparoscopic renal surgery, Master Class in Urology, Pre and Post Congress workshop with life demonstration)
  • Faculty on Laparoscopic Nephrectomy workshop with live demonstration, Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane, July 2003
  • Invited surgeon to The National Kidney and Transplant Insitute to demonstrate Laparoscopic Nephrectomy in The Phillipines Feb 2004
  • Invited International Faculty of The 7th Asian Congress of Urology, Hong Kong
  • Scientific committee for East Asia Society of Endourology meeting, Hong Kong Dec 2007
  • Course director for Laparoscopic Renal Surgery, Congress workshop of USA ASM, Feb 2008 at Hong Kong
  • Faculty for Urology Fair, Singapore, March 2008, lecture on management of small renal masses and laparoscopic treatment for RCC
  • Invited speaker for International Congress of Transplantation XXII, Sydney Aug 2008
    Workshop on Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy
  • Invited speaker for Royal Ausatralasian Colllege of Surgeon ASC 2009, Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy – Evolution in Australia May 2009
  • NSW Urology Oncology Program
    Elective partial nephrectomy for small renal mass, Apr 2009


  • Non-immunolgoical causes of renal graft loss
    Transplant preceding 1990
  • Monoclonal antibodies perfusion of pancreas transplant in dogs
    Transplant proceeding 1990
  • Lymph node implantation inducing hyper-acute rejection in canine pancreas transplantation Transplant preceding 1991
  • Advantages and disadvantages of pancreas transplantation
    Transplant proceeding 1990
  • Experimental hyperacute rejection in pancreas allotransplants
    Transplantation, Vol62, 324,Aug,96
  • The effect of venous Drainage on glucose homestasis after experimental
    pancreas transplantation Vol62,435, 4aug96
  • Intracorporeal ribbon gauze in laparoscopic surgery
    S Bariol, CT Heng, Howard Lau ANZJS
  • Comparison of laparoscopic and open nephroureterectomy for upper tract TCC
    Bariol SV, Papalkar D, Brooks AJ, Drummond JM, Lau H, Woo H, ANZJS
  • Carboplatin and gemcitabine in metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of urothelium: Effective treatment of patients with poor prognostic features
    C Shannon, C Crombie, A Brooks, H Lau, M Drummond, H Gurney
    Annals of Oncology 12:947-952, 2001
  • Comparison of spiral CT angiography with conventional digital subtraction Angiography in the evaluation of renal transplant donors: a pilot study
    Christopher Chu, Noel Young, Howard Lau
    Australiasian Radiology,45:118-122, 2001
  • Multidetector spiral CT renal angiography in the diagnosis of giant renal artery aneurysms
    Sabharwal R, Vladica P,Law WP, Lau H
    Abdominal Imaging 2005
  • Laparoscopic Live Donor Nephrectomy (Technical notes)
    Howard Lau
    Hong Kong Jurnal of Nephrology, Apr 2005,Vol7,1
  • Oncological outcome of 100 laparoscopic radical nephrectomies for clinically localized renal cell carcinoma
    MC Cheung, YM Lee, R Rindani, H Lau
    ANZJ Surg. 2005: 75; 593-596

Presentation in Scientific Meeting

  • Registrar Paper Day 1990
    Oral presentation on Evaluation of Fine-Needle Cytology in assessment of
    Renal/Pancreas Allotransplants in dogs
  • Tsanz Scientific meeting 1991
    Poster presentation on Evaluation of Glucose
    Homeostasis in Pancreatico-Duodenal Allograft
    transplantation in dogs
  • USA Annual Meeting 1992 Poster presentation
    The Urolome:The Australian Experience
  • Keith Kirkland Prize Presentation at USA Annual Meeting 1993
    Evaluation of FNA in early canine renal allotransplant rejection
  • TSANZ Annual Meeting 1996
    (Data for The Oxford Transplant Centre)
  • 16th World Congress of Endourology (New York), Sep 98
    Ureteroscopic management of upper ureteric calculi
    Howard M.H. Lau; G. Testa; A. Brooks; M. Drummond; H. Woo
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • 4th Asian Congress of Urology (Singapore), Sep 98
    Retrospective study to determine subjective and objective benefits of a remote
    controlled intraurethral device for management of female acontractile bladder
    G Testa, W Lynch, H lau, T Dean, P Katelaris, R Ferguson, Sydney, NSW., Australia
  • 4th Asian Congress of Urology (Singapore), Sep 98
    Minimally invasive pubovaginal sling procedure using a bone anchoring device for the treatment of stress incontinence Howard Lau
  • Annual Sciencific Meeting of The Urological Society of Australiasian 98
    Ureteroscopic management of upper ureteric calculi
    Howard Lau, AJ Brooks, M Drummond, H Woo
  • Annual Sciencific Meeting of The Urological Society of Australiasian 98
    TCC of The Upper Urinary Tract
    Howard Lau, AJ Brooks, M Drummond, H Woo
  • Annual Sciencific Meeting of The Urological Society of Australiasian 98
    Bladder Recurrence after Surgical Treatment of Upper Urinary Tract TCC
    Howard Lau, AJ Brooks, M Drummond, H Woo
  • Annual Sciencific Meeting of The Urological Society of Australiasian 98
    Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy – Early Experience at Westmead Hospital
  • 27th Annual Conference: Renal Society of Australasia, Sydnaey 1999
    Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy… the way forward? C McDonald. H Lau
  • Urological Nurses Society Annual Meeting 1999
    Laparoscopic donor nephrectomy… the way forward? C McDonald. H Lau
  • Westmead Hospital Surgical Grand Round, Sep. 99
    Laparoscopic Radical Nephrectomy
  • Annual Sciencific Meeting of The Urological Society of Australiasian 99
    Laparoscopic simple nephrectomy
    P. Kovac, H Lau
  • Annual Sciencific Meeting of The Urological Society of Australiasian 99
    Laparoscopic radical nephrectomy
    P. Kovac, H Lau
  • Western Section Annunal Meeting, AUA, Nov.2000
    Laparoscopic Renal Surgery at Westmead Hospital Palm Spring, USA
    Kirk Keene, Howard Lau
  • Western Section Annunal Meeting, AUA, Nov.2000
    Useful Tips in Laparoscopic Renal Surgery
    Palm Spring, USA
    Kirk Keene, Howard Lau
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, March 2001
    Practical use of Dressing gauze in laparoscopic renal surgery
    Howard Lau
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, March 2001
    Results of first 80 cases of laparoscopic renal surgery at Westmead
    Arthur Vassilaris, AJ Brooks, M Drummond, Howard Lau
  • Transplant Section Meeting,, RACS, ACT, May 2001
    Vein extension of right renal cadaveric transplant
    Michael Fink, Howard Lau
  • Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy: A method to maimise vessel length, 6th
    ACU, Aug 2002, KL
    Howard Lau, Chin Heng
  • Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy with pre-operative super-selective
    embolisation. 6th ACU, Aug 2002, KL
    Chin Heng, Howard Lau
  • Laparoscopic Dismembered Pyeloplasty with Intracorporeal Suturing 6th
    ACU, Aug 2002,
    Chin Heng, Howard Lau
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, Nov 02,
    Ablative Laparoscopic Nephrectomy for Renal Tumour – The Westmead Hospital Experience.
    S Bariol, A Brooks, D Papalkar, C Chee, JM Drummond, H Lau, H Woo
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, Nov 02
    Laparoscopic dismembered Pyeloplasty with intracorpeal suturing
    Chris Chee, H Lau
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, Nov 02
    Laparoscopic Renal Surgery: Single Surgeon Experience with 230 cases
    H Lau, S Bariol, C Chee
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, Nov 2003
    Oncological outcome of 100 Lap. Radical Nephrectomy for RCC
    MC Cheung, YN Lee, R Rindani, M Patel, H Lau
  • USA (Urol. Soc. of Aus.) Annual Meeting, Nov 2003
    Outcome of Lap. pyeloplasty
    R Rindani, MC Cheung, YN Lee,H Lau
  • Transplant Society of Australia anf New Zealand, 23rd annual scientific
    meeting, ACT May 2005
    A comparison of 2 surgical techniques in pancreas transplantation.
    Wong K, Kable K, Hawthorne W, Robertson P, Chan K,Nankivell B,
    O’Connell P, Chapman J, Lau H, Pleass H, Allen R
  • Transplant Society of Australia anf New Zealand, 23rd annual scientific
    meeting, ACT May 2005
    The use of gene arrays to study the pathogenesis of chronic allograft
    Vitalone M, Nankivell B, Kirk M, Allen R, Pleass H, Lau H, Chapman J
    O’Connell P
  • En Bloc paediatric kidney donors: Is this the best use of a scarce resource?
    Laurence J, Lam V, Hawthorne W, Robertson P, Lau H, Ryan B, Allen R, Pleass H
  • There are no anatomical barriers to laparoscopic donor nephrectomy
    C Crane, V Lam,A Vasilaras, B Ryan, H Lau, H Pleass, R Allen
    XXII International Congress of TTS, Aug 2008
  • Screening for functional asymmetry in potential living kidney donors
    N Suh, H Lau, H Pleass, B Nankivell, P O’Connell, J Chapman, R Allen
    XXII International Congress of TTS, Aug 2008
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