René Sotelo

Professor of Clinical Urology
Dr. Rene Sotelo

Areas of treatment:

Robotic and Laparoscopic Prostatic Surgery:
• Nerve-sparing Radical Prostatectomy
• Salvage Prostatectomy
• Simple Prostatectomy for Benign Enlargement of the Gland
• Repair of Recto-urethral and Vesico-rectal Fistulas
Kidney Surgery:
• Benign Kidney disease (Kidney Stones, Uretero–pelvic Junction Obstruction and Ureteral Reconstruction)
• Complex Partial Nephrectomy (Kidney-saving Surgery )
• Radical Nephrectomy
• Adrenalectomy
Bladder Surgery:
• Trans Uretral Resection of Bladder Tumor
• Radical Cystoprostatectomy with Intracorporeal Neobladder and Extended Lymphadenectomy
• Bladder Diverticulectomy
• Vesicovaginal Fistula Repair
Penile Surgery:
• Robotic and Endoscopic Inguinal Lymphadenectomy for Penile Cancer
Single-port Laparoscopic/Robotic Surgery


  • Urology


  • Department of Urology


  • English
  • Spanish

René Sotelo, MD

Professor of Clinical Urology

Practicing locations:

  • Keck Hospital of USC
  • Keck Medicine of USC - Pasadena
  • Keck Medicine of USC – 1808 Verdugo Blvd.
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital

About this doctor:

René Sotelo, MD, is one of the most experienced laparoscopic/robotic surgeons internationally. Hailing from Latin America, he is a pioneer in robotic surgery for complex urinary fistulae in females and males, benign prostate enlargement and inguinal lymph node dissection for cancer. He has helped develop the novel concepts of single-port “belly-button” and natural orifice surgery.

His experience with advanced robotic and laparoscopic surgery exceeds 2,300 personal cases, making him amongst the most experienced in the world. He has published more than 50 peer reviewed scientific papers, three textbooks and 28 chapters in major urology books. He also serves on the editorial board of three urologic journals.

In recognition of his work, Dr. Sotelo has been invited as international guest-lecturer in more than 35 universities in 19 countries. His unique skills and large personal experience in minimally invasive laparoscopic and robotic surgery are well known. He is a passionate teacher, having taught his techniques and best practices in 19 countries as an invited guest. To date, he has trained over 64 post-graduate fellows from 14 countries in the art and science of minimally invasive urology.

It is because of these seminal achievements that Dr. Sotelo was selected to join the University of Southern California. His passion for surgical innovation, advancing the field and worldwide teaching coincides with, and further strengthens, the philosophy at the USC Institute of Urology.

Philosophy of care:
My vision for patient care is to transfer knowledge and bring health to hundreds of people, to open avenues for science and to create new techniques and procedures to help heal patients around the world.


MD, Universidad Central de Venezuela Escuela de Medicina “Luis Razetti,” 1987
BS, Instituto Escuela, 1980


Instituto Venezolano de los Seguros Sociales Hospital General del Este, Urology, 1992-1994

Universidad Central de Venezuela Hospital General del Este, General Surgery, 1989-1992


Venezuelan Society Against Cancer, Hospital Oncológico “Padre Machado,” Urological Oncology, 1996-1997

National Cancer Center, General Surgery and Urological Oncology Surgery, Japan, 1994

Professional society memberships:

American Urological Association
Confederación Americana de Urología
Endourological Society
International Consultation on Urological Diseases
International Society of Sexual and Impotence Research.
Sociedad Colombiana, Dominicana, Ecuatoriana, Brasilera y Venezolana de Urología
Society of Robotic Surgery
The Latin American Society for the Study of the Aging Male (LASSAM)


Professor Sotelo's urologic achievements are considerable. He has won over 23 awards from scientific and government organizations worldwide, including American Urological Association, European Association of Urology, Societé Internationale Urologie, European Robotic Urological Society, Confederación Americana de Urología and others. He has been listed amongst the “America’s Top Urologists” by the Consumer ́s Research Council of America in 2007.