In Memoriam

To all those that have given so much of themselves, their communities, and those they have cared for, we honor them with these acknowledgements.

Prof. Nelson R Netto - inmemoriam

It is with deep sadness that I share with you news of the death of Dr. Yoshinari Ono, a former President of the Endourological Society, who passed away on July 23, 2017. He was a wonderful colleague and a dear friend.

Dr. Ono was born on December 18, 1948, and graduated from Nagoya University in Japan in 1973. He completed his residency and a fellowship in urology at Chukyo Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Shinichi Ohshima. In 1985, Dr. Ono became Chief of Urology at Komaki Municipal Hospital, and in 1997 moved to Nagoya University as Associate Professor of Urology. In 2007, Dr. Ono became Professor in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at Aichi Shukutoku University.

Dr. Ono’s career as an endourologist started with his development of endopyeloureterotomy. This novel technique of transpelvic extraureteral approach in which the pyeloscope, is used to access the narrow segment of the ureter from outside the pelvis (J Urol 1992) had a good success rate due to the easier handling of the ureter. Dr. Ono performed the first laparoscopic nephrectomy in East Asia in July of 1991 and devoted the rest of his academic life to developing and promoting urologic laparoscopic surgery. Thanks to his vigorous work, the usefulness of laparoscopic radical nephrectomy was established as the first-line treatment for renal cell carcinoma (J Endourol 1994, J Urol 1997, Urology 1999, J Urol 2001, Urology 2003, Int J Urol 2004, J Endourol 2009).

As Director of the fellowship program of the Endourological Society and at Nagoya University, Dr. Ono trained many young urologists from Japan and South Korea. They have succeeded him now as highly skilled laparoscopic surgeons and are achieving leadership roles in their respective countries. Fellows of Dr. Ono in South Korea have prepared a memoriam book for his funeral ceremony in which they express their gratitude for his contribution to Korean endourology. For many years, Dr. Ono contributed to the activities of the Japanese Society of Endourology (JSE) as a member of its Board of Directors, especially through the establishment of standard laparoscopic surgical techniques, educational programs in laparoscopy, and a skills qualification system in Japan. He served as President of the 27th Congress of the JSE in 2011. He also played a major role in organizing the East Asian Society of Endourology, in 2004, an organization that has brought together endourologists from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and The Philippines. Dr. Ono was a true pioneer among endourologists in East Asia.

Dr. Ono joined the Endourological Society in 1991, and contributed to the Society as a member of several committees, including the Fellowship committee. He served on the Board of Directors from 2004 to 2009, and as President of the Endourological Society from 2007 to 2008. In recognition of his many contributions to endourology and to the Endourological Society, Dr. Ono received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Endourological Society in 2011. This was an honor for all Japanese endourologists.

Dr. Ono was a renowned endourologist who had many friends all over the world. The friendship between Dr. Ono and Dr. Ralph Clayman was especially close and extended to their respective families dating back to 1991 when Dr. Ono first visited Dr. Clayman in St. Louis. Wearing his trademark cowboy hat, Dr. Ono’s constant smile and warm gaze graced everyone he encountered. His presence among us will be greatly missed.

May we all remember Dr. Ono as a superb laparoscopic surgeon and an enthusiastic educator whose visionary abilities and kind humility continue to warm our collective memory. We pray for his soul’s eternal rest.

On behalf of all his friends and colleagues,

Tadashi Matsuda, MD
Past President of the Endourological Society
Professor and Chairman
Department of Urology and Andrology
Kansai Medical University

Prof. Nelson R Netto - inmemoriam

On November 26th, 2016, Professor Nelson Rodrigues Netto Junior rested peacefully.

Dr. Netto, as his colleagues commonly addressed him, was born in Sao Paulo – Brazil in 1936 and graduated from Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo (FMUSP) where he would soon become full professor of the Urology Department.

In the early 80’s, Dr. Netto was nominated chairman of the Urology Department of the Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP); where he led an outstanding transformation that launched the Urology Department UNICAMP to become one of the best urology services in Latin America. During his time at UNICAMP he kept on working at the operating suites, leading and mentoring medical students, residents and fellows until he retired in 2008.

Professor Nelson Rodrigues Netto published hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific papers and significantly contributed to Urology. He pioneered percutaneous renal surgery in Brazil and became an important reference on stone surgery across the globe. His achievements had no boundaries. In 2000, he was the President of the World Congress of Endourology that took place in São Paulo that inspired a lot of Brazilian urologists to follow the Endourology and Laparoscopy pathways.

Professor Netto was also a common character in national and international meetings and scientific events where he was known for being straightforward and assertive on his talks, while polite and respectful.

His legacy will always pound in our hearts and lead our scopes!

Renato Nardi Pedro, MD, Ph.D
Division of Urology – UNICAMP

Oscar Eduardo Fugita, MD, PhD
Division of Urology – UNICAMP
Department of Urology – UNESP
Division of Surgery – USP

Fred Roemer In Memoriam

The Endourological Society mourns the death of a dear friend and colleague, Fred Roemer. Fred’s dedication and contributions to the development of endourology are acknowledged by many to have been instrumental to the field. The following is reprinted with permission; it was written upon the occasion of Mr. Roemer’s retirement from Cook Urological in 2009.

Thank You, Fred

One score and seven years ago, a new form of urologic surgery was brought forth; conceived in kindness and dedicated to the elimination of the woes of open surgical procedures, endourology rapidly evolved. Within twenty years, overcome by the fruits of a technological revolution, open renal surgery was eclipsed by percutaneous, ureteroscopic, laparoscopic, image guided, and robotic procedures. While many urologists deserve immense credit for this miraculous transformation, none of it would have been possible without a small group of dedicated engineers=industrialists who shared the vision of minimally invasive and noninvasive surgery and were willing to commit a large amount of effort, time, and money to what many leaders deemed ‘‘a flash in the pan’’ at that time.

For the two of us, deeply steeped in this nascent specialty, no individual provided more enthusiastic or intellectual support than Mr. Fred Roemer. No idea was too ‘‘crazy,’’ no project too far out on the ‘‘lunatic fringe’’ to be considered carefully. An idea once given to Fred moved rapidly – a decision to proceed or reject was made by his engineering group typically within 2 weeks. Often a ‘‘oneoff’’ prototype would appear within a few weeks to be evaluated; at times, Fred and a group of engineers would come and be present during the laboratory work. From this incubator came a whole host of products including balloon dilators, percutaneous sheaths, specialized guide wires, entrapment sacks, and even a tissue morcellator. We have no doubt that if Fred had not been on the scene, many of our most commonly practiced less invasive procedures would have been delayed for years, much to the ongoing discomfort of thousands of patients worldwide.

At every turn in the road, from the very first endourology courses in Minnesota through the evolution of laparoscopic renal surgery, Fred was there to encourage, support, and help create.

He did all of this with a demeanor of committed interest, kindness, and absolute integrity; regardless of the situation, he was ever the gentleman both in manner and speech.

On August 21, 2009, after 29 years with Cook Urological, Fred returned to a quieter, less hectic life,one that we trust will be filled with travel and much happiness for both Joan and him. Well done Fred . . . we know we could never have done it without you.

Ralph V. Clayman, M.D.
Arthur D. Smith, M.D.

Published with permission by the Journal of Endourology
Ralph V. Clayman and Arthur D. Smith. Journal of Endourology. September 2009, 23(9): xxiii-xxiii. doi:10.1089/end.2009.1559.


April 4, 1934 – February 28, 2010

Dr Mardis died February 28, 2010 from complications of pulmonary fibrosis with his family in attendance. Urology has lost a leader and will miss him, as will his friends Hal went to medical school at the University of Nebraska and did his urology training at LSU in New Orleans. He held teaching positions at both LSU and the University of Nebraska and has held numerous leadership positions in the AUA, AACU, and South Central Section where he was President in 1990. Dr Mardis practiced urology in Omaha, NE for most of his adult life.

Dr Mardis contributed to the advancement of urology and was a leader in the development of stents and their use with numerous publications and original research. He was a founding member of the American Lithotripsy Society which trained numerous urologists and technicians as lithotrtipsy became commonplace. Under his leadership, the ALS prevailed in litigation against CMS which has kept urology as the leader in lithotripsy with adequate reimbursement and freedom to own this technology. Among his more unusual accomplishments was successful endoscopic surgery on a white tiger at the Omaha zoo for stone disease.

Dr Mardis is survived by his wife, Barbara, one son, two daughters, and a step-son. He was active in golf. fly fishing, mountaineering, music and civic affairs. Contributions in his name can be made to the Omaha Symphony Youth Foundation, 1605 Howard St., Omaha, Nebraska, 68102-2716.

What a way of passing away: On top of a Mountain in St. Moritz, Switzerland ! It was definitely what Ferdinand (Bitz) Eisenberger would have had in mind. However, feeling well and being in reasonable good conditions, the timing at the age of not even 72 was too early.Bitz Eisenberger was a great and charming personality, a leader with a natural sense of humor, clinical and scientific integrity and worldwide academic acceptance. We both are thankful that we had the chance to go several years together with him. Christian Chaussy worked with him first when Eisenberger started his scientific career with his research on hypothermia at the Institute for Surgical Research at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich. At the Department of Urology, University of Munich, they both began, together with Bernd Forssmann, the basic and clinical research on ESWL which was awarded with a huge worldwide clinical success following the first human treatment in 1980.

Jens Rassweiler was lucky enough to be part of the team when Eisenberger became head of the Department of Urology, Katharinenhospital Stuttgart in 1978 and one of the best known Urologists worldwide. Bitz Eisenberger was President of the German Urological Society (DGU) in 1987. He received several scientific and clinical awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Endourological Society in 2000 and as well academic and public honors. All his co-workers, among them were also Kurt Miller and Gerhard Fuchs, experienced “Bitz” as the charming leader and absolute authentic person as whom everybody recognized him. Being an excellent surgeon and scientist he was not only a great teacher but also someone who gave his “scholars” the room and freedom to follow their own ideas. His guidance and support were the reason for many great ideas and successes emerging from his clinic.

After Bitz Eisenberger retired in 2003 he enjoyed to have more time for his hobbies as there were hunting, skiing and hiking in the mountains. All this ended much too early on March 4, 2009. Bitz Eisenberger was married to his charming wife Uschi who accompanied him to all major events. They had two children, Claus Ferdinand and Christina and two grand children.

We will always cherish this great personality with whom we enjoyed many important years of our clinical life.

For all his friends,
Christian G. Chaussy and Jens Rassweiler

It is with deep sadness that I inform you Dr. Hiroshi Tazaki, Research Professor of Urology at NYMC, passed away on May 27, 2010.

Dr. Tazaki, MD, PhD, F.A.C.S. was born on August 18, 1932, in Tokyo Japan. He resided in Leonia, NY at the time of his death, after spending a career spanning U.S. and Japanese medical advancement. Born into a distinguished medical doctor’s family in Tokyo, the eldest son was expected to take over his father’s medical clinic. His father worked there during WWII when wounded civilians were brought for care to Tazaki Hospital, he often recalled. In 1951, Hiroshi was admitted into Keio High School, assuring his future in medicine.

Hiroshi Tazaki attended the Keio University for his undergraduate and medical school education. He then entered the Urology Residency Program at Keio University Hospital, and passed the qualifing examination for Ph.D candidate at Graduate School of Medicine, Keio University from which he graduated in 1961. He remained on the urology faculty at Keio University, School of Medicine for an additional year as assistant. In 1964, he obtained a fellowship at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York under the tutelage of Dr. Herbert Brendler. He received further training as an academic urologic subspecialist.

When he returned to Japan, Hiroshi Tazaki refused to run the Tazaki Hospital, and decided to spend his career in teaching and research. At Keio University Hospital, he trained many of the physicians practicing today throughout Japan. He was a dedicated caregiver and a superb clinician and surgeon. He was eager to develop his academic skills, and started to run a research laboratory where several bladder cancer cell lines were established: in those early days, to start research using tissue culture technique was something quite unknown, and it was a challenge to make a clean bench and an incubator by the researchers, themselves.

Hiroshi Tazaki is endowed with great and charming personality, a leader with a sense of humor, clinical and scientific integrity. In 1977, he was promoted to the Professor and Chairman, Department of Urology, Keio University, School of Medicine. Over the ensuing years, the primary focus of Hiroshi’s clinical and academic activities gradually shifted to the emerging field of minimally invasive surgery; Endourology and MIS.

In 1986, Hiroshi Tazaki invited Dr. Arthur Smith to Keio University Hospital to give the first Endourology course ever in Japan. During the following years, several Endourology courses were successfully organized by both Arthur and Hiroshi. I was lucky enough to be part of the team when Hiroshi Tazaki became the head of the Department of Urology. He was the president of the 4th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Endourology?ESWL (JSEE) in 1990, when several cases of live surgery were tele-casted via transpacific satellite transmission from Japan to the United States. In the late 1980s, he started to use a video-monitor screen to show procedures of transurethral resection, which was very instructive and was awarded World Videourology Award for Excellence in Video Production in 1991.

Hiroshi Tazaki was attending a medical meeting in Europe in 1983 when his four-year-old son came down with a fever due to acute leukemia. It is always heart-warming to see how far a farther will extend himself for his child. Hiroshi has done everything he could offer to save the life of his son, Yu John Tazaki who was treated in M.D. Anderson Medical Center in Houston and Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, and finally recovered from acute leukemia and hepatitis C.

In 1995, Hiroshi Tazaki resigned from Keio University and accepted a position as Research Professor at New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY. He received several scientific and clinical awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Endourological Society in 2000,and the Karl-Storz Award of JSEE in 2004.

Hiroshi Tazaki was the author of more than 380 scientific articles published in peer-reviewed journals. In 2009 he was named a Lifetime Professor at New York Medical College, while he was appointed as a Visiting Professor at Keio University after his retirement. He served as a volunteer healthcare facilitator for Japanese businessmen and their families who came to Westchester Medical Center. He also continued to offer his services as a physician when needed, most recently saving the life of a heart attack victim on a flight to Japan.

Hiroshi met his final challenge with remarkable strength, and courage. He flew back from Japan to his home in NY on May 13, 2010 in spite of pain of disseminating gastric cancer. He was a man of healing art who will be missed and never forgotten.

For all his friends,
Shiro Baba, M.D.
President of the Japanese Society of Endourology / ESWL
Professor and Chairman
Department of Urology,
Kitasato University, School of Medicine