Raj Satkunasivam, MD, MS, FRCSC

Acting Assistant Professor of Urology, Institute for Academic Medicine
Houston Methodist


Dr. Raj Satkunasivam is a fellowship-trained Urologic Oncologist with a focus on minimally invasive and robotic approaches to the treatment of genito-urinary malignancies. His practice includes minimally invasive and robotic surgical techniques for kidney, bladder, prostate, adrenal and testicular cancers. He is the Director of Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery at the Houston Methodist Institute for Technology, Innovation, and Education (MITIE).

Dr. Satkunasivam received his medical degree from the University of Toronto and completed his urology residency also at the University of Toronto. He pursued sub-specialty fellowship training in urologic oncology, advanced robotic and laparoscopic surgery at the University of Southern California, where he developed novel techniques for robotic kidney-sparing surgery (partial nephrectomy) and robotic bladder cancer surgery with entirely robotic (intra-corporeal) urinary reconstruction.

Description of Research

Prior to joining Houston Methodist Hospital, Dr. Satkunasivam was an Assistant Professor and Surgeon Investigator at the University of Toronto's Odette Cancer Center at Sunnybrook Hospital. He holds a Master of Science in Health Services Research from the Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California. His research is focused on the clinical epidemiology of genito-urinary malignancies, specifically in identifying novel risk factors, improving individualized risk assessment and in assessing the comparative effectiveness of treatments. His research also examines outcomes and quality of surgical care, and novel strategies to improve the care of complex surgical patients. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine and a Health Services Researcher in the Center for Outcomes Research at Houston Methodist Hospital.

Areas Of Expertise

Urologic oncology

Selecting patients for prostate cancer treatment: the role of comorbidity
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R & Bhindi, B 2018, BJU international, vol. 121, no. 2, pp. 164-165. DOI: 10.1111/bju.13923

Personal prostate-specific antigen screening and treatment choices for localized prostate cancer among expert physicians
Wallis, C, Cheung, D, Klotz, L, Chalasani, V, Leao, R, Garisto, J, Morton, G, Nam, R, Tannock, I & Satkunasivam, R 2018, Journal of the Canadian Urological Association, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. E59-E63. DOI: 10.5489/cuaj.4736

Association Between Primary Local Treatment and Non-prostate Cancer Mortality in Men With Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R, Herschorn, S, Law, C, Seth, A, Kodama, RT, Kulkarni, GS & Nam, RK 2018, Urology. DOI: 10.1016/j.urology.2017.12.013

Null association between androgen-deprivation therapy and nonprostate cancer mortality among older men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R, Herschorn, S, Law, C, Seth, A, Kodama, RT, Kulkarni, GS & Nam, RK 2018, Urologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations. DOI: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2018.02.001

First-line Systemic Therapy for Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis
Wallis, CJD, Klaassen, Z, Bhindi, B, Ye, XY, Chandrasekar, T, Farrell, AM, Goldberg, H, Boorjian, SA, Leibovich, B, Kulkarni, GS, Shah, PS, Bjarnason, GA, Heng, D, Satkunasivam, R & Finelli, A 2018, European urology. DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2018.03.036

Outcomes of Non-curative Gastrectomy for Gastric Cancer: An Analysis of the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP)
Jeong, Y, Mahar, AL, Coburn, NG, Wallis, CJ, Satkunasivam, R, Beyfuss, K, Karanicolas, PJ, Law, CHL & Hallet, J 2018, Annals of Surgical Oncology. DOI: 10.1245/s10434-018-6824-8

Platelet to white blood cell ratio predicts 30-day postoperative infectious complications in patients undergoing radical nephrectomy for renal malignancy
Garbens, A, Wallis, CJD, Bjarnason, G, Kulkarni, GS, Nathens, AB, Nam, RK & Satkunasivam, R 2017, Canadian Urological Association Journal, vol. 11, no. 11, pp. E414-E420. DOI: 10.5489/cuaj.4478

Peripheral nerve injury during abdominal-pelvic surgery: Analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database
Wallis, CJD, Peltz, S, Byrne, J, Kroft, J, Karanicolas, P, Coburn, N, Nathens, AB, Nam, RK, Hallet, J & Satkunasivam, R 2017, American Surgeon, vol. 83, no. 11, pp. 1214-1219.

Comparison of postoperative outcomes among patients treated by male and female surgeons: a population based matched cohort study
Wallis, CJ, Ravi, B, Coburn, N, Nam, RK, Detsky, AS & Satkunasivam, R 2017, BMJ (Online), vol. 359, pp. j4366. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.j4366

Association between use of antithrombotic medication and hematuria-related complications
Wallis, CJD, Juvet, T, Lee, Y, Matta, R, Herschorn, S, Kodama, R, Kulkarni, GS, Satkunasivam, R, Geerts, W, McLeod, A, Narod, SA & Nam, RK 2017, JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, vol. 318, no. 13, pp. 1260-1271. DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.13890

Feasibility of expert and crowd-sourced review of intraoperative video for quality improvement of intracorporeal urinary diversion during robotic radical cystectomy
Goldenberg, MG, Nabhani, J, Wallis, CJD, Chopra, S, Hung, AJ, Schuckman, A, Djaladat, H, Daneshmand, S, Desai, MM, Aron, M, Gill, IS & Satkunasivam, R 2017, Canadian Urological Association Journal, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 331-336. DOI: 10.5489/cuaj.4442

Tumour front inflammation and necrosis are independent prognostic predictors in high-grade urothelial carcinoma of the bladder
Hodgson, A, Xu, B, Satkunasivam, R & Downes, MR 2018, Journal of clinical pathology, vol. 71, no. 2, pp. 154-160. DOI: 10.1136/jclinpath-2017-204562

Radical cystectomy in patients with disseminated disease: An assessment of perioperative outcomes using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database
Wallis, CJ, Khana, S, Hajiha, M, Nam, RK & Satkunasivam, R 2017, Journal of the Canadian Urological Association, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 244-248. DOI: 10.5489/cuaj.4208

Propensity Score Analysis of Radical Cystectomy Versus Bladder-Sparing Trimodal Therapy in the Setting of a Multidisciplinary Bladder Cancer Clinic
Kulkarni, GS, Hermanns, T, Wei, Y, Bhindi, B, Satkunasivam, R, Athanasopoulos, P, Bostrom, PJ, Kuk, C, Li, K, Templeton, AJ, Sridhar, SS, van der Kwast, TH, Chung, PP, Bristow, RG, Milosevic, M, Warde, P, Fleshner, NE, Jewett, MAS, Bashir, S & Zlotta, AR 2017, Journal of Clinical Oncology, vol. 35, no. 20, pp. 2299-2305. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2016.69.2327

Postoperative Radiotherapy in Locally Advanced Prostate Cancer: A Question of Who and When
Wallis, CJD, Satkunasivam, R & Nam, RK 2017, European urology, vol. 71, no. 6, pp. 894-895. DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2016.11.010

Prostate cancer: Risk factors - you find what you are looking for
Wallis, CJD & Satkunasivam, R 2017, Nature Reviews Urology, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 202-204. DOI: 10.1038/nrurol.2016.267

Robotic Partial Nephrectomy: Expanding Utilization, Advancing Innovation
Wallis, CJD, Garbens, A, Chopra, S, Gill, IS & Satkunasivam, R 2017, Journal of Endourology, vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 348-354. DOI: 10.1089/end.2016.0639

Robot-Assisted Laparoscopic Resection of a Pelvic Schwannoma
Chopra, S, Dharmaraja, A, Satkunasivam, R & Gill, IS 2017, Urology case reports, vol. 11, pp. 63-65. DOI: 10.1016/j.eucr.2016.11.027

Perioperative outcomes following radical prostatectomy for patients with disseminated cancer: An analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database
Satkunasivam, R, Wallis, CJD, Byrne, J, Hoffman, A, Cheung, DC, Kulkarni, GS, Nathens, AB & Nam, RK 2017, Journal of the Canadian Urological Association, vol. 10, no. 11-12, pp. 423-429. DOI: 10.5489/cuaj.3939

Comparison of Abiraterone Acetate and Docetaxel with Androgen Deprivation Therapy in High-risk and Metastatic Hormone-naïve Prostate Cancer: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis
Wallis, CJD, Klaassen, Z, Bhindi, B, Goldberg, H, Chandrasekar, T, Farrell, AM, Boorjian, SA, Kulkarni, GS, Karnes, RJ & Satkunasivam, R 2017, European urology. DOI: 10.1016/j.eururo.2017.10.002