Physician Search Results

Karen D. Horvath, MD

Dr. Horvath is a surgeon who specializes in treating colon cancer and rectal cancer.

Patient Care Philosophy:

"No matter what our backgrounds are, we are all equal when it comes to having cancer, going through treatment and hoping for a good prognosis. A patient's positive outlook, along with family and community support, greatly affects how quickly a patient recovers and handles the challenges of cancer. I have also seen patients' faith make a difference in how they handle the challenges of cancer. In making choices about treatment, it is important that everyone is involved in the decision-making process."

Dr. Horvath's Resume


  • Professor of Surgery, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Director, General Surgery Residency, University of Washington Medical Center
  • Associate Chair for Education, Department of Surgery, University of Washington

Clinical Expertise

Gastrointestinal surgery, colon and rectal cancer, recurrent rectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, anal cancer, small bowel cancer, laparoscopic surgery, necrotizing pancreatitis, hernia surgery, minimally invasive surgery

Education And Training

  • New York Medical College, 1990
  • Residency: Columbia Presbyterian Hospital(NYC), 7/91-6/97
  • Fellowships: Mount Sinai Hospital - New York Critical Care, 7/94-6/95
  • Oregon Health Sciences University, 7/97-6/98
  • Legacy Emanuel Hospital (Portland), 7/97-6/98

More Information

  • Dr. Horvath was recognized as a 2012 and 2016 "Top Doctor" in Seattle magazine's annual survey.

Dr. Horvath's Story

Compassionate care, collaboration and commitment

Dr. Karen Horvath brings her excellent medical skills, experience, and compassion to her work as a colorectal cancer surgeon.

“Cancer is an equalizer,” says Dr. Horvath. “No matter what our backgrounds, finances, or life styles, we are all equal when it comes to having cancer, going through treatment, and hoping for a good prognosis.”

When her own father had colorectal cancer, she felt fortunate to have her extended family there to support each other. “It made all the difference in the world,” she remembers. Realizing that everyone in a family is affected by a loved one’s cancer, Dr. Horvath encourages families to be involved. She also understands that not everyone has a family to surround them in a time of crisis. She suggests that those patients build a support system by attending classes and going to support groups. “I have also seen patients’ faith make a difference in how they handle the challenges of cancer,” she says.

Just as family teamwork is important for patient recovery, so is good teamwork among SCCA providers. “The excellent working team relationships I have with my colleagues—oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, and gastroenterologists—is one of the highlights of my job. I am grateful to be working with such bright, caring, knowledgeable specialists.” As director of the Residency Program, Dr. Horvath is coaching the next generation of surgeons to be compassionate, thoughtful surgeons and as committed to caring for their patients and families as she is.

Dr. Horvath believes that a patient’s attitude and effort, an involved family, and skilled and experienced care providers greatly affect treatment and recovery. “A positive outlook effects how quickly a patient recovers and how invested they are in their own recovery,” she says. “We involve everyone in the decision-making process.” Since patients are often scared and overwhelmed, she suggests that each patient write down his or her questions on a piece of paper and bring them to office visits, surgery, and the hospital. Consider bringing someone along to appointments to write down the answers.

Dr. Horvath is the author of over 100 surgical publications.