Expertise and Compassion
Bariatrics is Dr. Tom’s passion! In the beginning, he was drawn to bariatrics because of the potential it had in significantly improving or altogether eliminating his clients’ diabetes. His passion grew from there:
“I love it when, six months later, I’m seeing people back in the office… and they’ve lost 60, 80, maybe even 100 pounds and are no longer taking their diabetic medications or they’ve gotten rid of their sleep apnea machine and they’ve gotten rid of their high blood pressure medications. And they’re out there hiking, traveling, or doing whatever and they’ve really ‘blossomed’ as people.”
With over 18 years of specialized experience, he has helped hundreds of clients suffering from not only diabetes, but everything from knee pain and depression to sleep apnea and heart trouble.
A Greater Purpose
Dr. Tom’s success as a bariatric surgeon stems from his ability and desire to innovate. As an innovative surgeon, he often finds new, better, and more efficient tools and practices that allow him to operate more safely, comfortably, effectively, and cost-effectively. His continual innovation consistently keeps the cost of surgery at Blossom Bariatrics significantly lower than other bariatric centers.
Dr. Tom knew he had a gift for bariatric surgery when he became the first fellow at LA County Hospital to perform one of the most difficult laparoscopic surgeries in existence – the laparoscopic bypass. Thus began his series of “firsts”:
- Dr. Tom was the first to perform the lapband procedure at the Sacred Heart Medical Center.
- Upon beginning practice as a bariatric surgeon in the Las Vegas area, he became the first in the valley to perform a gastric sleeve.
- He performed one of the first “microsleeve” procedures in the west in which he was able to use a smaller, less invasive 2.5mm instrument rather than the standard 5mm instrument.
- In continuing with the philosophy that smaller instrumentation is easier on the client – although significantly more difficult for the doctor – he became the first to use a small liver retractor instead of the standard, much larger, bulkier instrument.
- He became an early adopter of the ERAS protocol which is just now gaining traction in the United States. ERAS stands for Enhanced Recovery After Surgery and consists of multiple interventions designed to speed up client recovery. Part of the protocol is proper pre- and post-surgical nutrition. Dr. Tom is proud to offer his clients the scientifically formulated beverage Clearfast® which eliminates the need to fast prior to surgery and has been shown to significantly enhance client comfort and recovery. Consequentially, Dr. Tom’s clients always look and feel the best post-surgery.
- Dr. Tom sought to discover the best anesthetic solution for his clients – he was the first to use Exparel, a long-lasting anesthetic that many surgeons have since adopted because of its effectiveness.
Due to his natural gifts, work ethic, and insatiable desire to improve and provide the best experience for his clients, Dr. Tom has achieved quite remarkable results as a surgeon. In 2018, he patented his Safe Sleeve Procedure – his specialized way of performing a vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Where other bariatric surgical centers are considered busy and successful performing 24 surgeries per month between three surgeons, Dr. Tom’s personally trained surgeons perform an average of 100 Safe Sleeve procedures per month, all while delivering superior quality and results.
Far more important than earning an extra buck, Dr. Tom enjoys transforming lives. While Dr. Tom recognizes that he could raise the costs of his procedures to meet the national average (thus making more money per procedure), he is committed to transforming as many lives as possible. Ultimately, Dr. Tom doesn’t want price to stand in your way to blossoming into a healthier, happier you.
Recognized as an innovator and leader in the field, Dr. Tom is frequently asked to train other surgeons and quite often hosts groups of doctors at his Warm Springs Surgical Center who are seeking to gain insight and learn from his expertise.
Outside the Office
Dr. Tom is fortunate enough to be married to a very supportive wife, Holly. In fact, she’s so supportive that she even allows Dr. Tom to distribute his cell phone number to his clients so they can call with questions or concerns at any time.
He also has four great kids, Alex, Taylor, Tavis, and Kai, with whom he enjoys traveling, camping, reading, watching HGTV, and skiing/snowboarding.
More of Dr. Tom’s awards, recognitions, and achievements:
- The New Economy’s “Best Bariatrics Surgeons” for 2014
- The New Economy’s “Best Medical Tourism Provider” for 2012 and 2013
- U.S. Commerce Association’s Best “Weight Loss Management Physicians” for 2011, 2012 and 2013
- Successful startup of the laparoscopic surgical weight loss program at Kaiser Permanente South San Francisco
- Created a “Center of Excellence” program in Eugene, Oregon
- Currently trains other experienced weight loss surgeons from across the United States in the nuances of bariatric surgery
- % of Practice is Bariatrics: 100
- Maximum Age for Clients: 68
- Surgery after Residency: 15+ Years Experience
- Laparoscopic Surgery: 15 Years Experience
- Bariatric Surgery: 15 Years Experience
- Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery: 15 Years Experience
Education and Training
- Medical School: Medical College of Virginia
- Residency: Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles
- Fellowship: University of Southern California, Advanced Minimally Invasive Surgery
- Fellow of American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
- Fellow of American College of Surgeons
- Member of American Board of Surgery
Dr. Umbach has spent many years perfecting the most advanced bariatric surgery techniques and staying abreast of the technological advancements in the field. Now, Dr. Umbach is giving back to the community at large by training other experienced weight loss surgeons in the nuances of bariatric surgery. Because he is a respected authority on bariatric surgery, surgeons from across the United States— from places such as New Jersey, Phoenix and Modesto — visit Dr. Umbach to learn about the innovative surgical techniques and technologies he uses.