Choosing a Bariatric Surgeon – Q&A with Dr. Tom

Q: What’s the difference between a general surgeon and a specialty surgeon, like you and Dr. Matt?

A: A general surgeon has general knowledge about many operations and many diseases with no in depth knowledge of one specific specialty. A specialty is someone who has taken general surgery and advanced it to have in depth knowledge of one specific area or organ. A specialty surgeons’ abilities are light-years ahead of general surgeons since they’ve spent a great deal of time studying and perfecting their specialty.

Q: Why is it important to choose a bariatric surgeon if you are considering weight loss surgery?

A: Even though bariatric surgery is not a recognized specialty (like a vascular surgeon for example), the treatment of the patient is different than a general surgeon. A general surgeon is not equipped to handle the complications and special needs of a bariatric patient like we are.

Q: Why did you choose bariatric surgery as your specialty?
A: I chose it for two reasons; the technical challenge in operating room – , laparoscopic gastric bypass is one of the toughest procedures out there and takes years to master. Secondly and most importantly, I love the patients and the outcomes. I love to see our clients succeed and I love getting rid of medical problems especially diabetes. We cure diabetes every day here, and that’s amazing to be able to say!

Q: When choosing a bariatric surgeon, what qualifications should one look for?

A: Make sure they are truly a bariatric surgeon, and they don’t just ‘dabble’ in bariatrics. There are four questions you should ask and if the answer is ‘yes’ to all four, you’ve found yourself a great bariatric surgeon.

  1. Do they do bariatric surgery full time?
  2. Are they familiar with and have performed a number of revisions?
  3. Have they completed a 4-year formal fellowship?
  4. Can they hand suture and perform surgery without a robot?

Author Info

Tom Umbach

Tom Umbach

Bariatrics is Dr. Umbach’s Passion! His practice is 100% devoted to helping Las Vegas gastric sleeve and gastric bypass clients achieve healthier lifestyles. It brings him great pleasure to see clients shed their excess weight and enjoy the simple pleasures of life – playing with their children or grandchildren, riding a roller coaster for the first time, or starting to date and travel.

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