Q & A with Dr. Lissa Sakata
Q: What made you decide to get into bariatric surgery?
I always wanted to be a surgeon, because I loved the idea of being able to help people. I especially love bariatrics because it saves people’s lives! Laparoscopic bariatrics is the most technically challenging of all specialty fields, so I was drawn to it early on during my internship at Michigan State University. It’s so rewarding to be able to participate in such a life changing event for someone, not to mention the incredible effects it has on their overall health!
Q: Why Blossom Bariatrics?
After I completed my one-year Bariatric Fellowship at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the leading obesity treatment centers in the greater New York area and one of the first laparoscopic weight loss fellowships in the country, I did a mini-tour of the US to decide where I wanted to be. When I met Dr. Matt, Dr. Tom and the rest of the group – from the Blossom family to the Warm Springs team – I knew it was the right fit! I loved the idea of being with a program that offered a fully comprehensive approach, all in one location, with an incredible track record and top-notch service. Most importantly, I wanted to be part of this team who treats each individual with compassion, where each person feels truly heard and well taken care of!
Q: Did you ever think you would live in Las Vegas? What do you think about it?
Never! I grew up in Alaska, and after high school I moved to DC and attend George Washington University. From there, I completed my master’s in public health. I went to medical school at St. George’s University and completed my internship at Michigan State University – where I met my amazing husband. During my residency at York Hospital, I was mentored by bariatric surgeons and then completed my fellowship in Hackensack, New Jersey. So, I’ve been an east coast girl almost my entire adult life, but I always felt drawn to the west coast mentality! I love Las Vegas and have good friends that live here. It’s a city that boasts incredible customer service, world class entertainment and gorgeous weather! What’s not to love?!
Q: Describe what it’s like working alongside Dr. Tom & Dr. Matt
It’s exciting, I feel right at home. To be working with two such skilled surgeons in an environment that supports innovation, growth and autonomy is a perfect fit for me – and them!
Q: What do you like to do in your free time, when you have some?
My husband and I love to be outdoors – hiking, skiing, tennis, anything really! Vegas has great outdoor actives and is a short drive to water or snow in California or Utah! I also love helping underserved communities and being involved in volunteer work. For the past 4 years, I have traveled to Ghana on a medical mission to perform surgeries for people who would otherwise go without care.