It all started on a hot and sunny California afternoon late in the summer of 2001. Dr. Jeffrey Johnsrud, a General Surgeon with extensive Laparoscopic skills, approached his friend and colleague Dr. Sami Hamamji with the proposal to start a Bariatric Surgery program at St. Joseph Hospital, a state of the art community hospital in Orange, California. Both surgeons had been practicing there for more than ten years, in their mid forties they were looking for a new challenge. With the increasing numbers of morbidly obese patients they were seeing in their daily practice and the advances in the field of laparoscopic gastric bypass it was not a difficult decision to make. St Joseph Hospital was not offering that service and there was an increasing demand for it, but the reputation of Gastric Bypass surgery was not one of the greatest, there was mortality involved as there were severe complications associated with it. The hospital was reluctant but understood the need to offer the service; with the quality of the surgeons involved the hospital administration decided to give it a good try. All resources were mobilized and starting from scratch an impressive program was put in place.
Now over 7 years after having successfully performed their first case and close to 700 cases later Drs. Johnsrud and Hamamji, along with Dr. Eric Pham, their new associate, are happy to welcome you to their practice.
The Bariatric Care Center is dedicated to the holistic approach to morbid obesity. We believe that surgery is only a small fraction of the whole process of losing weight and a powerful tool when used appropriately. In order to achieve that, our team includes a specialized panel in Psychiatry, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. Our experienced office staff works hard to help the patients with all their needs, from insurance requirements, to pre-op testing, to setting up their classes all the way to finding the best schedule for them and being available to answer all their needs anytime after the surgery. Our support groups and rigorous follow-up program assist our patients in their overall goal of keeping their weight off.
In addition to Bariatric Surgery our surgeons are specialized in Minimally Invasive Surgery, using small incisions, cameras and the robot as indicated to perform a variety of intra-abdominal surgeries. They combine an expertise of over 60 years of general and laparoscopic surgery and offer you their compassion and their dedication to the success of any general surgical intervention you may need.