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Your Bariatric Surgery Team

Experience you can count on.

Fresno Bariatrics is privileged to have three highly regarded, minimally invasive specialty, California bariatric surgeons on staff. The surgeons are all active in research and new technologies, and have the best available operating suites and technologies available anywhere in the world. This combination of surgical skills, dedicated resources, and state of the art equipment is a win-win combination for patients.

Kelvin Higa, M.D., F.A.C.S., Program Director of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery

Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Kelvin Higa

Dr. Kelvin Higa graduated from the prestigious Biomedical Sciences Program, a collaboration between the University of California Schools in Riverside and Los Angeles, in 1983.  He completed his general surgical training in Fresno in 1988.  He has served as Chief of Vascular Surgery the VA Medical Center, Chief of Surgery for Community Medical Centers and Saint Agnes Medical Center and is currently the CEO of ALSA Medical Group and Director of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Fresno Heart and Surgical Hospital.

As Professor of Surgery in the UCSF-Fresno Medical Education Program, Dr. Higa is involved in the training of surgical residents and fellows.  In addition to hosting visiting professors and other surgeons throughout the world, he is often asked to lecture of perform live surgeries in the US and abroad.  He has published many peer reviewed papers book chapters and serves on the editorial board of several journals.  He has served as President of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the International Federation for Surgical Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO).  He is recipient of the ASMBS Lifetime Achievement Award


Keith Boone, M.D., F.A.C.S., Clinical Instructor UCSF

Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Keith BooneA Central Valley native, Dr. Boone received his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara before attending the University of Southern California School Of Medicine. After completing residency in general surgery, Dr. Boone fulfilled a commitment to the United States Navy, including aircraft carrier and battle group surgeon in the Persian Gulf. He was also the assistant clinical professor in surgery at the University of California, Davis.

Dr. Boone partnered with Dr. Kelvin Higa in 1996 and helped develop the revolutionary “hand-sewn” gastrojejunal anastomotic technique used by many surgeons in performing laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. He lectures on various aspects of weight loss surgery both nationally and internationally. He has demonstrated this technique via live telesurgery to many national conferences and has authored and co-authored many peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on weight-loss surgery. Together, Dr. Boone and Dr. Higa have performed several thousand weight loss procedures.

He is currently the Director of Fellowship Education for Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Associates Medical Group (ALSA), an organization devoted to “specializing in minimally invasive solutions to general surgery problems”. This program is accredited through the University of California San Francisco where he also holds the title of associate clinical professor in surgery.

Dr. Boone is Board Certified in General Surgery, an active member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), and is a Fellow of ASMBS. He is also an active member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS).


Daniel E. Swartz, M.D., F.A.C.S

Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Daniel E. Swartz

Dr. Swartz specializes in advanced laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgery and bariatric surgery. He has performed over 5,000 minimally invasive procedures including over 2,300 bariatric operations (that include Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy and revisional operations). He is also proficient in endoscopic procedures endoluminal surgical procedures. He joined Dr. Higa and Dr. Boone at the Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery Associates in 2015.

He is an active member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES), The American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has been widely published in a number of surgical and scientific topics in various publications.

Dr. Swartz graduated from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Montreal, Canada in 1994. He received a Master of Science degree in 1998 and completed his general surgery residency at McGill University in 2000. He subsequently completed a fellowship in Advanced Laparoscopic Surgery and Surgical Endoscopy at the University of Maryland and joined the Department of Surgery at the University of California, San Diego as Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery. He moved to Fresno in 2002 where he has been providing minimally invasive and metabolic / bariatric surgical care to patients since that time.

Pearl Ma, M.D.

Dr. Pearl Ma

Dr. Pearl Ma is a born and raised Iowa native and moved out to California, where she completed her Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine from University of California, Davis. Throughout her undergraduate at UC Davis, she worked extensively in community free clinics, helping the underserved populations in Sacramento County. She was accepted into the residency training at University of California, San Francisco-Fresno general surgery program, and was subsequently selected to complete fellowship training in Advanced GI (Minimally Invasive) and Bariatric Surgery Program under the tutelage of Dr. Higa and Dr. Boone.

She has been a leader in teaching and patient care and honored with multiple UCSF Fresno Resident Excellence in Teaching Awards. Dr. Ma was selected as the Leon S Peters Foundation Resident of the Year Award for demonstrating an outstanding job in patient and family care, research project success and volunteering in the community.

She has a passion for teaching as well has an interest in research with publication in revisional bariatric surgery and presented a rare surgical procedure at a national laparoscopic surgery meeting. In addition, she has completed a Trauma textbook chapter on social violence. During her fellowship she obtained advanced certifications including Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and American Board of Surgery (ACS). She completed her fellowship as number one in the nation with over 900 advanced bariatric/minimally invasive surgeries.

Her goal is to serve the people of the central valley and to continue educating the local physicians and surgeons in cutting edge surgical techniques and compassionate patient care. Dr. Ma is also joining the UCSF Fresno faculty team as Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery for the Advanced GI/Bariatric Surgery Fellowship.

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About Fresno Bariatrics

Fresno Bariatrics, located in Fresno, California, is one of the most experienced weight loss surgery programs in the country. On both the state and national levels, we are a step above most other weight loss surgery programs. Our superb clinical outcomes have earned HealthGrades' five-star ratings and a Bariatric Excellence Award™ 6 years in a row, putting our program in the top five of all California hospitals.

Our team of bariatric surgeons, nurses, and life coaches are eager to help you through a personalized weight loss surgery program with long-term results. We've helped thousands of people reverse obesity with the assistance of LAP-BAND, Gastric Bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve) and Revision Weight-Loss Surgery procedures.

Our world-class bariatric surgeons are board-certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery and are members of the American College of Surgeons.

Contact Us

Fresno Heart & Surgical Hospital
15 E Audubon Drive
Fresno, CA, 93720

(866) 433-8558