Minimally Invasive/ Bariatric Surgery

Dr. John Morton leads the Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery (MIBS) Section at Stanford University. The MIBS Section offers the full complement of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery procedures. The Section of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery has pioneered bariatric surgery care as an American College of Surgeons Level 1A Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence including laparoscopic gastric bypass, gastric band, and sleeve gastrectomy procedures. In addition, Stanford Bariatrics has partnered with Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, one of five children’s hospitals in the country, to provide surgical treatment for adolescent obesity. The MIBS Section has performed Natural Orifice Surgery for the past three years including Stomaphyx ® (gastric pouch reduction) and Esophyx ® for treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Two FDA trials have been conducted including vagal blockade for weight loss and diaphragmatic stimulation for ALS. The Section is pleased to provide minimally invasive techniques in the treatment of achalasia, adrenal disorders, incisional/inguinal/ventral hernias, gallbladders, gastro esophageal reflux disease, gastro paresis, paraesophageal hernias, and splenectomies.

The surgeons in the section include:

Dr. John Morton

Dr. John Morton is Associate Professor of Surgery at Stanford University serving as Section Chief of Minimally Invasive Surgery and Director of both Bariatric Surgery and Surgical Quality. He also heads the Minimally Invasive Surgery fellowship and the Stanford Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation (SCORE) and is Co-Director of the Stanford Digestive Health Center. Dr. Morton received undergraduate, Masters in Public Health, and Medical Doctor Degree from Tulane University and a Masters in Health Administration from University of Washington. He was the first surgical resident to receive a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Fellowship in the program’s history at University of Washington and also completed an advanced laparoscopic fellowship at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He served on Capitol Hill as Senator Bill Frist’s Health Policy Intern.

He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book chapters with over 200 national and international oral presentations. He serves as editor of two books and on the editorial boards of Obesity Surgery, Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, Journal of Surgical Case Reports and World Journal of Gastroenterology. His research efforts have been recognized by the Society for Advanced Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) receiving the Golden Laparoscope as 2008 Young Investigator of the Year. As a teacher, Dr. Morton has received five teaching awards at Stanford University in 8 years including the 2008 Arthur Bloomfield Clinical Teacher of the Year and 2011 Henry J. Kaiser Teaching Award.

As Director of Surgical Quality at Stanford University Medical Center, Dr. Morton led efforts to improve the Department of Surgery’s University Health Consortium’s annual ranking from 24/98 to 1/98 and their Annual NSQIP mortality ranking from Average to Exemplary. He has been an invited speaker on surgical quality by the American College of Surgeons, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, National Patient Safety Foundation, and American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and currently serves on the National Quality Forum’s Surgical Steering Committee.

With over 1800 bariatric surgeries performed, he has been recognized as a bariatric surgery leader by RAND, American College of Surgeons, Who’s Who and America’s Top Surgeons and served as President of the California chapter of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in 2010-11 and currently serves as a member the ASMBS Executive Council and the National Chairman for Access to Care for ASMBS and the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Advisory Board. Click here to see Dr. Morton's video resources for bariatric surgery.


Dr. Homero Rivas

Dr. Homero Rivas is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Stanford. He was recruited by Dr. Morton to become Stanford’s Director of Innovative Surgery after serving as an Assistant Professor of Surgery, and Co-Director of the Minimally Invasive Surgery Fellowship Program at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.


Dr. Rivas is a pioneer and leader in single-incision laparoscopic surgery and in other novel surgical techniques, including natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery. Presently he has one of the largest series of single-incision laparoscopic surgery cases.
Following Medical School at the Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango (UJED) – where he graduated with honors and top of his class – and a five-year Residency in General Surgery at the University of North Dakota, Dr. Rivas earned a pair of one-year fellowships. The second took him to Barcelona, Spain for a fellowship in Minimally Invasive Digestive Surgery at the Hospital Clinic affiliated to the Universitat de Barcelona. During his time in Europe, he also trained extensively with Laparoscopic pioneers from Scotland, Germany and France.


Upon completion of his training, he moved back to his home town of Durango, Mexico, where he practiced with his father, a General Surgeon, and a brother, a Gynecologist. He was also Director of Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Hospital de la Paz, and Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology of the UJED. He returned to the United States to accept the position at Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

Dr. James Lau


Dr. James Lau is a Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery. In October 2009, following five years on the faculty at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, Dr. Lau returned to Stanford as a faculty member. He was previously a fellow in Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Stanford.


Dr. Lau currently holds the position of Associate Surgery Residency Director and is an integral part of the team at the Goodman Surgical Skills and Simulation Center, where he is Director of Curriculum. He has won multiple awards for teaching including the 2010 Teaching Award from the Stanford Surgery Residents.