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Physicians and Bariatric Manager

Theodore Small, MD

Dr. Theodore Small received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina. He is a board-certified general surgeon with a special interest in teaching and performing advanced laparoscopic surgery and general surgical care for all age groups. Dr. Small is the Medical Director of the Morton Plant Mease Health Care Bariatric Center, Surgical Director of the Mease Heartburn Center. He is also a consultant surgeon for Ethicon Endo Surgery and Bard Davol, Inc., acting as a course director for advanced laparoscopic procedures and instructing surgeons from across the country on the newest techniques. Dr. Small performs adjustable gastric banding, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy, as well as all varieties of laparoscopic procedures including hernia, adrenal, spleen and colon resections. Dr. Small is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Richard Gordon, MD

Dr. Richard Gordon is a fellowship-trained weight loss and laparoscopic surgeon, one of only a few fellowship-trained weight loss surgeons in the Tampa Bay area. He graduated from medical school, completed his general surgical residency in Ottawa, Canada, and came to Florida to complete his fellowship training year at the Cleveland Clinic Florida. Dr. Gordon specializes in minimally-invasive surgery including colon resection, gallbladder removal, hernia repair and anti-reflux surgery. As for weight loss surgery, he is fellowship-certified in gastric banding, gastric bypass, and sleeve gastrectomy. In fact, he was one of the first fellowship trained surgeons in sleeve gastrectomy in Florida and has over 7 years of experience in this procedure. He is board certified by both the American College of Surgeons and Royal College of Canada. He is a member of the Society for Advanced Endoscopic Gastrointestinal Surgeons and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Michele Barnett, RN, BSN, CBN

Michele Barnett has been an RN since 1985. She attended the Gloucester County College School of Nursing near Philadelphia, PA, her home town. She has practiced nursing in various specialties throughout her long nursing career including psychiatry, home health, plastic surgery and the operating room, where she received training in bariatric surgery.  In 2002, with a BMI of 50, she became a bariatric patient herself when she had a gastric bypass. She completed her nursing degree advancement when she earned her BSN in 2010. In 2011, Michele became the first certified bariatric nurse in the BayCare Health System and one of only a few in the Tampa Bay area. Future plans include writing a book about her experience as a weight-loss surgery patient and earning a graduate degree in nursing education. She is currently the Bariatric Manager for Morton Plant Mease and follows weight-loss surgery patients throughout their entire pre-surgical process including accompanying them in the operating room on the day of surgery and postoperatively during their hospital stay. In addition, she facilitates in-person and telephone support groups and is available to patients by phone 7 days a week for support.  She works very closely with Drs. Small and Gordon to ensure that each patient receives the very best personalized care and has the best possible outcome on their weight-loss journey.