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de la Torre

Roger de la Torre, MD, FACS
Dr. de la Torre is section chief of bariatric surgery at MU Health Care and is the director of Missouri Bariatric Services. He is globally recognized for his abilities as a laparoscopic surgeon and was one of the first surgeons in the world to perform a roux-en-y divided gastric bypass laparoscopically. He is a fellow of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery and the National Academy of Inventors.

Dr. de la Torre holds more than 65 patents on products in use worldwide. One such patent led to a new laparoscopic surgery method known as hand-assisted laparoscopic surgery, which enables surgeons to use a hand intra-abdominally during minimally invasive procedures. In addition to clinical and research efforts, he is an invited speaker at hospitals and universities worldwide and performs live telesurgeries before groups of distinguished surgeons. He has a large range of publications, including articles in top, peer-reviewed journals and chapters in several surgery textbooks.

Dr. de la Torre received his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine.


J. Stephen Scott, MD, FACS
Dr. Scott has 20-plus years of experience studying and treating obesity. He has performed more than 15,000 bariatric and general surgeries and is internationally known for his expertise in general and bariatric surgery.

Dr. Scott is a pioneer in the fields of robotic and bariatric surgery who has performed more than 800 robotic surgeries. He is a board-certified general and advanced laparoscopic surgeon and is designated as a Center of Excellence surgeon by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. He currently serves as the lab director for the robotics course at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

In addition to treating patients, Dr. Scott is an active inventor and holds more than 40 patents for his surgical inventions. He developed a hands-free retractor device that uses a series of hooks and pulleys to help surgeons move and reposition organs during surgery. The device means fewer incisions for patients, and it is currently in use in operating rooms across the country.

Dr. Scott graduated from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in 1986 and completed his internship and residency in general surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, in 1991.


Kevin Suttmoeller, DO
Dr. Suttmoeller specializes in bariatric medicine and diabetes. He received certification from the American College of Osteopathic Internists in 1995 and was elected a fellow of the group in 2001. Dr. Suttmoeller is a certified diplomat of the American Board of Bariatric Medicine. He previously taught endocrinology at Andrew Taylor Still University in Kirksville, Missouri. From 2000-2006, he was a certified provider of the American Diabetes Association.

Dr. Suttmoeller's practice currently focuses on bariatrics. He is an invited lecturer on both medical and surgical-weight loss, and his discussions focus on the evaluation of the bariatric surgical patient. He received his medical degree from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed an internship and residency at Northeast Regional Medical Center in Kirksville.


James B Pitt, DO
Dr. Pitt is a native of Iowa and is board certified in general surgery. He is also a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons and the American College of Surgeons.

Dr. Pitt joined Columbia Surgical Associates in 1993 and opened an office in Osage Beach, Missouri. He built a large general surgery practice and was instrumental in helping the Lake Ozark General Hospital obtain its trauma center designation. During his time in Osage Beach, he was active in hospital leadership and served as chairman of surgery and on numerous committees.

After joining his partners in the Columbia office in 2000, Pitt performed many open and laparoscopic gastric bypasses. In addition to weight-loss surgery, he also performs advanced laparoscopic procedures, including laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, laparoscopic hernia and gallbladder surgery.

Dr. Pitt remains active in medical leadership, serving as past president of the Boone County Medical Society and a member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

He received his doctorate in 1989 from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he also completed his internship and general surgery residency.


Nicole M. Spencer, DO
Dr. Spencer joined Columbia Surgical Associates in 2016 after a minimally invasive/bariatric fellowship at Saint Luke’s Health System in Kansas City.

She completed her medical degree at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and her residency at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, where she was named chief general surgery resident.

Bringing new robotic techniques with her to Columbia Surgical Associates, Dr. Spencer’s practice focuses on foregut diseases – specifically those of the stomach and small intestine – in addition to general surgery.

A board-eligible general surgeon, Dr. Spencer is a member of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons Association, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, and Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons.