I am from the Twin Falls, ID area. I had a consulation with Dr. Oakley about 8 years ago for my DS, but at that time he was very inexperienced, and I seemed to know a lot more about it than he did. So when I was 30, back in 2005, I traveled to Curitiba, Brazil, and had surgery with one of the top DS surgeons in the world, Dr. Marchesini. My surgery and recovery were very smooth, and my only post-op issue has been calcium absorption, which is very common. Since I changed my calcium regimen and upped my D3 to 125,000IU per day, my levels have been much better. My common channel is 65cm, my stomach was left at 5 oz.
However, about two years ago, my sister and cousin (then 32 and 27) went to Dr. Oakley and had their lap DS surgeries from him. He gained quite a bit of experience in that six year gap. However, I would still not rate him high, but he is at least adequate now.
My sister recovered spendidly; my cousin had some severe healing complications. He won't go less than 100cc common channel, which is what I think they both have. He also couldn't tell them how big their stomachs were -- he said he uses the boogey thing that they use for the rny, and then just cuts down instead. All I know is that at 3 months out they could eat more than I could when I was a year out. But, they have both lost most of their excess weight. They have both had severe iron issues (my sister has had to have several infusions) and kidney stones. However, they may also not be as religious with their vitamin supplements and protein levels as they should be, so this may contribute to those issues.
I have a friend who had her surgery through him a few months after my sister and cousin. She is in her 60s. She got along with him very well, has had excellent follow-up care, and has done fairly well in her weight loss and supplementation.
Another friend, in her late 30s, had surgery with him about 10 months ago. She did great through surgery, has done great through weight loss, and has had no severe issues. She is very strict about taking her vits and minerals, though! However, when she didn't agree with his dietician in her post-op appointment, they cut her off and said she was not welcome back. So she has not actually seen Dr. Oakley since her surgery. She has used this board and gotten her own bloodwork done to keep track of herself and make sure she is healthy in her weight loss.
I'm just being fully honest with what I know of him. I found a much better choice, and went with it. However, if you're not willing to travel out of country, or far across country, Oakley is probably your best bet in this regional area. Just smile and nod and take what the dietician says with a grain of salt, as she gives advice based on RNY needs, and seems not to understand the difference.
Feel free to visit my website (listed in my "signature"). Best of luck to you in your DS journey!
PS ... Where in Montana are you from? I lived in Hamilton for awhile, right after graduating college, back in 1998. Loved that area!