Dr. Higa graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine in 1983. He is board certified in general surgery. After completing his residency training in 1988, he served as Chief of Vascular Surgery at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fresno. In 1990, he entered private practice but has continued to devote a large amount of his time to teaching while also serving as Chief of Surgery for Community Medical Centers as well as Saint Agnes Medical Center.
Dr. Higa has performed open bariatric surgical procedures since the early 1990s. He and his partner Dr. Boone performed the first laparoscopic gastric bypass in the Central Valley in 1998. The two also pioneered the current technique used by many surgeons throughout the world. He and Professor Paul O’Brien from Australia performed the very first adjustable gastric band in Fresno.
Dr. Higa specializes in difficult and challenging cases, including revision bariatric surgery. He serves as associate editor for many peer-reviewed journals and has authored many original articles and book chapters regarding bariatric surgery and complication management. In addition to his title of clinical professor of surgery at the University of California San Francisco – Fresno Medical Education Program, Dr. Higa has been appointed to the National Faculty for Bariatric Surgery by the American College of Surgeons. He is also past president for the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and continues to chair many international conferences devoted to bariatric surgery.