Meet Dr. Mark Watson
Lap-Band Weight Loss Surgery Specialist

UT Southwestern’s Mark Watson, M.D., wrote the book on Lap-Band weight loss surgery – literally. Co-authored with a Harvard Medical School professor, the Lap-Band Companion Handbook is a comprehensive guide for patients who either have had or are considering the procedure.

At UT Southwestern, we offer all bariatric options, and we have experts in all the different procedures. When patients come here, they have a choice about what they want to do, and that’s important."

Having performed Lap-Band operations for more than a decade, Dr. Watson is one of the nation’s pre-eminent authorities on the procedure, and he knows the decision to have the surgery is one no patient makes lightly.

“Compared to other bariatric surgery options, the Lap-Band is the safest procedure, and it is reversible, but it is still surgery, and anytime you have surgery and are obese, there are risks,” he says. “What you have to balance the decision with, though, are the risks of being obese and not doing anything at all.”

Prior to the FDA’s approval of Lap-Band weight loss surgery in 2001, Dr. Watson was already an accomplished surgeon performing a wide variety of abdominal wall reconstructive procedures. An expert in advance laparoscopy, he continues to devote much of his surgical practice to doing laparoscopic hiatal, ventral, and inguinal hernia repairs.

In addition to being a Professor in the Department of Surgery, Dr. Watson is Co-Director of the UT Southwestern Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery.

Dr. Watson has been a D Magazine “Best Doctor” in bariatrics for three years in a row and was a U.S. News & World Report “Top Doctor” for 2012. Though he excels at patient care, he says that equally important to him is his role in training residents in advanced laparoscopy.

Clinical Interests

Bariatric Surgery

  • Laparoscopic gastric banding (Lap-Band)

General Surgery

  • Abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Hiatal of Nessen hernia
  • Cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal)
  • Colectomy
  • Colon resection
  • Esophagectomy
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Pancreatectomy
  • Splenectomy 

Minimally Invasive Surgery

  • Laparoscopic appendectomy
  • Laparoscopic colectomy
  • Laparoscopic colostomy
  • Laparoscopic hernia repair
  • Laparoscopic splenectomy
  • Laparoscopic ventral hernia