Dr. Thaker is an advanced endoscopist with particular interest in minimally invasive endoscopic procedures which help fill the gap between medical management and traditional surgery. He is spearheading the growth of the bariatric endoscopy program at UCLA, coordinating with a multidisciplinary team in the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and the Center for Obesity and METabolic Health (COMET). He performs endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) for weight loss as well as gastric revision procedures, such as transoral outlet reduction (TORe), for patients who have regained weight after prior gastric surgery. He also performs the transoral incisionless fundoplication (TIF) procedure, which is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery for the treatment of acid reflux.
In addition, Dr. Thaker has specialized training in other advanced therapies, including including endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) of large polyps; radiofrequency ablation for Barrett's esophagus and early esophageal cancer; stricture dilation; endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP); cholangioscopy; endoluminal stent placement; deep enteroscopy/balloon enteroscopy; endoscopic suturing, fistula and leak closure; and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) for cancer staging, fine needle aspiration and biopsy and other interventions.
Dr. Thaker is board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine. Dr. Thaker's research has focused on eliminating endoscope-related infections to improve patient safety, helping to develop and implement the use of the world's first available disposable duodenoscope. He has published several research studies, literature reviews, editorials, and a textbook chapter related to the endoscopic management of complex gastrointestinal diseases, anesthesia safety during endoscopy, and preventing infections related to endoscopic instruments.
Dr. Thaker serves on the national committee for the American Gastroenterological Association's (AGA) Center for GI Innovation and Technology (CGIT), which supports innovation and the development of new technologies for use in gastroenterology, hepatology, nutrition and obesity management. He is a member of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), the Association for Bariatric Endoscopy (ABE), and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG). He completed his undergraduate training in chemical engineering at UCLA before attending medical school at New York Medical College. He completed his internal medicine residency training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, followed by gastroenterology fellowship and advanced endoscopy fellowship training at UCLA. In additional to performing procedures at UCLA Health campuses in Westwood and Santa Monica, Dr. Thaker performs advanced procedures in other Southern California locations.
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