Dr. Issa is a gastroenterologist and an interventional and bariatric endoscopist whose clinical practice focuses on using minimally-invasive approaches to diagnose and treat digestive diseases such as obesity, pancreas and bile ducts disorders, esophagus and stomach conditions, hiatal hernia, gastroparesis, fatty liver disease, hemorrhoids, colon polyps and early cancer lesions. He has a particular interest in bariatric endoscopy and obesity medicine and is co-leading the endoscopic bariatric program at UCLA. He has obtained additional training at Weill Cornell, New York, for cutting-edge endoscopic weight loss procedures such as endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG), gastric revision following bypass surgery, suturing the stomach to treat weight regain following surgical sleeve gastrectomy (re-sleeve), transoral outlet reduction (TORe), and gastric balloon placement. Gastrointestinal procedures he performs also include colonoscopy with removal of all sizes of polyps, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), tumor ablation, endoluminal stenting, trans-nasal esophagoscopy, mucosal resection (EMR), endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) and peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM).
After earning his medical degree from the University of Damascus, he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern University, Chicago, and a residency in internal medicine at Cleveland Clinic - Fairview Hospital. He then completed a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at Virginia Commonwealth University and an advanced endoscopy fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he had extensive training on numerous innovative endoscopic procedures. Dr. Issa has published multiple peer-reviewed articles and presented his research at numerous national meetings.
Dr. Issa is American board certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine. He is involved in teaching for medical students and residents and runs a board review course for gastroenterology trainees at UCLA. He is an active member of the public relation committee of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), an active member of the members engagement committee at the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), and an active member of the Congressional Advocacy Program of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA), in addition to being a member of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and American College of Physicians (ACP).