History and Tradition

The Montclair Surgical Group was initially organized by Dr. Harrison Wesson. Dr. Wesson had been first assistant during the 1930’s to Drs. William and Charles Mayo of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was the first Board Certified surgeon in the Montclair, NJ area and served as Governor of the American College of Surgeons, retiring in 1979. In the late 1960’s, he recruited Dr. Francis Wyckoff (Mayo Clinic) and, in the ‘70’s, Dr. George Saj (Tufts/Cornell). Drs. Joseph and Robert Barbalinardo, Saj and Wyckoff incorporated the group under its current name, Montclair Surgical Associates (MSA), in 1995. Dr. Silvia Fresco was brought into the group in 1999 as its first member to receive training in Laparoscopic Surgery during Residency. Dr. Karl Strom joined in 2004, having completed his Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery with emphasis on Bariatric (weight-loss) Surgery. Dave B. Swerdlow, MD was Director of Colorectal Surgery at Mountainside Hospital and worked in close affiliation with MSA. Continuity of care for his patients was assumed by our surgeons after his retirement.

By attracting and encouraging the brightest and best surgeons to join them, Montclair Surgical Associates continues to enjoy the reputation of being a premier surgical practice. The group has expanded into the south jersey area and is pleased to welcome its associates, Drs. Jonathan Reich, Samuel Echeverri, Matthew LeMaitre and Richard Greco.

Depth of Training and Experience

Currently, Montclair Surgical Associates employs four full-time surgeons. As is detailed in the biography section of this site, all the surgeons have excellent credentials, are Board Certified and are Fellows of the American College of Surgeons. Additionally, members of the group have acquired additional specialized training enabling them to provide expert care in many areas. This includes Breast Surgery with Stereotactic and Ultrasound-guided biopsy, Colorectal Surgery with Total Mesorectal Excision and Colonoscopy and Advanced Minimally-Invasive surgery. The latter includes Laparoscopic Gastrointestinal surgery, anti-reflux surgery for GERDS and Advanced Bariatric Surgery for Obesity (Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Band, Sleeve Gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, and Revisional Procedures).

Availability and Continuity of Care

In the event of an emergency, a patient’s operation is rarely delayed because of a particular surgeon’s fixed schedule. The partners are prepared to stand in for each other in the office or in the operating room. The partners confer daily regarding each patient’s progress, and routinely round on each other’s patient’s, whom they often know, having assisted at the patient’s operation.