Karl LeBlanc, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS, general and bariatric surgeon at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group Bariatric and Metabolic Institute and The Surgeons Group of Baton Rouge, has been preparing for a career as a physician for most of his life. “As a child, I enjoyed caring for the animals on the farm that I grew up on,” he says. “I loved fixing things, so this was a natural fit.”
Following a Calling
After earning his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical School in Shreveport, where he also completed his internship and residency in general surgery, Dr. LeBlanc went on to specialize in hernia and abdominal wall reconstruction, as well as bariatric surgery, both areas he knew would allow him to make a significant difference in patients’ lives.
“Hernias can be a very difficult problem for many patients, especially those that have large and longstanding hernias. The repair of these complex conditions allows me to help patients with issues that could not be solved otherwise,” he says. “And with bariatric surgery, along with the weight loss, patients can see chronic diseases disappear.”
In addition to obtaining a Master of Surgery, which is the most advanced qualification in surgery, Dr. LeBlanc made history when he invented and performed the world’s first laparoscopic incisional hernia repair in 1991. He also developed a special interest in robotic surgery due to the expanded capabilities of such procedures.
“The robot allows us to use ‘wrists’ that traditional laparoscopic surgery does not. Accurate visualization of the tissues and this added flexibility allows the surgeon to perform delicate operations as well as, and in many cases even better than, the older laparoscopic method,” he says.
Sharing a Gift
Dr. LeBlanc is proud to be a part of the Surgeons Group of Baton Rouge, which regularly gets referrals from outside the area, even from other states.
“Our surgeons provide a complete surgical practice for nearly all simple and complex surgical problems,” he says. “We are a multifaceted group that works well together.”
Dr. LeBlanc also enjoys sharing his knowledge with other surgeons. He has written eight textbooks on hernia and hernia repair as well as numerous articles in peer-reviewed medical journals. In addition, he speaks frequently at major surgical conventions and meetings about hernia repair around the world.
With such a packed schedule, Dr. LeBlanc still finds time to relax and be with his family. During his time off, he takes advantage of the many outdoor activities and sports the Baton Rouge area has to offer. He also enjoys woodworking and building furniture, watching Star Wars and listening to Fleetwood Mac. A self-proclaimed history buff, his bookshelf contains titles like A History of the Crusades.
But most of all, Dr. LeBlanc is grateful to have the opportunity to make a difference through the work he does with the Surgeons Group of Baton Rouge. “Our ability to improve patients’ lives is truly rewarding.”