Jon C.E. Oberg, MD

Dr. Jon C. Oberg brings to his role as a general surgeon at Tanner Clinic a wealth of experience in all aspects of surgery ranging from vascular to cancer.

Dr. Oberg joined Tanner Clinic in 2010 after 14 years of general surgery at a multi-physician practice in Redding, Calif., where he focused on vascular surgery, as well as biopsies and removal of tumors.

At Tanner Clinic, he also performs surgery related to thyroid issues, breast cancer, gallbladder removal and more.

Dr. Oberg, a native of Los Angeles, received his B.S. from Brigham Young University in chemical engineering. He earned his M.D. from the University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, with honors in anesthesia, ICU, vascular surgery, ENT and research.

Dr. Oberg completed his internship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, transferring to Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Il., to complete his residency in the Department of Surgery.

The board-certified surgeon was a member of the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps, separating in 2000 as a major. While in northern California, he was chairman of the Surgical Care Committee at the Redding Medical Center, as well as Chief of Surgery at Mercy Medical Center, also in Redding.

Dr. Oberg is married with four children. In his spare time, you’re likely to find him painting, skiing or reading. He also enjoys family vacations.

What Patients Say About Dr. Oberg

“Dr. Oberg was kind, compassionate and knowledgable on the few visits I recently had with him. He really went the extra mile to help me and to give me enough information to ease my mind for the procedure I needed to have done! So grateful to have surgeons like him to rely on!!” – Laurie Ellsworth on Google, September 2017

“I would go to Dr. Oberg for any of the procedures (he does). He is knowledgable, efficient and skilled.”   — Duella on Facebook, June 10, 2014

“Best surgeon ever :).”   —  Dinora on Facebook, June 11, 2014

“Dr. Jon Oberg, you are an amazing doctor and wonderful person. Thank you for your kindness and caring!”   —  Via Davis Hospital in-house review, Oct., 2012

What’s Plaque? It’s Junk Collecting in Your Veins

We hear about plaque all the time.  But what exactly is it?

 Well, it’s basically junk — a collection  of bad cholesterol, floating fat cells,  sticky cellular waste products and  calcium that builds up in the arteries.

And that’s what Dr. Jon Oberg, a general surgeon at Tanner Clinic, sees during procedures to remove plaque. “I’ve seen all kinds of plaque,” he says, “some of it is rubbery and some of it is just hard” — a result of calcification that causes what we know as hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis.

Plaque, like trash, is bothersome and potentially dangerous, said Dr. Oberg. It can’t be dissolved or easily removed. Plus, said Dr. Oberg, “The blood is flowing at a high pressure through the artery, and if it gets underneath that plaque and lifts it up, you’ve got a problem.” That problem, he adds, is likely a stroke if it the plaque hits the brain.

All of us eventually develop some plaque as we get older, said Dr. Oberg. Diabetics, people with high blood pressure or cholesterol and those who are genetically predisposed will create more plaque than others, he said.

Smoking and plaque buildup go together, he adds. The reason is not because smoking increases plaque; rather, “the chemicals involved in smoking damage and injure the arteries,” he said. “Then the body has to heal them, and in the process of healing, scar tissue forms and attracts certain blood elements that create plaque.”

— Tanner Clinic staff

Neck Arteries May Hold Danger for Potential Strokes, Says Surgeon

Are you concerned there’s a stroke in your future? Is your blood pressure high and your cholesterol pushing the limit? Does it sometimes seem something might just burst?

Perhaps you need a stress reliever.

In this case, says, Dr. Jon Oberg, a general surgeon at Tanner Clinic, that could be a surgical procedure that relieves stress on the arteries that pump blood into the delicate and vulnerable brain.

The carotid arteries are the centimeter-thick vessels on each side of our necks, right under the jaw. When plaque starts to collect and the artery narrows because of the fatty obstruction, your nearby brain is at risk.

There are two ways a malfunctioning carotid artery can affect the brain.

First is what’s called a hemorrhagic stroke, said Dr. Oberg. Sticky plaque particles become trapped, often where the vessel forks, over time creating a build up much like what occurs in the arteries near the heart. If pieces of plaque in the carotid artery are dislodged by blood flow and carried to the brain, the result is a bleeding stroke.

Second is the ischemic, or starved, stroke. This stroke occurs when the carotid artery is so narrowed by plaque that it “starves” the brain of enough blood.

Procedure is an arterial stress reliever

During the stress-relieving endarterectomy procedure, a general surgeon such as Dr. Oberg makes a small incision in the neck and in the artery, he explains. “Then we basically just go in and scoop the plaque out,” he said. Filters are placed within the artery to prevent any dislodged pieces from causing harm.

The procedure is done as a preventive measure, said Dr. Oberg, and will not affect or improve damage from previous strokes.

There is no good, non-invasive way to measure the amount of plaque in a carotid artery. And as for symptoms that the carotid artery is under stress, there’s little to indicate that trouble is lurking. It’s like high blood pressure in that fashion — the damage is being done silently.

Symptoms rarely occur

A carotid obstruction may be  suspected because an individual  has heart disease or a family  history of strokes. In this case,  said Dr. Oberg, an ultrasound  may provide more answers. “A  certain amount of narrowing in  the vessel suggests a problem,”  he said. “If there’s a certain  degree of narrowing, we might  follow the patient until it reaches  a point where the artery  becomes too narrow to leave it alone, and then we would recommend surgery.”

Another symptom that might alert patients is what’s called a TIA — a mini stroke with symptoms that fade within 24 hours. These transient ischemic attacks may appear as a temporarily droopy face, a numb hand or blocked vision.

If the patient is having symptoms, said Dr. Oberg, surgery is recommended if there is some narrowing of the artery. Without symptoms, he adds, a patient should have narrowing of up to 80 percent to warrant the surgery, he said.

Won’t fix current stroke damage

The endarterectomy procedure is not painful, said Dr. Oberg. Patients won’t feel any differently afterwards. “It won’t make them feel better,” he said. “It’s purely to prevent a future catastrophic problem.”

And there may even be some benefits from the procedure. Some recent studies, said the general surgeon, “suggest that revascularizing or improving the circulation to your brain does seem to improve brain function.”

In summary, says Dr. Oberg, “If you have heart disease and you’re at the right age, it’s probably a good idea to screen your neck arteries.”