Kevin S. Sumsion, MD

Dr. Kevin S. Sumsion, the 2010 recipient of the Annual Robert F. Bitner Award for Physician Excellence, is an obstetrician/gynecologist at Tanner Clinic.

The honor is awarded to the Davis Hospital staff physician who “best exemplifies the characteristics of a kind, thoughtful and compassionate physician who truly cares about patients and staff members.”

Dr. Sumsion joined Tanner Clinic in 2003 following a successful practice with his father, Dr. Ray Sumsion, in Bountiful.

After receiving his B.S. in zoology from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, Dr. Sumsion was accepted at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., a highly ranked medical school that accepts only 2.1 percent of applications it receives.

He completed a residency at Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. There, he underwent extensive training in pelvic and reconstructive surgery, as well as urogynecology (bladder reconstructive) pelvic surgery.

Special interests of this board-certified physician include high-risk obstetrics, including multiple gestation, urinary incontinence, laparoscopic surgery and minimally invasive surgery, including hysterectomy.

Dr. Sumsion is married and the father of seven children. A former BYU intramural champion in competitive Alpine skiing, Dr. Sumsion spends many happy hours teaching his children to ski. In his spare time you’ll also find him engaged in another hobby, photography.

What patients are saying about Dr. Sumsion

“I went to Tanner Clinic for my last baby and had Dr. Sumsion and absolutely loved him! I had anxiety during pregnancy and he was so sweet and genuinely cared about me and what I was going through. He personally talked to me on the phone a couple times when I was struggling. When in labor, my baby’s arms were up past his head and usually they have to do c-section when that happens, but Dr. Sumsion was able to gently help the baby’s arms go down and I could deliver normally. It was such a blessing. I’m so grateful he was my doctor. His nurses were good too.” – Shaylee on Google, July 2017

“We really have enjoyed our experience with Dr. Sumsion! I was referred to him after my original OBGYN decided she wasn’t taking any more first time mom’s for the year. My husband was a little hesitant about me going to a male doctor but was very impressed with Dr. Sumsion after our first visit, he was so friendly and congratulated us repeatedly. Dr. Sumsion is a very modest man and is also very religious, which may not be for everyone but is a comfort to me knowing that we share the same belief system. Sometimes there is a long wait but when you think about it, he’s probably had to deliver a baby.” –, June 26, 2015

“I would never trade Dr. Sumsion for any thing or any one. He is the best doctor and delivered all three of my premee babies here safely and healthy.”   —  Ashley on Facebook, Oct. 16, 2014

“I love him! He just delivered my third. He has the best bedside manner and he is so caring and genuine. I would definitely go to him if you are looking for someone new.”   —  Michelle on Facebook, Aug. 4, 2014

“Dr. Sumsion is the most understanding and compassionate doctor I know. He has been there every step of the way. He really cares and is so good at listening to how you feel and makes thoughtful decisions for you and baby. He saved both mine and my baby’s life. I’m forever grateful for the caring doctor he is. There have been times I’ve had to wait, but I’ve been the emergency that others had to wait on, and so I don’t complain now when I have to wait knowing that he was probably helping save someone else.”   —, May 29, 2014

“My favorite (OB/GYN) is Dr. Sumsion. He is the most understanding and compassionate doctor I know. He has been there every step of the way. Dr. Sumsion is such an amazing doctor. He is worth waiting for.”   — Karen on Facebook, April 21, 2014

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Pregnancy With Twins Doubles Risk

Most of us recall the longtime Doublemint gum ads — a set of twins telling us: “Double your pleasure, double your fun.”

Well, the fact is, says an obstetrician specializing in high-risk births, when it’s double the babies, it’s also double the danger.

Nevertheless, Dr. Kevin Sumsion, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Tanner Clinic Layton, enjoys giving the twin prognosis to parents, who are almost universally delighted with the announcement. “When they hear the news,” he said, “they’re taken back at first; they don’t know if I’m kidding or not. Then, they’re excited.”

Twins put mom at risk

Multiple fetuses will always place the pregnancy in the high-risk category. Such pregnancies, said Dr. Sumsion, present a higher risk than single births in a number of areas.

For example, preterm delivery. “All multiple gestations have a higher risk of being born early,” he said, “which puts them in the neonatal intensive care unit.”

Mothers of twins are also at higher risk for:

▸ High blood pressure

▸ Toxemia and preeclampsia syndrome, when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and possible damage to other organs, usually late in the pregnancy

▸ HELLP syndrome: A life-threatening liver disorder, thought to be related to preeclampsia

▸ C-section: Twins present a greater risk of “malpresentation”, a situation when the baby is in the wrong position for birth, Dr. Sumsion said. “You can’t turn them like you can turn a single fetus.” This situation requires a c-section.

▸ Increased risk of bleeding following delivery “because of the higher volume of babies inside,” he said.

▸ For the newborn twins, higher risk of learning disabilities, developmental abnormalities and structural abnormalities.

Where the twins develop is vital to risk factor

A fetus develops within a warm, cozy encasement that’s actually two sacs — the inner amniotic sac and the outer chorionic sac. The big factor in whether a multiple gestation will go smoothly is where the fetuses develop in relation to the two sacs.

The highest risk is with twins sharing the same amniotic sac and chorionic sac. These twins are in danger of getting tangled up together and are usually delivered at around 32 weeks, said Dr. Sumsion.

Also at higher risk of complications are twins in separate amniotic sacs but the same chorionic sac. These twins are usually delivered at around 34 weeks.

The best situation is when each fetus has it own amniotic and chorionic sac, said Dr. Sumsion.

“Identical twins are the product of an egg that has divided,” he explained. “The earlier the egg splits, the more likely you’ll have two sacs around each baby.” Eggs that divide later are at risk for not developing separate sacs.

Conjoined twins result if the egg begins to split soon after conception but stops before the process is complete.

The ‘vanishing twin’ syndrome

Another phenomenon is that of the “vanishing twin” syndrome. The vanishing twin is a fetus that dies during pregnancy.

If this miscarriage occurs early in the pregnancy, the first trimester for example, the fetus will likely be reabsorbed into the placenta or mother’s body. The later in the pregnancy that one of the twin fetuses dies, said Dr. Sumsion, the more likely it will be visible on the placenta when the mother delivers. Such late-term miscarriages are uncommon.

Dr. Sumsion will always tell the mother if she has a “vanishing twin.”

“We just delivered an early vanishing twin the other day,” said Dr. Sumsion. He add, “There a tenderness a mom feels. So even as she rejoices, there’ll be a lot of tears for the baby that didn’t quite make it all the way.”




What Makes a Pregnancy High Risk?

pregnant-bellyMultiple fetuses — twins — can push a pregnancy into the high-risk category, said Dr. Kevin Sumsion, an OB/GYN at Tanner Clinic Layton. Carrying twins makes the mother, fetus or both at an increased danger for complications during or after pregnancy or both.

Dr. Sumsion describes these common factors that increase high-risk pregnancies:

Mothers with preexisting health problems, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, lupus and other autoimmune diseases, asthma, a seizure disorder or other longstanding medical disorder

Mothers who develop medical conditions during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia or premature labor

Multiple gestation

Mothers who’ve had previous stillbirths

Women who’ve had previous preterm deliveries — that is, birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy

Women who’ve had previous c-sections. “This is not as high risk as some causes,” said Dr. Sumsion, “but it certainly puts your antennas up.” There’s a possibility the uterus could rupture from the earlier scar, causing the placenta to implant where the scar was

Women who have problems with their cervix, such as a shortened cervix

Older mothers age 35 and up: For every year a mother is alive, there’s a higher risk of having a chromosomal challenge. Also at risk for getting high blood pressure

Lifestyle choices: Smoking, alcohol use and illegal drugs.

— Tanner Clinic staff