Steven L. Johnson, MD


Dr. Steven L. Johnson has made a career of staying current with new techniques and therapies in his specialty of obstetrics and gynecology.

The OB/GYN, who has been with Tanner Clinic since 1986, was one of the leaders at Davis Hospital Medical Center to use laparoscopic laser surgery and to introduce hysteroscopic techniques for evaluation of abnormal uterine bleeding. Both procedures are now routine. He’s also among the first in Utah to perform Single-Site procedures with the robotic Da Vinci Surgical System. Procedures such as hysterectomies using Single-Site require a single 2-inch incision hidden in the umbilicus (belly button).

In his role as an innovator, Dr. Johnson was among the first physician to perform laser laparoscopes at Davis Medical Center. He was also the first to perform laparoscopic assisted vaginal hysterectomies and is today an accomplished da Vinci Robotic gynecological surgeon.

Dr. Johnson began his education at Brigham Young University in his hometown of Provo, Utah, later receiving his M.D. at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He was drawn to a number of specialties, but after participating in the delivery of his first child, his direction became clear. He completed his residency at Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz.

The board-certified physician served for more than a decade as chairman of the Surgical Laser Department at Davis Medical Center.

Active in African humanitarian efforts, Dr. Johnson has been on multiple missions with Reach the Children, a nonprofit organization focusing on Kenya and the Congo. Over the years, he’s seen more than 1,000 children and supervised health clinics in Kenyan orphanages.

The Kaysville resident is married and raised six children, all of whom he delivered. Two of his sons are currently in medical school. His pastimes in his spare time include reading, traveling and Jazz games. Plus, he counts himself as a huge BYU football fan.

What patients are saying about Dr. Johnson

“Since moving to Syracuse from Salt Lake nine years ago, I have been Dr. Johnson’s patient. In that time, he has helped me with my infertility issues with diplomacy and genuine kindness. I have never known another doctor to devote so much of his time to making sure all of his patients receive the best care possible. Additionally, I believe he has a true appreciation of his staff and the hospital staff and treats them with respect as well. It is refreshing to know that there are still doctors who listen to their patients and honestly want to do the best for them.

In October, I gave birth to my third son. Although I hate to sound like a broken record, it is true that he wouldn’t be here safe and healthy if it weren’t for his extraordinary care. With my most recent pregnancy, he kept a close watch on the two of us and, I believe, went above and beyond to make sure that we were healthy and safe. Even amidst some difficult situations he maintained his professionalism while still putting a smile on my face with jokes and authentic concern. While I was worried for my child, I never felt like I was making an uneducated or uniformed decision when I was in his care. In short, he “measures twice and cuts once” when faced with problematic patient like myself.

Being in his office for my prenatal appointments proved to me how much he enjoys his work and cares for his patients. He is worth any wait in the waiting room because I know he is doing everything he can for others and that he will o the same for me.

Unfortunately, to list all specific examples of his amazing work would be impossible in a letter of this kind. I would happily speak with anyone regarding my most recent delivery experience at Davis Hospital…additionlly, I would be willing to provide specific example son his dedication to his job and willingness to support his patients at all costs.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to recognize Dr. Johnson for a job well done. He is truly one of a kind.”  — Patient letter, December 1, 2016

“There is no other like the amazing Dr. Johnson! It is very rare to find someone with such a wonderful bedside manner. He is the kind of doctor who holds your hand and lets you cry. He has seen me at my highest of highs and my lowest of lows. Steven Johnson, you are an angel!”   —  Becky on Facebook, March 12, 2015

“My son’s middle name is after Dr. Johnson because my son was 12 weeks early, and Dr. Johnson took phenomenal care of us and called the NICU several times to check on my ‘lil guy. Thank you, Dr. J.”   —  Michelle on Facebook, March 12, 2015

“Ilove, love, love this man. I have had some complicated pregnancies, of which we have only had one live birth. He has been there through all of them! He is so understanding, caring, such a sweet man. He knows his stuff. I trust him 100 percent! I am seeing him currently with another difficult pregnancy. Baby will be here this fall. We feel so blessed to have Dr. J in our lives!!”   —  Natalie on Facebook, April 24, 2014

“The best OB/GYN. He has the best bedside manner ever. One time I was really sick and didn’t want to go to the hospital. So he stayed after his work hours to get me well. He is the best to put IVs in. And has always listened when I needed an ear. Always compliments me when I feel blue.”   —  Teresa on Facebook, April 21, 2014

“Love Dr. Johnson! He figured out why I couldn’t stay pregnant. After losing eight babies, he helped me bring home three healthy babies! Thanks, Dr. J!”   —  Melinda on Facebook, April 21, 2014

Specialized Procedures
da Vinci Single-Site Hysterectomy Animation

 

Endometriosis Is Cause of Much Pain and Distress, Says OB/GYN

Endometriosis is no woman’s friend. The disease creates distressing, bloody periods and irregular bleeding. To sum endometriosis up in one word: pain.

And the biggest insult is that it often causes infertility. Whether it’s the hormone treatment (sometimes birth control pills) or the scarring in the fallopian tubes, endometriosis is a huge obstacle for those women seeking to build a family.

With endometriosis, cells similar to those normally found in the lining of the uterus attach to areas outside the uterus, such as the ovaries, cervix or Fallopian tubes. These growths, or lesions, create scar tissue, inflammation — and misery.

Dr. Steven Johnson, an OB/GYN who’s been practicing at Tanner Clinic for nearly 30 years, has seen how endometriosis disrupts women’s lives and well being.

It’s made worse by an excess of estrogen — or, too little progesterone. That’s why birth control pills are so effective at slowing it down. Plus, there are newer hormonal therapies. But, if you’re trying to conceive, the pill is absolutely not helpful.

Endometriosis linked to infertility

Some medical researchers believe that between 20% to 50% of women being treated for infertility have endometriosis. And it’s a large factor in what Dr. Johnson calls secondary infertility, “where a woman was able to get pregnant and now, five years later, she can’t.”

The link with estrogen is also why the disorder generally affects women between 25 and 35 years of age — women produce less estrogen in menopause.

The endometriosis causes blood-filled lesions and scar tissue, as well as inflammation. In fact, adds Dr. Johnson, the disease actually secretes a chemical that works as a spermicide.

Those same symptoms are what cause so much pain. Researchers estimate that up to 80% of women with chronic pelvic pain may be affected by endometriosis.

Keeping the disease at bay

In addition to hormone treatment, there are other pharmaceutical remedies. And often surgery is required to excise the unwanted growths.

Unfortunately, endometriosis often makes a comeback, said Dr. Johnson. As a result, “the post-operative visit is a strategy planning session. Is the patient planning on getting pregnant — because pregnancy does help. Medications? We usually use hormonal manipulations of some sort. The younger the patient and more aggressive the endometriosis, the more aggressive you have to be to prevent it from coming back.”

Hormone treatments, for instance, may be effective on a 17-year-old girl, says Dr. Johnson, “but not forever. It’s important we preserve her fertility.”

Widespread in Utah’s population

Dr. Johnson has heard numbers that suggest there are up to 30,000 women in Davis County alone who have the disorder. “The majority just think they have horrible periods and suffer four days a month and miss work and overdose on Advil,” said the physician.

There’s some question whether the disease is hereditary. But it is familial. “There are clusters in families,” said Dr. Johnson. “If you have regularly painful cycles and your mom had it and your sister does, you’re at risk.”

Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose on an exam room table. Physicians use the woman’s family and medical history, physical exam and elimination of other possible disorders.

Dr. Johnson said symptoms include a history of pain during intercourse and painful periods. He adds, “A red flag with young women is pain during a period that doesn’t improve with ibuprofen. Everyone will have pain with their period, but if you take ibuprofen and the pain does not go away, endometriosis is a real possibility.”

Dr. Johnson Pioneers New Surgery Requiring One Small Incision

Single-Site procedures using the robotic DaVinci Surgical System Present “a new and exciting aspect for endometriosis and pelvic pain,” according to Dr. Steven Johnson, an OB/GYN at Tanner Clinic.

The procedure requires a single incision in the belly button for procedures such as hysterectomy. Single-Site offers a faster recovery time and virtually scarless results.

Dr. Johnson explains more about the procedure in this article.