Dr. Visser is a native of San Francisco, the youngest of eight children. He attended Deep Springs College in Eastern California and then went on to earn his BS at Cornell University in Ithaca NY. After receiving his MD degree at the University of California - San Francisco, he stayed at UCSF for his residency training in general surgery. He then completed specialized fellowship training in hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery (also called HPB surgery) at the University of Edinburgh in Ediburgh, UK. Dr. Visser is board certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery. His principle practice is at Stanford Hospital and the Stanford Cancer Center, but he is also a staff surgeon at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, serving our veteran patients.

Dr. Visser is actively involved in the General Surgery training program and is the program director for the Stanford Hepatopancreatobiliary (HPB) Surgery fellowship program. Dr. Visser was honored in 2011 with the John Collins Memorial Teaching Award, an annual faculty recognition selected by the entire body of general surgery residents. He also received the Best Rotation Award in 2015, which is selected by Stanford chief residents in general surgery. He is the Medical Director of the GI Cancer Care Program at the Stanford Cancer Center.

Professional Summary

Professional Education
  • Residency: University of California San Francisco (2005) CA
  • Medical Education: University of California San Francisco (1999) CA
  • Fellowship: University of Edinburgh; Edinburgh Royal (2006)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Surgery, General Surgery (2006)
  • MD, Univ. of Calif., San Francisco, Medicine (1999)
  • Resident, Univ. Of Calif., San Francisco, General Surgery (2005)
  • Fellow, Univ. of Edinburgh, UK, Hepatobiliary/Pancreatic Surgery (2006)

Honors & Awards
  • Best Rotation Award: Stanford Chief Residents 2015, Stanford General Surgery Residency (2014-2015)
  • John Collins Memorial Teaching Award, Annual faculty teaching award selected by entire body of general surgery residents (2010-2011)

Administrative Appointments
  • Medical Director, Gastrointestinal Cancer Care Program, Stanford Cancer Center (2015 - Present)
  • Program Director, HPB Fellowship, Division of General Surgery, Stanford Medicine (2013 - Present)


Practice Locations

Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Program in Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

875 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Sarcoma Program at Blake Wilbur Building Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

875 Blake Wilbur Drive

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 498-6000

Make An Appointment More Clinic Information » Getting Here »

Patient Ratings

(118 Ratings)

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Patient Reviews

(202 reviews)

Dr. Visser is a great physician. He is very knowledgeable and answered all my questions.
Dr. Visser has been professional, informative, supportive and kind. I appreciate how he explained my diagnosis, type of surgery (no other treatment options), what to expect during surgery, recovery and future treatment. He did a fantastic job removing the Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors and Lymph nodes in and around my stomach. If my cancer returns, I feel confident Dr. Visser will remove it successfully.
Dr Visser is a wonderful caring doctor, always very professional and he's very knowledgeable. I have complete confidence in him and he always demostrates that he cares about the patient and he's very tenative to the patient.
Vesser saved my life
Excellent Dr,
Dr. Visser is amazing! He is caring, considerate, and has the ability to explain what needs to happen and what has happened in detail that is easy to understand! His entire time is excellent, and I could not be happier with the care I have received!
highly recommended;
Excellent surgeon! Enjoy working with him!
Dr. Visser is an excellent doctor. He is capable, thorough and truly cares about his patients. His expertise is very apparent. Glad to have him as my doctor.
El Doctor Viseer hizo muy buen trabajo gracias
Dr Visser was very pleasant & professional on the video call.
Dr.Visser's comments were comprehensive, from technical aspects of surgery to reasons for it and its alternative. Very rate!
very good Dr. Gave me different options.
Dr Visser explain me very well I am glad that my G.I. doctor sent me there.thank you
Dr. Visser is an exceptional surgeon, thorough, competent, excellent clinical acumen. I owe my life to him.
Dr. Vissar saved my life. He is caring, talented and does not give up. He is a remarkable surgeon and doctor.
Doctor Brendan Visser is a very professional Doctor.
Dr. Visser was compassionate, experienced and personable.
He was great!!
So very personable and made me feel at ease.
Well prepared and knowledgeable.
we highly respect him and would recommend him to anyone in need. excellent doctor.
without him I would be died
Very professional, thorough, answered all questions, informative, helpful.
I was glad of the outcome ,but because there was no hands on exam I felt like it could of been a phone Consut Dr. V was very nice bjt seemed in a hurry. At 6.00$ A GALLON AND A TWO HR. DRIVE . I NEEDED MORE TIME FOR QUESTIONS. I
Dr Brendan Visser is an excellent physician who really cares genuinely to his patients. He is very knowledgeable and is very professional. I’m so lucky to have him as my oncology surgeon .
Dr Vissar is the best!
He is clearly a busy guy, but besides being a great surgeon, communicates well and warmly, while being clear about what he wants the patient to know.
Great communication, skilled, listens.
Competent, involved and knowledgeable MD.
Thorough, informative and conpassionate
Amazing, talented, compassionate Surgeon and person.
The best
Dr. Visser provided excellent care and responded directly to my questions. He quickly pulled up anything from my records that applied to our conversation. The session was divided into a prep portion with a resident and a few minutes later the session with Dr. Visser. I am completely comfortable with this approach. His whole surgical team was very professional and actually fun to work with through the entire process. The result was all I could have hoped for!
Dr. Visser is an exceptional physician, thorough, excellent communicator.
Dr. VIisser and his team were stellar. We are choosing to travel 300 miles to habe him perform my surgery because he offered state of the art surgery that is not available in my area. His team took time to thoroughly understand my needs and carefully explain my surgery and care.explain
Great appointment.
Dr Vissar is an honest caring doctor. I have full confidence in him for my care.
Excellent surgeon!
I'm extremely pleased w/Dr. Visser' professionalism and knowledge of my hereditary colon cancer syndrome. It's an honor to be under his care and watchful eye. Due to the complexity of my syndrome I'll be under his care for years to come. His bed side manners are absolutely amazing.
I was treated with all friendly people. Very efficient!
Great physician! Friendly and extremely competent
great MD - I am in the right place.
Dr Visser is amazing. Thorough and very good listener!
I appreciate and recommend for his professional medical career.
Dr. Visser was very helpful and professional throughout my whole ordeal I would highly recommend him to anybody who needs his help I Believe if it wasn’t for Dr. Visser I would not be here today
Professional, competent, empathic, humble. Last August 2021, I lost control of my vehicle and blacked out. I was faced with a massive, life threatening, unexplained intra-abdominal bleeding and underwent emergency surgery. As a physician I consulted from my Nevada hospital bed with many institutions, friends, and colleagues to help solve this mystery across states and continents. The hospital transfer to Stanford was difficult in the midst of a covid surge, hospital beds available were scarce. Several institutions and specialty services rejected requests for advice and transfer. Dr. Brendan Visser of the surgical oncology service took on my case. Ultimately there is still no exact certainty about what happened and this episode will remain a medical mystery. Thankfully I recovered and am in excellent health. I will never forget and remain extremely grateful for the courtesy and care extended to me by Dr. Brendan Visser and his team at Stanford.
The visit was detailed to the point where I understand what I wanted to know.
Very informative visit and gave me great confidence that I fully understand what will happen next. The risks are worth the potential personal gain. I am ready to go.
Very thoughtful Dr
He convinced me I will live under his care.
Everything was explained to me to my satisfaction. Very professional team.
I appreciated that Dr. Visser was candid, upfront and to the point concerning my medical situation.
Excellent caring physician
Provide reassurance and responded well to all my questions and concerns!
I am extremely pleased with Dr Visser and his care team. He and everyone on the team are caring, responsive to questions, easily accessible and put me at ease when I felt apprehensive about the condition and my care.
He was fully focused snd present.
Very nice and helpful
Very dedicated to my situation.
Excellent, outstanding doctor
He made me feel very comfortable with his expertise and diagnosis. He is very friendly and even funny in a very stressful time.
He is an excellent doctor
All positive impressions. Dr. Visser and his care team are all responsive and thorough.
Dr Visser is the best, always informative and addressing all issues after the surgery
Knowledgeable, Forthright, Personable, Caring.
Dr. Visser and everyone there are so considerate and nice. Since the start of my visits there and in the hospital before and after my surgery it has been excellent.
Excellent doctor. His knowledge was comforting & explained everything very well.
Very good.
Excellent provider.
Helped me understand my situation.
Dr. Visser is the best!! And his PA.
My son accompany me when I have doctor visits, and as I known, he had refer 2-3 of his friends to visit Dr. Brendan Visser. They are very satisfy.
My experience was that I was very serious thanks to Doctor Visser the attention he gave me I am alive to talk about it.
Dr. Visser is an excellent doctor. He is highly knowledgeable and skilled. I would hope to never have a major surgery need in the future but if I did... Dr. Visser would hopefully be available to me!
Couldn't say enough for excellent care Dr. Visser has given me.
Dr. Visser and associate Dr. Josh - Nothing short of outstanding.
Dr. Visser is wonderful and caring. I am fortunate to have him for my physician.
Dr. Vesser spent a long time with me - nearly on hour. He was terrific. I do not know if he could have spent as much time but for COVID-19.
Great staff.
Excellent professional visit for a tough problem.
Doctor is very knowledgeable, explained the problem clearly. One of best doctors.
Dr. Visser is exceptional, very thorough, very caring and the best.
First comes into room and states rather abruptly I don't like your pulmonary function.
Utmost trust in Dr. Visser. Couldn't have a BETTER doctor.
Dr Visser saver my life!
When I asked about my CT scan, I was told not to worry about it. He said the other doctors do not know how to read them. He asked me if I had any questions. I asked him about one of the things that was on the CT scan and again he told me that the person that wrote about what they saw on the scan did not know how to read it. He never explained why. I left wondering why three other doctors, that do not know each other came up with the same conclusion. I tried to tell him that something else is going on but he said that everything is good with me and not to worry. That is hard to do when I am feeling sick.
Drs. were knowledgeable and explained things well. The only negative aspect was that Dr. Visser was continually paged and had to take a phone call during my appointment.
Dr. Visser explains everything and cares very much.
Dr. Visser was EXCELLENT in every way.
Dr. Visser is clearly an expert in his field, and he was honest and straightforward with me about not knowing what kind of mass I had, despite that being difficult news. He & his staff recognized that they could help me sooner rather than later & worked to make that happen.
I am in good hands. Am very happy I came to Stanford.
They rush in late & rush out immediately... having someone else come in... very unorganized or lack of communication.
Very good.
Quality of care at Stanford has been outstanding.
Dr. Visser is a caring, excellent physician who is an asset to your hospital. He is very knowledgeable & is very professional in dealing with his patients. I am so blessed to have him as my surgeon/oncologist.
on this particular visit I felt the Dr. Visser was rushed and not fully engaged with me.
Was final follow-up visit. Dr. Visser has been a "life saver." A pleasure to have been his patient.
Excellent physicians & NP. Very detailed and compassionate and concerned about getting me immediate care. Also called me at home to keep me updated.
Dr. Visser and his PA (Kristen?) were personable and professional to a fault. I couldn't have asked for a better care team.
I am very confident in Dr. Visser and his team of experts.
Dr. Visser & Dr. Basina are the best in there fields worth my having to drive 50 miles to see them.
Dr. Visser and Kristen Wheeler were exceptionally helpful and articulate in explaining my symptoms and procedure needed.
Excellent experience at all my appointments and treatment.
Dr. Visser and his team are excellent! They are very knowledgeable and explain everything to me in a way that I can understand fully.
I can always depend on Dr Visser and his team are there for me with the answers and corrective action
Dr. Visser, Kristan Wheeler, Taylor Foyel, Monica Dua and all of Dr. Visser staff were very kind and friendly! Best office experience I ever had.
Dr, Visser did not share any information I did not know. Did not offer any recommendation other than surgery as expected. More in depth analysis of my unique condition would have been helpful. Statistics in probability of progression on my pancreatic NET was missing.
I think that Stanford Health Care is the best we have in California all excellent.
great. great. great wonderful doctor
Dr. Visser was AMAZING!!
Everyone was nice and caring and made me comfortable and understand about my physical condition. Dr. Visser is good and knowledgeable person. I would highly recommend to others.
I feel blessed that Dr. Visser took me in as a patient. he has been working to correct damage implemented by a previous hospital. I am not sure where my health would have ended up without his expertise - Very grateful.
Dr. Visser was amazing. He answered all our questions & concerns... He was very kind. His PA that saw us the first day was amazing helped with drsg. D & skin.
I am still confused about the information from the consultation, and I can't find a way to get questions answered. I think Dr. Visser is an excellent surgeon, but I will probably either cancel or delay the surgery. Also, if they won't respond to phone calls now, and I had a problem after surgery, would they respond them? Maybe not.
Dr Visser had review my case before entering the exam room. He put me at ease and instilled confidence that he is competent and knowledgeable surgeon.
Very good.
Post surgery, this was my 4th year meeting with Dr. Vissor. We always have a lively discussion. He help save my life in a big way!
Dr. Visser inspires confidence.
Dr. Visser is an asset to Stanford Health Care. He is an excellent physician with good bedside manner. Very professional, knowledgeable and very compassionate. I am so lucky to have him as my onco/surgeon. He saved my life!
I like Dr Visser & his assist, overall, good experience.
Could not have been a better experience totally being treated by Dr. Visser and his PAs Kristen and Tanya.
I am cancer free and alive today because of Dr. Visser. the only doctor after seeing so many who diagnosed my cancer and had the capability of performing my surgery
There was some use of medical jargon for which I had to stop the provider and ask for a clarification.
Dr. Visser great clinician!
Excellent! Thank you!
This was just a short follow - up, that gave me confidence in my body's healing. Dr. Visser is a terrific physician & relates well to the patient.
All good.
care provider very easy to understand and very thorough
Excellent experience!
Surgeon was highly recommended to me by oncologist at PAMF. Nothing in subsequent appointments w/this doctor altered my impression of this surgeon.
I have total confidence in Dr. Visser. If I were asked where I wanted to go if I had to go the hospital; it would be Stanford.
My high marks are made without reservation. I cannot imagine better care from all levels. Thank you.
Always was put a ease. All test results were carefully explained. I always felt very good after each visit.
the information was both refreshing and a bit daunting as I have a rare problem and the surgeon recommended a second surgery to deal with the problem.
PA went over CT scans with us & explained very clearly.
Provider was just wonderful
Actual time spent with Dr. Visser helpful! Good explanations & answered all questions satisfactorily.
Thank you again!
no bad experience
I will gladly recommend both Dr. Visser and Dr. Heestand and their PA to Friends and Family
World's best doctor thank God for him.
Doctor was a bit distant, hurried, not engaged with me as an individual (but, not unusual for a surgeon).
Dr. Visser explained very clearly & answered all questions we had.
Always the best of care.
Dr Visser is a very nice man who can come down to your level and explain to you what he thinks. He is very good at being honest and providing you with any choice there may be. I liked his style very much. He knows people come to see him and they are nervous I believe Dr Visser realizes this and shows care and kindness yet he does give you the feeling he is very confidant but in a good way NOT an arrogant way.
Dr. Visser impresses me with his knowledge and expertise in his field. He makes me feel very comfortable and at easy when talking to him about my condition. He tends to explain things in easy to underst terms without feeling you are being talked down to.
Dr. Visser & his staff are awesome!
I consider Dr. Visser to be highly capable and kind. He has my utmost respect.
Dr. Visser carefully listened to my questions and gave complete and thoughtful answers.
Good experience.
Dr. Visser explained everything.
All are special, make me feel very good.
Dr. Visser listened carefully, explained what was going to happen in my surgery, and answered every question I asked.
Dr. Visser is the best!! Exceeds expectations! Friendly, knowledgeable, concerned. I tell everyone how wonderful he is.
All the doctors and nurses and people from the office and they are very friendly and attentive.
I feel very lucky to have Dr Visser and his staff as my health providers for my recent surgery.
I dont have any words to explain the level of care that my doctor has provided me. Its top notch..five star.
Dr. Visser saved my life. I went months of tests surgical procedures at Sutter Medical and not one doctor knew what was wrong. I had a death sentence until I found Dr. Visser.
I feel that I am in very competent hands and could not ask for more.
Dr. Visser highly experienced doctor. Very courteous, politeness, friendliness. I never see doctor like dr. Visser in my life. God will give long life.
Dr. Visser was the first professional after seeing many doctors that came in and told me exactly what my health issue was and how to proceed. He explained every detail of what needed to be done leading up to my surgery in preparation to the details of the surgery. Dr. Visser takes his time and explains everything in a way that a person who is not a doctor can understand. he cares about his patients and his work.
I get respect and kindness there.
My husband and I felt like members of the treatment team and that we participated in determining the treatment plan. I wasn't told, this is what we are going to do.
Dr. Visser & Dr. Kunz were prepared, direct and knowledgeable. Excellent experience.
Good experience in everything.
Highly recommend Dr. Visser to any friends/family.
Dr. Visser is the best!!! I completely trust him.
I was more relaxed after speaking with the doctor.
Provider was very knowledgeable and answered all questions.
Both the NP & Dr. Visser were very thorough & made me feel comfortable.
Visser is an outstanding surgeon! Never had to take pain medications.
Excellent saved my life.
Dr. Visser was excellent. Worth waiting for.
Good care was provided.
I consulted w/Dr. Visser briefly for a second opinion; he was professional - but brief - I decided to go elsewhere for my care -
He is very knowledgeable, very personable & confidence puts you @ ease. Might be helpful to check in with patient before or after surgery.
All good.
I feel as if I am in great hands with Dr. Visser.
Dr. Visser & his PA and all are Life savers and awesome.
PA was very good. Vissar is great once he arrived.
I appreciate my care provider, Dr. Brendan Visser. The way I look at him, he is sincere, kind and understanding.
Dr Visser was so good, friendly knowledgeable and reassuring.
I am not sure how I feel about this provider. I have had less than 15 minutes of interaction with them it is hard to determine how I feel.
My experience was comfortable with the provider & his staff.
Great dr. I will recommend.
Great doctor! Given encouragements & hope which are importance during difficult time & recovery.

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