Robert H. Byers, M.D.
Dr. Byers joined Mt. Tam Orthopedics in 1993 as the group’s first spine surgeon, and has provided patients from Marin County and the Greater Bay Area with state-of-the-art spine care since then. After graduating first in his class at George Washington University School of Medicine, he completed his internship and residency at University of California at San Francisco. He subsequently spent an additional year of training in a Fellowship of Disorders of the Spine, under the guidance of Robert G. Watkins, M.D., at the world-renowned Kerlan and Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic located in L.A., where many sports professionals seek spinal and orthopedic care. He then enjoyed eight years of private practice at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before returning to the Bay Area in 1993. His years of experience and expertise have been recognized by his peers who voted him into the  Top Doctors, as well as San Francisco Super Doctors in 2013.
Dr. Byers has continued to make every effort to provide his patients with the ultimate experience in diagnostic evaluation, during which time is taken to explain the underlying pathology and treatment options, followed by appropriate non-operative, and if necessary, operative care. He is responsible for popularizing the use of therapeutic injections in the treatment of spinal disorders in Marin which has resulted in a very high satisfaction rate in our post-operative patients that is now documented by our use of outcomes collection in which the patients tell us if we have been successful. Specifically, the treatment of acute disc herniations has changed from automatic [and often premature] use of surgery to a more appropriate and natural history based intervention which usually results in the avoidance of surgery. On the other hand, when needed, Dr. Byers has also mastered the skills utilized for less invasive surgical techniques. Furthermore, with the addition of a second fellowship trained spine surgeon to the practice, Dr. Byers and Dr. Su are able to perform complex and complicated spinal surgeries that had required treatment outside of Marin County in the past. In fact, the combined talent of both surgeons on such cases permits surgical time to be markedly reduced as is the anesthetic exposure. Of course, we always reserve surgery as the last choice, and only when alternative treatments have failed.View Testimonials
All I can say is Dr. Byers and his staff are THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!! I have had neck surgery by Dr. Byers and 2 shoulder surgery's by Dr. Stuart (separate shoulders) and they are AWESOME! I went to COUNTLESS surgeons prior to finding Mt. Tam and could not find ANY reason to go to anyone else but there. They are so thorough and compassionate and just THE BEST at what they do!!!! Thank you so much to Dr. Byers and Staff! Sincerely, Tashia E.
Extremely happy with Dr. Byers and his team and all at Marin General. I Have and will recommend him to my colleagues with back issues. Wish I had done it sooner rather than multiple cortisone tries. Roger K.
It started with Dr. Byers, who after many months of excruciating sciatic pain and after my seeing multiple doctors, diagnosed me in a minute, knowing that I needed a discectomy on L 3, 4, & 5. After the discectomy, I was able to return to my normal life and walk upright again for the first time in 6 months. Lisa Elvin, the nurse practitioner, was a wonderful, compassionate friend, assisting me with follow up, always making sure that I did the right thing and ensuring the finest care so that I was capable enough to continue working 3 jobs. I shall miss Lisa Elvin now that I have transferred to Las Vegas. I hope to find someone as professional and caring as she always was. The entire staff ALWAYS gave the kindest and most professional care. Brigit S.
I cannot give enough thanks and praise to Dr. Byers and his remarkable team. Everyone from the receptionists to the radiologist to Dr. Byers nurses - Alison and Susan were amazing. They work very hard to keep on schedule and to make sure that all of my pre- and post-op cervical fusion questions were answered. Since I am mostly on my own, it was imperative to me to have as much planning done as possible and Alison in particular was wonderful in going through my list of questions to make sure everything was in order. She was kind enough to even say that she was impressed at how prepared I was. I lost my voice for a while after surgery and I was able to FAX occasional status reports to their office and Susan would call and leave a message telling me if the continued loss of my voice was within normal ranges or not. They are top-notch in every way possible. Having an in-house MRI and X-ray facility streamlined everything and it allowed Dr. Byers to make decisions immediately rather than having to wait a few days to a week or so before receiving a report. My fusion was complete after 3.5 months and I was back to my regular routine of life. Thank you Dr. Byers, Alison, Susan and everyone else who makes up such a positive, kind, knowledgeable and professional team. Francine
This is the Rolls Royce experience of medical/surgical intervention I have ever had! Dr. Byers is a magician. After 30+ years of low back pain with radiculopathy, I am post-op three months and totally without pain of any kind! Barbara S.
When Dr. Stuart in Orthopedics told me in no uncertain terms that they could "fix" congenital back defects that had kept me in pain for over 5 decades I was naturally skeptical. Both Drs Byers and Su have impressive resume's and national reputations as spine surgeons so I approached the prospect of a positive outcome in confidence. That confidence was reinforced with my first and subsequent meetings with Dr. Su. He went over the very conservative steps we would take before actually opting for surgery. He explained the general procedure and referred me to Dr. Sponzilli to see if an epidural would offer relief. An MRI revealed that the nerve compression in my misaligned vertebrae was severe enough to require surgery. By that time I was unable to walk a hundred feet without severe lumbar and sciatic pain down both legs. Dr. Sponzilli's best and caring efforts led to minimal relief. When surgery became the only option Dr.Su did a very thorough work-up taking all the time I needed to answer all of my questions and calm my concerns. He was compassionate, interested, concerned and reassuring. After considering all of the obligations and commitments in my life he scheduled the surgery for July 11h, 2011. There were minor complications in the recovery process, but overall, no worse than one might expect from a double fusion, laminectomy and lumbar copectomy. Serious, extensive surgery to say the least that I later found out involved both Dr. Su and Dr. Byers. I writing this a few days before Thanksgiving out of an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to Dr.s Su and Byers for giving me a new life. I am pain free for the first time in over five decades. Let me repeat I am pain free! Every single benefit proposed by Dr. Su has come true! I can move like kid. As the follow-PT continues, every day get's better. That's not bad for a 72 year old guy whose movements have been restricted by pain, all of my life. My entire attitude and outlook on life has changed. I had no idea how debilitating physically and psychologically the pain had been. All I can say is I am forever in your debt. Thank you! Gerald J.
Dr. Robert Byers, Dr. Ernest Sponzilli, and N.P. Lisa Elvin of Mt. Tam Spine Center have worked together to successfully minimize the impact of injuries to the lower lumbar region of my spine since my initial injury in 1995. The vast knowledge and experience each brings to bear has been the core component of fifteen years of successfully managing multiple spine injuries utilizing progressive, effective spine care.
Skilled, educated, and experienced in this specialized field; the Mt. Tam Spine team is quite simply the best. Their ability to effectively address acute and or chronic symptoms, coupled with the fact they undoubtedly are, and have remained, some of the most genuine and kind people I've had the pleasure of knowing, makes them a hard team to beat. Also, the comprehensive discussions on treatment options and procedures have been key to reducing any anxiety I might have, not to mention the team's empathy and willingness to talk me through a procedure.
In addition, there is dedicated staff, which work tirelessly to ensure medical needs are addressed and questions answered. On more than a few occasions, letters have been drafted and sent to my insurance carrier to ensure I have unfettered access to coverage and benefits that carriers conveniently forget about; the Mt. Tam team was quick to act, and relentless in pursuit.
As is evidenced by my history of injury and treatment, the aforementioned fact-based observations, evaluations, and comments are rooted in a professional relationship that has been and continues to be the linchpin of my care. Additionally, close friends I've sent to be evaluated and treated at Mt. Tam Spine Center aren't shy about their own success stories, as they too feel fortunate to be in such capable, caring hands. Grant W.
View Dr. Byers's CV
- Marin General Hospital
- Novato Community Hospital
- Marin Specialty Surgery Center
- Marin General Hospital, Greenbrae, CA
Chief of Surgery, July 2003-July 2007
Chief of Orthopedics, July 1999-July 2003
- Disorders of the Spine, Robert G. Watkins, M.D.
Kerlan & Jobe Orthopedic Clinic, Inglewood, CA
- University of California San Francisco
Orthopedic Residency, July 1981-June 1984
General Surgery Residency, July 1979-June 1980
- University of California San Francisco
Internal Medicine, June 1978-June 1979
Professional Work Experience
- Private Practice:
Mt. Tam Orthopedics, Larkspur, CA
- Los Angeles, CA, 1986-December 1992
Emergency Medical Physician, July 1980-June 1981
- Lodi Community Hospital, Lodi, CA
Vallejo General Hospital, Vallejo, CA
- George Washington University School of Medicine
Doctor of Medicine with Distinction, May 1978
- Ordronaux Award
(Highest Scholastic Standing; 1st in class of 150)
AOA Honorary Society
- ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientist)
- Foundation Award, Senior Year
- Leopold Schepp Foundation Award-Sophomore, Junior and Senior Years
- Lawson Award in OB/GYN
- Kine-Kane Obstetrical Honor Society
- National Ambulance Company, Rochester, N.Y.
Ambulance driver/attendant, 1973-1974
- State University of New York at Stony Brook,
September 1969-May 1973, B.S. Biology