The Tampa Bay Reflux Center doctors’ goal is to accurately diagnose typical and atypical patients who suffer from Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux Disease through a streamlined approach. Focusing primarily on heartburn and reflux patients, we are at the forefront in the treatment of this epidemic. By offering multiple treatment options, we are able to custom tailor the best cure for each of our patients.

Our reflux surgeons are supported by a strong team of medical professionals including our Medical Assistants, Keisha Watts and Lissette Palenzuela. Keisha, the Tampa Bay Reflux Coordinator, can be reached by email at to schedule appointments or for general questions. Our team is led by two of the most experienced foregut/esophageal surgeons in the southeastern United States: Dr. Grandhige and Dr. Tapper. 

Dr. Gopal Grandhige

Dr. Gopal Grandhige

Dr. Grandhige was born in Washington, D.C. and was raised in Warner Robins, Georgia. After graduating from The Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Biology, he attended the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor to complete his medical school. In 1999, he secured a position in a general surgery residency at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He completed his general surgery residency and was selected to serve as the Educational Chief Resident during his final year in training. He continued at Yale University to complete a Minimally Invasive Foregut and Bariatric Surgery Fellowship. After his fellowship, he moved to Tampa, Florida in 2009.

During his fellowship training, Dr. Grandhige gained expertise in his area of interest. He has special interest in the minimally invasive approach to the foregut (esophagus, stomach and small intestine). During his training he performed over 300 laparoscopic gastrointestinal procedures including many bariatric procedures, and currently performs more than 150 anti-reflux procedures per year.

He specializes in the repair of hiatal, paraesophageal and diaphragmatic hernias, the surgical treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and the laparoscopic management of achalasia.

Dr. Donovan Tapper, GERD doctors, Tampa GERD surgeon, Tampa GERD doctor, reflux doctor

Dr. Donovan Tapper joined Tampa Bay Reflux Center in 2016.  He has been a board certified general surgeon since 2000, when he completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1990 while on active duty in the US Air Force.  He continued his military service while attending medical school at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD.  He then did his general surgery residency training in San Antonio, TX at Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, graduating in 1999.

Dr. Tapper served for the next 13 years as an active duty Air Force general surgeon assigned to tours in England, Tampa, Iraq, Germany, and San Antonio.  His experiences include performing surgery in war zones, as well as in humanitarian disaster areas in Africa.  During his assignment in Tampa, Dr. Tapper completed a fellowship in Minimally Invasive and Advanced GI Surgery at the University of South Florida (2007-2008).  He has published peer-reviewed articles in the areas of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and bariatric surgery.

Dr. Tapper completed his military service and joined Suncoast Surgical Associates in 2012, later going on to work for their GI branch at Tampa Bay Reflux Center.  He has considerable experience in a broad range of general surgery procedures, and has particular interest and training in minimally invasive abdominal surgery to include laparoscopic surgery of the abdominal wall, gallbladder, stomach, colon, and spleen.  He also specializes in the laparoscopic treatment of reflux, hiatal hernia, and achalasia.