David D Coster

Who We Are

David D Coster M.D., F.A.C.S.

Undergraduate College: Evangel College, B.S. 1981
Medical School: University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, M.D. 1986
Residency: Iowa Methodist Medical Center, 1991
Board Certification: General Surgery, Surgical Critical Care
Additional Accreditations

Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

Professional & Personal Information

Dr. Coster is a General Surgeon who performs a wide variety of procedures in general surgery. His areas of special interest include Bariatric Surgery, Laparoscopic Surgery for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Minimally Invasive Surgery, and DaVinci Robotic Surgery. He is also expert in bladder suspension for urinary incontinence, surgery of the breast, thyroid and parathyroid surgery, skin cancer surgery, all surgery of the abdomen for benign and malignant conditions of the stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, small intestine, colon, rectum, anus, appendix, uterus, and ovaries; and surgery of the chest wall, lungs, and esophagus. His expertise also extends to medical/surgical management of trauma and critical care patients in the intensive care unit.

Dr. Coster was born and grew up in southeast Iowa where his parents farmed. After graduating from high school in New Sharon in 1978, he attended Evangel College in Springfield, Missouri, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology/Chemistry and a concentration in Theology. He subsequently attended Drake University for a year of graduate work in biology before moving on to the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from which he received his M.D. in 1986. He completed his surgical residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines in 1991. During residency, Dr. Coster published several papers in various areas of surgery and was awarded The Outstanding Research Award by his mentors on two occasions.

Upon completing residency, Dr. Coster settled in Grinnell where he has served on the staff of Grinnell Regional Medical Center, functioning in a variety of capacities including Director of Intensive Care, Chief of Surgery, Chair of the Surgery Department, Medical Director for Trauma, Medical Director for the Ambulance Service, Medical Staff Executive Committee, member of the Board of Directors for Grinnell Regional Medical Center, and Bariatric Medical Director, amongst others. He was instrumental in establishing a formal trauma program in Grinnell, updating critical care, and adding new services such as vascular and thoracic surgery.

Dr. Coster pioneered many new applications for minimally invasive (laparoscopic) surgery in Iowa in the early 1990's, creating the Grinnell Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery and developing an authoritative reputation as Iowa's expert for laparoscopic anti-reflux surgery, an operation which he improved and simplified so that it is now a 20 minute out-patient surgery at Grinnell Regional. Laparoscopic splenectomy, common bile duct exploration, highly selective vagotomy, colon resection, hernia repair and other minimally invasive operations were also "firsts" in Iowa at Grinnell.

Dr. Coster's work in laparoscopic surgery placed Grinnell squarely on the map with regard to the innovation and application of new surgical techniques, bringing patients in from all over Iowa, the Midwest, the East Coast, the South, and even Europe. Publications, surgical preceptorships, lectures, teaching videos, and other academic endeavors resulted from Dr. Coster's creative and innovative approaches to surgery. Many surgeons in Iowa and elsewhere have benefited from his experience and teaching. GRMC's Surgery Department regularly hosts visiting surgeons as well as medical students.

Dr. David Coster is also one of Iowa's most experienced experts in obesity surgery, with twenty years of experience in the medical and surgical management of the morbidly obese. His obesity-surgery practice includes management of some of the most difficult cases in Iowa and the surrounding states. Dr. Coster's newest area of interest is Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery, the most advanced approach to surgery currently available. He is one of the first General Surgeons in Iowa to be fully certified with the DaVinci Surgical Robotic System.

Because of his efforts in improving rural access to state of the art surgical care, Dr. Coster was nominated and awarded the Outstanding Young Iowan designation by the Jaycee's in 1996 and was nominated as Iowa's Representative for Outstanding Young American in the same year. He is frequently sought out by patients who have been turned away by others for problems considered to be "too complicated" to repair surgically. He is an unusually compassionate and creative surgeon, one who is willing to team up with his patients to either find a solution for an "unsolvable" problem or find the best way to mitigate the pain and suffering associated with truly unsolvable problems. He is a surgeon who loves his work and views it as the best way he can use his abilities to lighten the load a little for others who are bearing the burden of life too heavily.

Dr. Coster is an advocate for social justice and has been (is) politically quite active on a local and state level. He is the father of three sons. His hobbies include aviculture, botany, prairie restoration, gardening, philosophy, reading extensively, and nurturing a widely diverse circle of friends all over the world.


Professional Societies
  • Iowa Academy of Surgery
  • Throckmorton Surgical Society
  • Society for Advanced Gastroenterological and Endoscopic Surgeons
  • Iowa State Medical Society
  • American College of Surgeons
  • American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons


  • Coster, D. D., Stubbs, D. H., And Sidney, D. T.: Duodenal obstruction caused by abdominal aortic aneurysms. American Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol.82, No. 9, 981-984, September, 1988.
  • Coster, D. D., Gorton, M. E., Grooters, R. K., Soltanzadeh, H., Thieman, K.C., and Schneider, R. F.: Closure of the patent ductus arteriosus in the neonatal intensive care unit. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 1989;48:368-9.
  • Coster, D. D., Kollmorgen, R. L., Mouw, B. D.: Primary small intestinal enteroliths. Surgical Rounds, June, 1991.
  • Nishida, H., Grooters, R. K., Coster, D. D., Soltanzadeh, H., Thieman, K. . C.: Metastatic right atrial tumor in colon cancer with superior vena cava syndrome and tricuspid obstruction. Heart & Vessels, (1991)6:125-27.
  • Bower, W. H., Coster, D. D., Wilson, V. T., Westberg, M. W.: Application of Advanced Laparoscopic Surgical Techniques - Laparoscopic Splenectomy. Iowa Medicine, Feb. 1995 pp. 87-88.
  • Coster, D. D., Bower, W. H., Wilson, V. T., Locker, S. C., Brebrick, R. T. Butler, D. A.: Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication: A Curative, Safe, and Cost-Effective Procedure for Complicated Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. Vol. 5, No. 2, 1995 pp.111-116. Surgical Laparoscopy and Endoscopy.
  • Coster, D. D., Laparoscopy in Focus. Interview: GERD Surgery Revisited. September 1994, Vol. 2, No. 7.
  • Coster, D. D., Bower, W. H., Wilson, V. T., Brebrick, R. T., Richardson, G. L.,: Laparoscopic Partial Fundoplication vs. Laparoscopic Nissen-Rosetti Fundoplication: short term results of 231 cases. Surgical Endoscopy, Vol. 1I, No. 6, June 1997, pp. 625-631.
  • Coster, D.D., Noun, S., Recommendations for the Integrated Bariatric Surgery Program, Obesity Times, (Letter to the Editor) Fall, 2007.
  • Coster, D.D., et.al. Small Bowel Obstruction Due to Antegrade and Retrograde Introsusception after Gastric Bypass: Three Case Reports on Two Patients, Literature Review, and Recommendations for Diagnosis and Treatment. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, January, 2008.


Contact Information
122 Fourth Avenue
Grinnell, IA 50112
641-236-4323 (Work)
866-613-4323 (Toll Free)
General Surgery
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