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Bariatric Program Helps Consumers “Weigh Their Options” for the New Year

For many Americans, the conclusion of the holidays and the start of the New Year are the catalyst for making a serious commitment to losing weight, but traditional methods—like restrictive dieting and extensive exercise—do not provide sustained weight loss results for everyone.

If you failed to lose weight through conventional methods and are considering a more aggressive approach in 2017, Tennova Healthcare notes that you are not alone. In 2015, the latest year for which statistics are available, nearly 200,000 people across the country had weight loss surgery. That’s an increase of more than 25 percent over figures for 2011.

“Current estimates are that 1 in every 3 Americans is defined as clinically obese,” said Stephen G. Boyce, M.D., bariatric surgeon and medical director at the Tennova Center for Surgical Weight Loss and New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery, both located at Turkey Creek Medical Center in Knoxville.

Dr. Stephen Boyce, Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Stephen Boyce, Bariatric Surgeon

“That means their BMI (body mass index) is between 30 and 40. Another 6 percent of the U.S. population has a BMI above 40 and is defined as extremely obese.”

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health reveals that those living with obesity are likely to die 14 years earlier, on average, than if they maintained a healthy weight.

“While it’s natural to think about obesity in terms of appearance,” Dr. Boyce said, “the real impact of excessive body weight is on an individual’s health and longevity. Most obese patients also deal with joint pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or depression. Obesity also has a significant impact on energy levels and quality of life.”

If this New Year is the time for you to take control of your weight, Tennova Healthcare offers a variety of bariatric surgery procedures. Many can be performed through small incisions for minimal scarring and faster recovery. Here are the options:

  • Intragastric Balloon Procedure – The Tennova Center for Surgical Weight Loss is among the first in the nation to offer this non-surgical procedure to patients living with moderate obesity. The treatment utilizes a soft, expandable silicone balloon to temporarily take up space in the stomach, ultimately helping individuals achieve an earlier feeling of fullness at mealtimes. The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis and does not require extensive recovery time.


  • Adjustable Gastric Banding – This minimally invasive procedure involves placing an inflatable silicone band around the uppermost part of the stomach to help the patient feel full sooner and longer. It’s a healthy way to lose a significant amount of weight and enjoy long-term results. Surgeons can easily change the diameter of the band to meet weight loss needs, and the procedure is also reversible. This technique offers less pain and a quicker recovery than traditional weight loss surgery methods.


  • Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy – Through small incisions, the surgeon removes the left side of the stomach so the remaining stomach is approximately one-tenth of the original size after about one year. This “new” stomach has a much smaller capacity, which means patients feel full or satisfied after eating only a small amount of food. The procedure has also proven to reduce the appetite hormone called Grehlin. Less appetite combined with a smaller stomach makes it even easier to eat less food and lose weight.


  • Gastric Bypass – There are several types of procedures that are used, but all of them bypass part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients. Bypass techniques involve stapling off an area of the stomach to create a smaller pouch or surgically removing part of the stomach, both of which create a smaller stomach area. Gastric bypass also reduces production of the appetite hormone Grehlin, making it easier to eat less.


  • Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch– This more complicated weight loss surgery procedure involves removing approximately 50 percent of the stomach and constructing an intestinal bypass. The smaller stomach, reduction in appetite hormones, and significantly reduced calorie absorption in the intestines provide excellent weight loss and long-term resolution of comorbid conditions, such as type 2 diabetes.

“As with any health issue, surgery should be considered only after other, less invasive methods have failed,” Dr. Boyce said. “The patient’s compliance with pre-surgical education, as well as post-surgical nutrition and follow-up guidelines are the key indicators for weight loss success and long-term maintenance.”

If you are considering a surgical solution for your weight loss goals, Tennova Healthcare offers education and support that begin before surgery and extend through recovery to ensure individuals are set up for success. The best way to find out if you are a candidate for weight loss surgery is to attend a free seminar in person or online. The interactive seminars include discussion about the program as well as questions and answers regarding care and the insurance process.

For more information, or to register for a seminar, call New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery at 865-694-9676 or visit TennovaWeightLoss.com.

About the Tennova Center for Surgical Weight Loss

The Tennova Center for Surgical Weight Loss at Turkey Creek Medical Center is accredited by the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP) as a Comprehensive Center with Adolescent Qualifications. Turkey Creek Medical Center is also designated as a Blue Distinction Center for bariatric surgery/gastric banding and as a Blue Distinction Center+ for bariatric surgery/gastric stapling by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee.  Learn more at www.TennovaWeightLoss.com.



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