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Local Bariatric Surgery Study Provides Insights to Weight-Loss Success

stephen boyce
Stephen Boyce, MD, FACS, FASMBS
New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery

KNOXVILLE – A recent study of Southeastern bariatric surgery patients indicates that the combination of surgery, education and counseling is necessary for long-term weight-loss success.

The results of the study were presented by Jama Stinnett, LPN, CPHQ, of Knoxville's New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery and Dr. Angela Wood of Carson-Newman College during the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) at the Gaylord Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The presentation, "Thank You for My New Life: The Bariatric Post-op Experience," was based on a research report co-authored by bariatric surgeon Dr. Stephen Boyce of the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery, Stinnett and Wood. The research report explores the "new life" and changes that patients experience in the 12 to 18 months after bariatric surgery.

The qualitative research using Grounded Theory is based on the experiences of seven patients.

"The results of the study point to a three-phase process that weight loss surgery patients pass through," said Boyce. "They are the initial realization that it is time for drastic action to lose weight; transition to a new lifestyle; and finally the point when clients reach a normal weight. Clients report a need for both physical and psychosocial care and support through all those phases."

The study also concluded that education; counseling to address prior negative behaviors; and the development of positive coping behaviors can increase the possibility that patients will reach and maintain their "new life." Difficulties with food choices and portion size; changing body image; and finding ways to fill time that had been spent on eating were frequently mentioned as barriers to overcome.

Understanding what makes surgical weight loss successful is important because an estimated two-thirds of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight, and about 5 percent of those are extremely obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 40. Additionally, obesity contributes to a variety of other health conditions such as diabetes that can significantly increase mortality rate.

Dr. Boyce has over 20 years of surgical experience and has served as medical director of the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery since the clinic opened in 2002. He is a graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and did his surgical residency under the tutelage of one of the pioneers of weight-loss surgery, Dr. Otto Wilbanks.

Dr. Wood earned her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Tennessee and now is associate professor of nursing at Carson-Newman College. With an interest in qualitative research, she currently teaches the undergraduate research course.

At the invitation of the ASMBS Program Committee, Wood and Stinnett presented the findings during the Integrated Health Main Session at the 28th annual meeting of the ASMBS in June. The meeting drew more than 2,200 of the top professionals in the field of metabolic and bariatric surgery.

The New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The center offers both medically supervised and surgical weight loss programs that are physician-monitored and designed to improve health through sustained weight loss based on reasonable long-term goals. For more information, visit

Published Junel 23, 2011

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