New Year, New You

Considering Weight-Loss Surgery? Consider Parkwest.

If you’re on the fence about weight-loss surgery or have tried shedding pounds with diet
and exercise alone to no avail, consider looking into a weight-loss seminar and learning about the options available at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery. K. Robert Williams, Jr., MD, has been performing bariatric procedures for more than a decade and has helped hundreds of people rid themselves of the burden of the weight they’ve been carrying.

Dr. Rob Williams headshot

“Weight-loss surgery, or bariatric surgery, is a tool. It’s not a quick fix,” says Dr. Williams. “Once a patient has surgery, it is in their hands to use the tools and resources we provide. We are here to give them support and guidance to succeed as well.”

During informational bariatric seminars at Parkwest Medical Center, Dr. Williams reviews the four types of bariatric surgery and the risks and advantages of each. He answers questions and gives one-on-one time to attendees. Prior to surgery, the medical team members at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery aim to educate patients about their individual procedures and instructions for lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise. Dr. Williams stresses the importance of patients understanding and following the recommended regimen. He says if a patient does not adhere to both pre-op and post-op instructions, it can affect the amount of weight lost. Obesity-related diseases may linger, too. For this reason there is close patient follow-up in the first six months following surgery to help ensure patient success.

More Than Image

“It’s a common misconception that weight-loss surgery is cosmetic,” says Dr. Williams. “There is a stigma that some people have it done to improve their image, when really the reason we do this is to make medical problems go away.” Dr. Williams says that some studies show that 90 percent of patients with adult onset or Type 2 diabetes no longer suffer from the disease after bariatric surgery.

Life-Saving Choice

Dr. Williams says that for many of his patients, a burden seems to be lifted after
surgery. “It is rewarding as the surgeon to treat a patient who may initially be dependent on 150 units of insulin per day, and following surgery, be off the insulin within a week or two.”
The research indicates that patients who have a BMI of 35 or higher or are 100 pounds over their recommended weight need medically supervised care, such as weight-loss surgery. Studies
show that in these extreme cases, a weight-loss regimen of diet and exercise alone has a
long-term success rate of just one percent. In comparison,

Dr. Williams says the success rate for bariatric surgery is about 70-80 percent.

Why Parkwest?

“Treating patients is not a one-man job,” says Dr. Williams. “There are talented
specialists in the hospital, so when you’re treating someone with kidney disease
or other co-morbidities, they may require care from a pulmonologist or nephrologist. The team is strong and cares for every patient,” he says. “Parkwest is a great place to practice because we span the gamut of specialties and offer excellent patient care.”

Stella Mouzan, RN, headshot
Stella Mouzon, RN, BSN, MSM

Stella Mouzon, RN, BSN, MSM, is the bariatric coordinator at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery. Mouzon is responsible for staff education, including training Parkwest’s clinical nurses on how to treat post-op bariatric patients most effectively. Mouzon also coordinates the bariatrics program’s monthly support group.


Four Types of Bariatric Surgery

Parkwest Medical Center offers several types of bariatric surgeries.

  • ˜Gastric sleeve (laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy) procedure: In this procedure, also called
    vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), 70-80 percent of the stomach is surgically removed, resulting in a sleeve or banana shaped tube. The procedure is normally performed laparoscopically using small instruments inserted into tiny incisions in the upper abdomen.
    By limiting the size of the stomach, the amount of food that can be eaten is restricted. The procedure also prompts hormonal changes that help relieve conditions associated with obesity.
  • Biliary Pancreatic Diversion: This is a combination of a “limited” sleeve gastrectomy with a significant small bowel bypass. It is a limited sleeve gastrectomy because, instead of removing 80 percent of the stomach as with the sleeve gastrectomy surgery, only about 50 percent of the stomach is removed. The small bowel bypass is an important component of the surgery because the small bowel is where we absorb protein, carbohydrates, and fat from the food we eat. When over half the small bowel is bypassed, it creates a situation where a patient’s ability to absorb calories is limited.
  • Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB): This is a laparoscopic procedure
    with small incisions in the upper abdomen. The surgeon puts an adjustable band around the top part of the stomach. This creates a very small stomach pouch. The small stomach pouch results in a full feeling after eating less food. The band can be adjusted in the physician’s office if needed.
  • Gastric bypass (laparoscopic Roux-en Y): reduces the stomach through stapling
    and “bypasses” the large intestines, which results in less calorie absorption and creates a sense of satisfaction with less food. A typical patient may expect to lose about 75 percent of excess weight and improve their health dramatically.

Please note: recent approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made
it possible for LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding surgery to be performed in patients
with a BMI of at least 30 who also have one or more obesity-related comorbidity conditions.
To learn more, visit or call 865-374-7275.


Is Weight-Loss Surgery Right For Me?

overweight woman on scale

Deciding to have bariatric surgery is a commitment to better health. For many patients, bariatric surgery is also a lifesaving procedure. Not everyone, however, is a candidate for weight loss surgery. You are a candidate for bariatric surgery if you:

  • Are an adult (age 18 or more)
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 or more with an obesity-related (comorbid) condition such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.
  • Have been overweight for more than five years
  • Have multiple failed attempts at non-surgical weight loss
  • Are ready to make a lifelong commitment to change your lifestyle, diet, and exercise habits
  • Understand and are committed to following the nutritional diet required after bariatric surgery to avoid malnutrition
  • Exhibit emotional stability
  • Are physically able to undergo abdominal surgery

Sharing Stories for Success: What Can I Expect from a Bariatric Support Group?

group of people sitting in a circle talking

Bariatric support group meetings provide patients with answers to practical questions and information to help with decisions regarding weight-loss surgery. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Who leads groups? Stella Mouzon, RN, BSN, MSM, leads the groups and makes them informative and fun, adjusting topics to the needs of those in attendance. Who is it for? Bariatric support groups are for those considering weight-loss surgery, those who have just undergone surgery, and those who have questions or just need support.
  • What information is covered? Groups are a place to share experiences with others and receive peer support in addition to medical guidance.
  • Can I ask a question? Yes! Find answers related to weight-loss and healthy lifestyles, such as what to eat around the holidays. Trade recipes, best practices and tips with others going through the same journey.
  • Who can I bring? Bring yourself, or bring your caregiver, partner or support person to get
    their questions answered, too.
  • How long are the meetings? Support groups meet for one hour and include Q&A, an exercise component, and other information.
  • Can I just listen? Yes. Hear what others are saying and learn from their experience, no
    matter what phase of the weight-loss journey you are in – even if you are just doing research.
  • Do I register? No registration is required. Call or click to find out the next monthly meeting
    and join us! We ask that participants please arrive promptly for meetings.

Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery support groups meet monthly on Tuesday nights from
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Find out more at

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