Dr. WilliamsDr. K Robert Williams of the New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery, a division of Premier Surgical Associates, is the first Knoxville-area surgeon to perform single-site laparoscopic (SSL) surgery for gastric banding. This minimally invasive procedure helps bariatric patients recover more quickly from weight loss surgery.

The SSL procedure allows surgeons to perform REALIZE Band and LAP-BAND surgery through a single entry incision, resulting in shorter recovery time, less chance of infection and less scarring. During this procedure, an adjustable band is surgically implanted around the stomach to help people with morbid obesity lose weight and improve or resolve obesity-related health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and high cholesterol.

“Gastric band patients are able to lose a significant amount of weight and improve their overall health status in a relatively short period of time,” said Williams. “And while the surgery is among the most effective treatments for morbid obesity, it is just one stop along the patient’s journey. Our multidisciplinary team approach helps patients make changes to their diet and lifestyle after surgery to achieve long-term success.”

Traditionally, gastric band procedures have been performed laparoscopically using 4-5 small incisions. Through single-site surgery, Dr. Williams can insert a special camera and necessary surgical instruments through a single entry port inserted in the abdomen.

“Although more complex, the surgery takes about the same amount of time to perform as traditional laparoscopic surgeries,” Williams said. “Because there are fewer incisions, this technique can offer significant benefits for the patient.”

SSL surgery is available to qualified patients. Previous surgeries, excessive scarring and severe adhesions may prevent the use of single-site surgery. In some cases a small, second incision may be necessary. Each patient and all medical conditions are evaluated on an individual basis to determine eligibility for the procedure.

This distinction is reserved for centers that have undergone thorough examination and met established standards in outcomes and patient care. The multidisciplinary team at New Life Center has over 75 years of collective experience in helping people lose weight permanently.

About New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery
The New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery, a division of Premier Surgical Associates, 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.

The New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery offers free informational seminars every second and fourth Tuesday at 5:30 at Parkwest Medical Center and at additional times in both Sevierville and Oak Ridge. Contact 865-694-9676 for registration and location information. For more information, visit


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