“We know losing weight can be a difficult and seemingly lonely journey for many, which is why we team up with our patients to give them the tools and support they need to reach their goals and change their lives,” said Dr. Nathan Allison, NewFit Medical Director, board-certified in general surgery and the first to be Fellowship-trained in robotic bariatric and general surgery in the state of Florida. 

Health-First-Weight-Loss“We tailor our treatment plans to fit the patient because no two patients are alike and each one deserves customized care.”

By now most people know that obesity is more than a cosmetic concern. It poses serious dangers to a person’s health, affecting every organ and system in the body. The most common disorders are Type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, high blood pressure and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD.)

Losing weight and maintaining the weight loss is a long-term goal. Health First’s NewFit is a nationally accredited comprehensive weight loss program with both extensive pre and post-operative care for medical and surgical weight loss patients.

Board-certified in general surgery and Fellowship-trained in Advanced Laparoscopic Robotic and Bariatric surgery, along with Dr. Allison, Dr. Kenneth Tieu explains that the NewFit program performs three bariatric surgical procedures — the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, the laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and the laparoscopic gastric bypass.

“Our goal is to give patients state-of-the-art treatment options that meet their needs and enable them to lose and keep the weight off,” Dr. Tieu said.

Surgery is just one component of the process. “Patients must realize that there are lifestyle changes that are required before and after bariatric surgery. Surgery is not a magic bullet; changes to activity and diet practices are a must. Our whole team works to assist with the necessary lifestyle changes required,” Dr. Allison explains.

The process begins with getting ready for surgery. Most insurances require a psychological, nutritional and exercise physiology evaluation be performed before allowing doctors to perform bariatric surgery. Depending on the person’s health issues, other specialist appointments and diagnostic tests may be needed before surgery.

“This is done to ensure a patient is in optimal condition before surgery. Recovery times vary by the individual and procedure,” Dr. Tieu said. “The incisions are the same for all the procedures.”

After surgery the patients’ diet is advanced slowly to allow the stomach to heal. With all three procedures patients typically eat less and feel full longer. With the changes to diet and activity levels they are able to maintain their weight loss. Gastric band patients typically need several follow up visits yearly to maintain and ensure the correct amount of restriction is present.

Health-First-Weight-Loss-SpecialistsTypes of procedures: 

  • The gastric band is the least invasive of the three procedures. It is a silicone band that is placed around the top portion of the stomach and works by restricting the amount of food a person eats. 
  • The gastric sleeve is a bit more invasive than the band. This procedure removes approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of the stomach, thereby reducing the amount of food a person can eat. It also reduces the production of a specific hunger hormone, ghrelin, so the feeling of hunger reduces tremendously. 
  • The gastric bypass is the gold standard for bariatric surgery. This procedure creates a small pouch that is separated from the stomach which limits the amount of food a person can eat and a segment of the small intestine is connected to the pouch bypassing a portion of intestine to stop some absorption of nutrients. 


Health First NewFit is available at Health First Viera Hospital Medical Plaza. For more information, call (321) 434-6716, option 3 today or visit HFnewfit.com

This article appears in the February 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Living HEALTH.
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