image002According to the Food and Drug Administration, hernia repair is one of the most common surgeries performed in the United States. Over one million American undergo some type of hernia surgery annually.

Small hernia repairs are common and are usually performed as outpatient surgery. But if a patient has a very large hernia, has had several failed hernia repairs, or has a catastrophic injury to the abdominal wall, the hernia is considered “complex” and advanced hernia repair techniques may be required in order to reconstruct the abdominal wall properly.

Because factors like smoking, obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, poor nutrition and previous wound infections can compromise the success of complex hernia surgery, Premier Surgical Associate’s physicians Dr. Joel “Trey” Bradley and Dr. Kristopher Williams offer a  program to help their patients lower these risk factors before surgery.

In partnership with Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center and Covenant Health, Premier Surgical Associates offers N.E.W. University. This Nutrition, Education, and Wellness program is designed to help complex hernia patients meet their pre-surgery weight, overall health, and nutrition goals in order to be eligible for a complex hernia procedure.

Patients enroll in the  N.E.W. U program for a low monthly fee. They receive:

  • Full Access to Fort Sanders’ Five Star Fitness Facility
  • (2) Weekly 30-minute Group Trainings with a Certified Personal Trainer
  • Initial Fitness Assessment with Follow-Ups as Needed
  • Weekly Weigh-Ins with your Trainer
  • Monthly Wellness Coaching with a Wellness Coach
  • Monthly Body Fat Testing
  • Accountability, Camaraderie, and Fun!

Hernia patients enrolled in the N.E.W. U program enjoy the benefits of the state-of-the-art Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center without having to pay the Center’s regular membership fee.  Patients may attend the program for up to six months, but the length of participation may vary depending on the patient’s individual health goals and progress. And, after completion the patient has the option of joining the Center for the same low rate.

Premier Surgical Associates is the largest surgical group in the Knoxville region, providing comprehensive surgical care, with referrals from across the entire East Tennessee Region. To learn more about preparing for complex hernia surgery and N.E.W. U, visit our Premier Hernia Center website at