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KNOXVILLE – Drs. Gregory Mancini and John Scott of the Tennessee Weight Loss and Surgery Center at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, want Americans to understand that weight-loss surgery is a safe and effective way to drop the pounds.

They plan to present their discussion “Fighting the Tide: Treatment Options for Morbid Obesity” at the weekly UT Science Forum at noon this Friday, Feb. 8, in Thompson-Boling Arena Dining Room C-D on the UT campus.

Mancini will discuss the myths that often surround bariatric surgery and treatment. Many believe that the procedure is dangerous and often doesn’t work, Mancini said.

Scott said it is a great way to battle the increasing concerns about morbid obesity.

“It’s fulfilling to see when the patients lose the weight,” Scott said.

Scott said it’s encouraging to see patients take an interest in the surgery and helping solve their obesity problem.

Mancini and Scott said they do believe that nothing replaces a healthy lifestyle, but the surgery is a good choice for those with body mass indexes of 40 to 55. Body mass index, or BMI, uses patients’ heights and weights to determine their level of obesity.

Mancini is the medical director for the Tennessee Weight Loss and Surgery Center. He joined the faculty of the UT Health Science Center Graduate School of Medicine as an assistant professor of surgery in July 2006 after completing his fellowship training in minimally invasive surgery at the University of Missouri.

Scott is a native Tennessean who received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University. He graduated from the UT Health Science Center in 2001 and performed his surgical training in Greenville, S.C.

Scott completed his fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at the University of Cincinnati. He joined the faculty of the Graduate School of Medicine as an assistant professor of surgery in 2007.

The UT Science Forum is a weekly discussion that is free and open to the public. Different science topics will be discussed with a question-and-answer session at the end of each 40-minute presentation. Guests are welcome to bring or purchase a lunch and eat during the talk. For more information contact forum organizer Mark Littmann at or 974-8156.

Upcoming Science Forum topics include the following:

• “Mysteries of Buruli Ulcer, an Infectious Disease Emerging in Africa and Australia,” Friday, Feb. 15, Dr. Pamela Small, Professor of Microbiology.

• “Secret City and Supercomputers: Oak Ridge Then and Now,” Friday, Feb. 22, Robert Whitten Jr., National Center for Computational Sciences, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

• “Challenge X: The Student-designed Hybrid Biodiesel/Electric Vehicle,” Friday, Feb. 29, Scott Curran, Challenge X Team Leader, Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering.

Dr. Gregory J. Mancini and Dr. John D. Scott, Tennessee Weight Loss and Surgery Center, UT Medical Center, (865-305-9624)

Jay Mayfield, media relations, (865-974-9409,

Mark Littmann, forum organizer, (865-974-8156,