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Bariatric surgery delivers more options, better life to Mineola resident

Let’s be clear – there is nothing easy about the preparations for bariatric surgery, but the rewards can be great.

“I’m not going to lie, it was a big struggle,” said Wendy Blake, 46, who serves as a 911 dispatcher in Mineola. “The preparations and the liquid diet before surgery were not easy. I just had to get through the program and the surgery because losing weight was something I truly wanted.”

Blake had dealt with her weight for many years. She was “big and athletic” during high school while playing softball, basketball and volleyball, but started gaining weight after... Read More »

Care of many children inspires godmother's decision for bariatric surgery

Aishia Chism, 44, knows the value of unconditional love that a mother, grandmother or even a godmother can instill in a child’s heart.

A Tyler native who now lives in Dallas, Chism remembers fondly the love shown by her family, especially her godmother.

“As a kid, I had an awesome godmother who lived next door to my grandmother,” explained Chism. “She never had children of her own, so I became the ‘apple of her eye.’ I always looked up to her, so I decided to be the same type of person whom children could trust and come to me for anything, no matter if it was something good... Read More »

Bariatric surgery produces great changes for mother and family

After years of dieting without successfully losing weight, Maria Tinajero has experienced great improvements after surgery with the UT Health Tyler Bariatric Center.

“Growing up, I was always the overweight child at school,” said Maria, now a 46-year-old mother of six and a manager-in-training at a Tyler restaurant.

“In grade school, my mother kept me out of gym class because of my weight. I guess she wanted to keep the other students from making fun of me. But now that I think about it, I could have tried harder and pushed through all the comments. It could have changed my... Read More »

Healthy mindset helps make the difference for bariatric success

For Mike White, a 39-year-old salesman from Lindale, Texas, losing 127 pounds wasn’t exclusively the result of the excellent care he received at UT Health Tyler Bariatric Center. Much of his weight loss was also due to the new mindset he developed about food.

“Everyone can temporarily lose weight by having bariatric surgery,” said Mike. “But changing how you think about food can help keep the weight off for the rest of your life.”

As he grew up, Mike said he carried some extra weight as a kid, despite being active. As an adult with his own business, however, it was more... Read More »

Weight loss surgery helps patient take flight, travel more

For Carla Lee-Ervin, the days were long and stressful. A 51-year-old widow living just south of Tyler in Flint, for 25 years she worked at Sam’s Club. She started as a teller and worked her way up to supervisor of the local store’s marketing and membership department.

As she worked, she also dealt with gaining weight, which started in her late teens and kept increasing for 30 years.

“I gave birth to my son at age 18 and I never lost that weight,” Carla said. “During my married years, I kept putting on the weight and got up to 387 pounds.”

... Read More »
Woman battles comfort food and mind games to gain new life

For Shelby Grimes, a 30-year-old single mom in Lufkin, her dependency on food for comfort started in her teens.

“I used to dance and was very active in high school,” she recalled. “But eventually I got into different extracurricular activities, started working a job and my activity level changed a lot. I even lost a lot of the friends I had, so I started turning to food to feel good about myself.”

At the start of high school, Shelby weighed around 135 but doubled her weight by graduation to a total of 280 pounds.

“My mindset then was always ‘What's going to be my... Read More »

Bariatric surgery by Dr. Hugh Babineau

Yvonda Gilliam, a 62-year-old resident of Troup, didn’t grow up overweight.

As a youngster, she played all kinds of sports and enjoyed lots of different activities. Even as an adult, she was an avid walker and weighed an average weight.

But that all changed in her 30s when she dealt with the dual issues of depression and relationship problems, which together caused both issues to get worse. To comfort herself and forget her troubles, she turned to food.

“At my smallest, I probably weighed around 160 pounds,” said the 5’ 6” adult, known as “Miss Von” to so many in... Read More »

William Sanchez competing in the local Spartan 5K Sprint.

When expecting parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby, especially their first, they usually have a long list of things to do: paint the nursery, decorate the walls and put the baby bed together.

For Hidai and William Sanchez, their list included all of the above items plus one more: William’s bariatric surgery.

A 32-year-old welder for Trane Technologies in Tyler, William had suffered through a number of health issues due to his excessive weight.

“I found that I couldn’t even walk from my front door to the mailbox without being out of breath,” William said. “... Read More »

Patient after her gastric bypass surgery

While spending years on the road hauling freight as a team truck driver with her husband, Marie Graham kept trying to lose weight, but without much success.

“We tried all kinds of stuff,” said the retired 59-year-old Tyler resident. “Medications, exercise, dieting – nothing would take the weight off. Since I also had a fatty liver, I needed to lose weight because I didn’t want to go through a liver transplant. That’s when I looked into bariatric surgery.”

During her career hauling dog food, oil and even slot machines for national companies, Marie weighed as much as 290... Read More »

Our body is like a finely-tuned automobile. Treat it right and it can last for a very long time.

But when you overload a vehicle with too much weight, the tires can wear out quickly and you face the possibility of a blowout. This extra strain also means the engine has to work harder to make the vehicle move, which usually means more problems down the road.

Merribeth Norman, who with her husband shares a love for driving and showing their antique car (above), had similar health concerns that led her to take serious steps to get back into good health.

The 67-year-old... Read More »

Our goal is to help individuals achieve better health through surgical management of obesity. We specialize in Gastric Bypass Surgery and Sleeve Gastrectomy. We are located in Tyler and treat patients from Longview, Athens, Jacksonville, Palestine, Kilgore, Marshall, Gilmer and many other locations in East Texas.


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UT Health Tyler Bariatric Center

1100 E. Lake St., Suite 150 Tyler, TX 75701 903-593-0230

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