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Testimonial

Merribeth Norman

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.

Don & Lori Cupples

Sometimes it is easier to do difficult things when you use the “buddy system.”

For the husband and wife team of Don and Lori Cupples, losing weight and recovering from gastric bypass surgery was much easier because they did it together at the same time.

Brian Low

For 34-year-old Brian Low, obesity was very depressing.

“I was severely obese and depressed,” said Brian. “At my heaviest, I weighed 388 pounds. It was hard to do anything, which made me feel terrible.”

Brian also suffered from sleep apnea, which is a potentially serious sleep disorder when one’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts through the night. In addition to snoring loudly, the person also feels tired in the morning, even after a full night’s sleep.

Teresa Epps

For Teresa Epps, the office manager of a local construction firm, managing her weight had been a constant battle. But after her successful gastric bypass surgery 2 years ago, she is now enjoying a healthy lifestyle with a fun and rather adventurous future.

“I struggled with my weight for a long time,” the 55-year-old Mount Vernon resident said. “I tried many diets and even lap band surgery.”

Thomas Martin

Losing weight and developing a healthier lifestyle is a journey many people want to take. Thomas Martin is living proof that it can be done.

The 67-year-old former gas and fuel oil plant operator has retired with his wife to their more than five acres near Frankston where he raises goats. He spends his days building and repairing fences for their livestock.

But at 340 pounds, Thomas had difficulty maintaining his energy levels while working around the home. To make matters worse, his weight was preventing him from enjoying his real passion: riding his motorcycle.

Rachel Villanueva

Rachel Villanueva

Rachel Villanueva was not used to being on the receiving end of patient care.

As supervisor of the UT Health East Texas Physicians pediatric clinic on Fifth in Tyler, Rachel oversees the care of dozens of patients throughout the week.

But when it came to managing her own weight and overall health, she needed her doctors' guidance.

"I have battled my weight for many years," Rachel said. "Four years ago my OB/GYN diagnosed me with PCOS, which makes it difficult to lose weight," she said.

Shaun Rivers

At nearly 400 pounds and a 48-inch waist, Shaun Rivers was ashamed to be seen in public and didn’t want to leave his house. All he wanted was to improve his health and knew it was time for a change. Today, he is down to 201 pounds and a 34-inch waist.

Rivers’ journey to better health started eight years ago when he found out he had stage 4 Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid. To treat it, he took a medication that stopped his metabolism. At the time, he was about 240 pounds. Within 10 months, he weighed 393 pounds.

Nancy Henderson

When Nancy Henderson developed sleep apnea and became borderline diabetic, her primary care doctor told her she was eligible for bariatric surgery and asked if she was interested.

Nancy started researching her options and decided to reach out to the UT Health Tyler Bariatric Center. She went into her first appointment with Dr. Hugh Babineau wanting to have the sleeve gastrectomy. However, due to her other medical conditions, Dr. Babineau said she needed to have the gastric bypass procedure instead, which was not something she previously considered.

Dixie McInnis

At 74 years old, Dixie McInnis didn’t think she would be dancing the night away, but since having bariatric surgery in October 2017, she has been moving better than ever. She’s living her life without her health holding her back.

Deciding to get weight loss surgery is a big choice, but McInnis’ health kept declining. Her family physician recommend bariatric surgery and said it could help her get off all of her medications.

Suzanne Strickland

Suzanne Strickland Before and After Photo

Why did you decide to have bariatric surgery?

I made my decision to have bariatric surgery after being put on three different medications for weight-related health issues and gaining even more weight. I made this decision not because of vanity but because of health issues and daily fatigue.

What is the best feeling of accomplishment you have experienced since your surgery?

Since my surgery over 4 years ago, not only has my health improved and my energy returned but I feel that I have a new life. Now I understand what people were talking about when they referred to their “surgery birthday”. It IS like having a second chance at life. The energy and eager anticipation at the beginning of each day that I thought was long gone is back! It’s almost like being in my 20s again! People ask me if I would do it again and I always say “Most definitely!” Life is good again!

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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