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Bariatric surgery delivers more options, better life to Mineola resident

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.”

Healthy mindset helps make the difference for bariatric success

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.”

Weight loss surgery helps patient take flight, travel 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.”

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.

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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