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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!

Johnny Brown

Johnny Brown Before and After Photo

Procedure Type: Gastric Bypass

Why did you decide to have bariatric surgery?

Before the surgery I had all types of medical problems. High blood pressure, sleep apnea, acid reflux and the list goes on. I had to do something to improve my health or the alternative was not a pleasant one to think about.

How much weight have you lost since the beginning of the process?

I lost 210 lbs overall.

Michael Dickerson

Michael Dickerson Before and After Photo

Procedure Type: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Procedure Date: November, 2013

Why did you decide to have bariatric surgery?

My health was getting worse due to being morbidly obese which affected my knees and heart. I tried other weight-loss methods but was not successful.

How much weight have you lost since the beginning of the process?

I have lost 160 lbs since starting the journey. My heaviest weight was 375 lbs and now I am currently 215 lbs.

Jared Butler

Procedure Type: Gastric Sleeve Procedure

Procedure Date: September, 2016

Why did you decide to have bariatric surgery?

I had trouble climbing stairs at work and stayed out of breath.

How much weight have you lost since the beginning of the process?

80 pounds.

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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