Lexi’s Testimonial

Lexi Fraser-Tinnian’s job was helping others to realize their health and life goals at Longstreet’s Center for Weight Management – and it was through this experience that she realized that she could do the same for herself. Now the newly married wife and mother is enjoying an adventurous outdoors life and thanking the day she decided on her own surgical weight loss.

Benefits of weight loss surgery

  • Normalized Blood Pressure
  • Normalized Blood Cholesterol
  • Type II Diabetes Disappears
  • Asthma Relief
  • Lowered Risk of Heart Disease
  • And More.

To learn more about the benefits of weight loss surgery, click here or call 770-766-0707.

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A Better Life.

Every day, Lexi Fraser-Tinnian helped patients toward their goals of weight loss and better health. From her role as a Bariatric Patient Navigator at Longstreet Clinic’s Center for Weight Management, Lexi saw others achieve a better life through bariatric surgery.

“When patients come to us, they see a doctor for a consult, then they meet me, and I take them from consult to surgery,” Lexi said. “I try to make sure they know every step and answer every question.”

It was that in depth contact that convinced Lexi to consider her own surgical weight loss journey.

“I never thought (bariatric surgery) was an option for me until I started working at Longstreet Clinic,” said Lexi, 26. “But after battling weight issues for so much of my life and then seeing how the staff here treated patients and how it all worked so successfully, I decided to look harder at surgery and how it could work for me.”


As it turned out, Lexi was a perfect candidate for surgical weight loss. Despite her youth and repeated attempts at diet and exercise, she was dealing with health concerns that stemmed from obesity. Called comorbidities, Lexi struggled with high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, fatty liver disease, and gall stones. These are just some of the negative health impacts that stem from having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or above. Others include increased risks of cancer, pulmonary disease, arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and increased difficulties for pregnancy. And considering that she was about to get married, Lexi wanted to set herself up for success and happiness, no matter where life might take her.

“Carrying a lot of weight runs in my family,” Lexi said. “I went on my first diet at age seven or eight; I was on and off Weight Watchers just before my teenage years. It seems like I had tried everything without any lasting results.”

Lexi was not alone in this reality. In fact, upwards of 95 percent of people who are more than 100 pounds overweight and have battled obesity for more than five years fail at losing weight and keeping it off for five years.

Lexi also understood what the future could mean by not making a major change in her condition. And remission of obesity – which is labeled as a disease and not a lifestyle choice by medical science – is proven to relieve those comorbidities, including remission rates of 70-85% for type II diabetes, 65% for hypertension, 85-95% for sleep apnea, and a 50% reduction in cancer risk.

She saw the numbers proven every day at work. Beyond that, Lexi witnessed what those successes meant emotionally and psychologically for people in situations like her own. So, she began taking a closer look at her options – and coming to terms with the reality of undergoing bariatric surgery.

“It’s a vulnerable decision to ask for help, especially with something so stigmatized like weight,” Lexi said.

After careful consideration, Lexi approached Center for Weight Management surgeon Eric J. Velazquez, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS, about the possibility of undergoing a Roux-en-Y (RNY) gastric bypass. In this procedure, a golf ball-sized part of the patient’s stomach is surgically divided from the rest of the stomach. The result is a much smaller stomach that severely restricts the amount of food a patient can eat, making them feel full much sooner. The procedure also changes gut hormones, making patients feel full for longer (appetite suppression is a key component of post-surgery weight loss).

“Dr. Velazquez had become a great colleague already; we worked really well together. And when I told him that I had been thinking a gastric bypass and asked him what he thought, he was extremely positive about what it could do for me,” Lexi said. “I think Dr. Velazquez really met me where I was, as far as compassion. There was no judgement or arrogance from him. He wants to help people, and everybody at Longstreet does as well.”

For Dr. Velazquez, who joined Longstreet’s Center for Weight Management in October 2021, it was a touching affirmation of the success he helped his patients achieve.


“Anytime a patient trusts their health to me it means a lot, but to have someone I work with every day come to me and ask for help was really incredible,” Dr. Velazquez said. “And Lexi was a perfect candidate for surgical weight loss, so I was happy for what it would mean for her health and life.”

Lexi’s choose the RNY gastric bypass for many reasons.

A long utilized bariatric procedure – the first gastric bypass was performed in 1959 – it has been shaped and perfected so that it produces success in the short and long term. In fact, Longstreet’s Center for Weight Management RNY patients average 80 percent of excess body weight loss at 24 months post-surgery.

“During surgery, we attach a branch of the small bowel to the new, small stomach. The other branch of the bowel remains attached to the original stomach and continues to aid in digestion. This new structure delays the mixing of food with digestive juices, resulting in poorer absorption of calories and nutrients – so the result is that the body takes in far fewer calories. All of this leads to rapid weight loss,” Dr. Velazquez said. “But the patient must also make major changes to their post-surgical diet – drastic at first but normalizing over time – including drinking lots of water and taking vitamin supplements for life.”

Lexi knew that surgery was no quick fix or cure-all – no matter how skilled the surgeon. And that long-term success would depend upon her commitment to change. Surgery was simply the opportunity to make that change and give her the best chance at improved, lifelong health. Her then fiancé (now husband), Zach, was also supportive and ready to help.

Thus, Lexi underwent gastric bypass on April 25, 2022.

Like all modern bariatric procedures, the minimally invasive surgery allowed Lexi to be up and moving within hours of its completion. And, despite an adjustment period, she is already thrilled with the results.

“I’m down well past the goal Dr. Velazquez set for me already. I’ve lost 118 pounds since the procedure and my goal was 140 – so I’m only 19 pounds away,” Lexi said. “Before surgery I thought I had to hide my body. I was not confident, but now I love myself so much more.”

Lexi’s happiness goes well beyond what she sees in the mirror, as she can easily keep up with an active an adventurous husband – as well as with her 3-year-old son, Harrison.

“We’re always outside and on the go, hiking and camping, and it’s great,” Lexi said.

She is also ensuring that the losses she’s attained – and improvements gained – are part of a healthy lifestyle.

“I try to eat 80 grams of protein a day, and I make sure I do that through either food alone or with supplements,” Lexi said. “I wake up and go to the gym every day and then I have a planned-out meal regimen – but it doesn’t change what I fix for Zach and Harrison; I just modify what I cook for them with my dinner. For example, I’ll make them spaghetti with meat sauce, and I’ll just eat it without the noodles.”

It is a new reality that Lexi has embraced – and one that she’s so glad she contemplated and experienced through her work at Longstreet Clinic.

“I would recommend this to anyone in the situation I was in and definitely recommend Dr. Velazquez to anyone,” Lexi said. “He was so experienced and eased my mind about the whole thing, and now I’m living the life I had always wanted.”

No surgery is without risks. To learn of all the potential risks with weight loss surgery, click here.

More Patient Stories

The decision to have weight loss surgery is more than just a quick fix – it’s a lifelong journey. But for many who make the decision to change their lives, the long-term effects mean more than just a smaller number on the scale. We invite you to explore just a few of the many tremendous stories we witness each day.

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Our specialized bariatric care team is here to answer your questions and help you achieve your weight loss goals.


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Locations We Serve

Longstreet Clinic Center for Weight Management has three convenient locations across Northeast Georgia plus telehealth options making appointments available across the U.S.