First responder loses 150 pounds with bariatric surgery

Sandra ClarkOur Town Health

Robert Brumbach, 48, of Tazewell, Tennessee, lost 150 pounds after having bariatric surgery at Parkwest Medical Center.

At his highest weight, Brumbach, who is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighed 287 pounds and had a BMI of over 52. His suggested healthy BMI range is between 25-30.

“It got to the point where it was hard to get out bed. I was miserable. I was always tired and feeling sleepy, and any walking or standing became a chore,” Brumbach says. “I also developed other health issues like sleep apnea, high blood pressure and vitamin deficiency. I was close to becoming diabetic, so that’s why I got help.”

Robert Williams M.D.

Brumbach chose the Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery at Parkwest Medical Center in West Knoxville. His bariatric surgeon was K. Robert Williams M.D.

Brumbach lost 50 pounds while preparing for surgery, so he weighed 237 pounds on the day of his operation in November 2022. Since then, Brumbach has lost 100 more pounds, getting him back to his “high school weight” of 137.

“Many of the medical comorbidities Robby was suffering from, like high blood pressure and sleep apnea, are caused or worsened by being overweight,” Dr. Williams says. “Weight gain can cause our hormones and other functions to fall out of equilibrium and cause diabetes or arthritis, and these systemic inflammatory factors can even put a patient at risk for some cancers.”

Brumbach says: “My advice for others considering this [weight-loss surgery] is just to know it will change your life. But you have to want to do it. You have to change your mindset. If you want to feel better and put in the work, it will make you feel wonderful.”

Dr. Williams concurs. “Weight-loss surgery is not a cosmetic operation or quick fix,” he says. “It’s fulfilling to see people get their quality of life back and do things they hadn’t been able to do before.”

Learn more about bariatric services at Parkwest Medical Center or call 865-373-1000. You can also view our online seminar information.

Signs, treatment and prevention of Lyme Disease

Alicia Brooks M.D.

Ticks are small spider-like creatures that live in grass, bushes, wooded areas and along seashores. They attach their bodies onto a human or animal host. Ticks prefer hairy areas like the scalp, behind the ear, in the armpit and groin, and between fingers and toes. Tick bites often happen at night and occur more often in spring and summer months.

This article answers questions about tick bites and Lyme Disease. It was medically reviewed by Alicia Brooks M.D., a primary care physician. Topics include:

  • Which ticks carry Lyme Disease?
  • When is tick season in Tennessee?
  • Symptoms of Lyme Disease
  • Treatments for Lyme Disease
  • How to remove ticks from your body

Related articles: Bee Stings; Fleas, Mites and Chiggers; Spider Bites

Jeff Robinson M.D. – New at Southern Medical Group

Jeff Robinson M.D.

Jeffrey W. “Jeff” Robinson M.D., an internal medicine specialist, has joined Southern Medical Group, a primary care provider with locations in West Knoxville and South Knoxville. He is now accepting new patients ages 18 and up at both locations.

Dr. Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Arizona State University and his medical degree at St. George’s University School of Medicine. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University. His clinical interests include helping people manage their diabetes, infectious disease prevention and overall preventive health.

At Southern Medical Group, we specialize in the treatment of the whole patient across all stages of life – from age-appropriate immunizations, wellness exams and acute illnesses like cold and flu, to caring for your chronic health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. We’re proud to be a member of Covenant Medical Group, the physician practice of Covenant Health.

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, Covenant Health is a community-owned, healthcare enterprise committed to providing the right care at the right time and place. Covenant Health is the area’s largest employer with more than 11,000 caregivers, clinicians, employees and volunteers.


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