June 28, 2017
It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing the closing of my practice in Texarkana
scheduled for August 1, 2017. I will no longer be available to care for patients after
that time. It has been a great pleasure to provide for your health care needs over the
years. It is not easy for me to give it up.
This change comes on suddenly as a result of my family moving to Tyler, TX.
As some of you know, my wife has been working in Tyler for over a year now.
She spends about 12 to 14 days a month there, splitting her time between Tyler
and our home in Texarkana.
I have underestimated the difficulty of our current
living arrangement on our daughters and my wife. I feel that if it best for my
family life that I accept this transition in my career for the unity of my family.
We made the decision to look for homes in Tyler in early June and on June 24 completed
a contract on a home in Tyler.
I wish I could have made this transition occur over a
longer period of time but as above, I feel that it is best for my family that we move
together under one roof at this time.
To the majority of my patients that are LapBand patients, this transition is especially
difficult for me. I have chosen to focus on LapBand surgery over the past decade as
compared with other types of weight loss surgery or general surgery procedures.
This is in large part because of the long-term continuous followup entailed by LapBand
surgery and the pleasure in that long term followup with you. I have seen some of you
dozens of times over the years, and I am saddened to be losing that connection.
At the time of the writing of this letter, I don't have a practice location which would
allow me to follow up with my current and past patients.
For general surgery patients, Dr. Mark Sutherland, is potentially available for followup
as per his availability. He is also potentially available for LapBand unfills,
and surgical LapBand removals, but not ongoing bariatric followup.
Dr. Mark Sutherland
2717 Summerhill Road
Texarkana, TX 75503
For weight loss surgery patients seeking followup I have personally communicated with
the following experienced bariatric surgeons and a physician assistant and they have
indicated a willingness to see my current bariatric patients:
In alphabetical order:
Dr. Hugh Babineau
1100 E Lake St
Tyler, TX 75701
Dr. Adam Smith
2501 Parkview Drive
Fort Worth, TX 76102
(Dr. Smith reports he will waive his customary transfer fee for my patients.)
Dr. Robert Snow
1717 Percent Line Road
Debra Tooker, PA
1102 Crestwood Circle
Mena, AR 71953
(Debra Tooker is a physician assistant who has been treating LapBand patients with
fills and unfills for years. She is not affiliated with any surgeons and will refer
out for potential surgical issues.)
Dr. Mark Watson
UT Southwestern Medical Center
5223 Harry Hines Boulevard
Dallas, TX 75390
For those LapBand patients not served well by those locations or those that wish
to research other options, you can use the physician locator function on the website
www.lapband.com or contact your local county medical society.
Your medical records are confidential and a copy can be transferred to another doctor
or released to you or to another person you designate only with your permission.
Your medical records will be maintained by the custodian of records for 7 years from
the date of last treatment as mandated by law.
The custodian of records is
2717 Summerhill Road
Texarkana, TX 75503
For medical record requests now or in the future it is advised that you mail your
request rather than use our office fax number, as the fax may soon be removed.
I understand this departure may be troubling to some of you. I have conferred with
the Texas Medical Association and received information from their
Office of General Counsel to ensure that I am meeting all aspects of Texas state law and
Texas Medical Board regulations for a departure from medical practice.
I will sincerely
miss providing care to all of you and I wish you the best health in the future.
Ron Hekier, MD