Dr. Guillermo Gomez received his M.D. from The Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile School of Medicine in Santiago, Chile. He completed his internship and residency training in Surgery, at both his alma mater and The University of Texas Medical Branch. Dr. Gomez is certified by the American Board of General Surgery. Dr. Gomez has successfully taken up several positions here at UTMB before becoming the Granville T. Hall Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery.
His main area of surgical expertise is endoscopic, laparoscopic, and robotic surgery. His current area of research is in gastrointestinal endocrinology, more specifically, the metabolism of gastrointestinal hormones including their relationships to the control of satiety and obesity. Dr. Gomez has more than 50 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals.
Dr. Gomez successfully completed the Fundamentals of Bariatric Surgery training course and the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) endorsed Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery Mini-Fellowship Program.
Dr. Obos Ekhaese moved to Houston and attended San Jacinto College and the University of Houston. He then was admitted to Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pomona, California. He completed his internship at Midwestern University, St. James Hospital, Olympia Fields, Illinois. He completed his General Surgery residency at Michigan State University, Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital, Pontiac, Michigan.
Dr. Ekhaese is certified by the American Board of Osteopathic Surgeons.
After residency, Dr. Ekhaese worked as a staff surgeon at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center, Mattoon, Illinois for 3 years. Then he decided to advance his training and completed a one-year fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston Northwest Medical Center.
He joined UTMB Health System as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery in 2009. His interests are in bariatric, endoscopic and laparoscopic surgery. He also has an interest in Global Health. Dr. Ekhaese is a member of the American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American College of Osteopathic Surgeons, Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons, American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, Association of Academic Surgeons, National Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Association for Bariatric Surgery and the Houston Bariatric Society.
A native of Greenville, Texas, Dr. Russell LaForte received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, where he also completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine.
Dr. LaForte is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and is currently a physician for the University Internist Group at UTMB as well as the Medical Director of the Wellness Continuum, the university's executive wellness program.
His main areas of clinical interest are wellness and obesity. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Galveston County Medical Society, the Texas Medical Association, and Alpha Omega Alpha. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa-Gamma Chapter, and has received the Edward Randall Medal for Academic Excellence as well as the William L. Marr Award in Internal Medicine.
Clinical Team Members
Kelli Gondesen is a Registered Nurse for the Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Texas in Austin and a Master of Science in Education from the University of Houston in Clear Lake. Kelli has worked at UTMB for over 20 years.
Sukwan Jolley, MPH, RD, LD is the registered dietitian for our center and is certified in Adult Weight Management by the American Dietetic Association. She grew up in Houston and graduated from The University of Texas in Austin with a Bachelor's Degree in Biology and completed a Master's in Public Health from The University of Washington in Seattle in 2007. Sukwan has worked for over a decade in biological and clinical research. She enjoys teaching others about the importance of establishing a foundation in healthy eating to prevent and manage chronic diseases. She provides extensive pre- and post-operative education and nutrition intervention for our surgical and medical patients. Sukwan looks forward to meeting with prospective and current patients at seminar, support group meetings, and clinic visits as they strive together to achieve their health and weight loss goals.
Patient and Administrative Support
Make an informed decision. We offer complete care devoted to bariatric surgery. UTMB can help you achieve the success you desire.
If you have any questions or if we can help you in any way, please contact us at (832) 505-1500 or send us a message via this site.
1) UTMB has the expertise. One of the first points to consider is our team's experience performing bariatric surgery. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery found that experienced surgeons had significantly reduced bariatric surgery complication rates. Our surgeons have experience performing the procedures they offer—whether it’s gastric bypass or gastric banding, and whether it’s performed as a minimally invasive or open procedure. And, our nurses are bariatric certified.
2) A level 1A Center of Excellence. Another good gauge of quality is a Center of Excellence (COE) designation. COE programs and surgeons must meet strict criteria relating to quality of care in order to be designated a COE. UTMB is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network with a Level 1A status.
3) Ongoing commitment to your success. Your surgeon at UTMB, the medical staff and support team will provide post-op care through follow-up appointments, support-group resources, and other information as needed. Your success will be enhanced by comprehensive and complete care, and a team committed to your success and supportive of you.