Dr. Annabelle Lopez

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Dr. Annabelle Lopez

Dr. Annabelle Lopez comes from a small family that she describes as a “typical Latino family” who spend much of their time together. Her husband is an ICU nurse at Knapp Medical Center and their daughter, who shares her parents drive for helping people, also wants to be in the medical field one day.

Dr. Annabelle shared her memories of growing up in a volatile Cuba. When she was 15, her family took actions to seek a better life and moved to Venezuela. While living there, she graduated from high school, where in that country the collegiate system runs a little differently. In Venezuela you are asked to write down three professions you may wish to pursue after high school. From those options you take an assessment exam to determine what you would be most suited for and then you are encouraged to pursue that path. When Dr. Annabelle was asked this question, she wrote down “doctor, engineer, architect.” Of the three areas, she scored highest in the medical portion and followed that path into medical studies where she completed a year and a half of schooling in Venezuela.

However, about 5 years after moving to Venezuela, the growing unrest and political climate saw her family uprooted once again. Her family decided to move to Brownsville, Texas where other family members were living. By that point Annabelle recognized her passion and curiosity for medicine was strong and decided to enter the healthcare studies program at the University of Texas in Brownsville. Dr. Annabelle recalls that her first encounter at the University was a bit negative when one of her counselors tried to discourage her from pursuing the medical program due to her language barrier. She was told she did not know enough English to do well in her classes, but Dr. Lopez did not let this discourage her. What she did instead was take that criticism as a challenge, enrolled in several classes for English as a second language and obtained her bachelor’s degree with further studies at the University of Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.

When deciding upon her specific field, Dr. Annabelle says, “OB is the best of both worlds. You provide immediate care and you also get the follow up with your patients.” Dr. Annabelle believes this is the most valuable aspect of her chosen field. She has now been practicing for nine years and has developed a very close relationship between her patients and staff. Dr. Annabelle attends five to six conferences and trainings per year to stay current with the newest treatment options and procedures available for her patients. Her three nurse practitioners and the midwife from her team accompany Dr. Annabelle to the medical conferences so that they all gain the knowledge necessary to care for their patients.

Dr. Annabelle and her staff routinely provide care for pregnancies and postpartum follow-up visits, pediatrics, teenagers experiencing their first periods, difficult menstrual cycles, preventative annual exams, and surgeries such as hysterectomies and the removal of ovarian cysts. Hormone replacement is also offered in office for patients who have voiced their concerns about feeling tired, have trouble losing weight, losing hair, having a lack of sexual desire or even emotional instability that tends to happen after age 35.

Dr. Annabelle also offers cosmetic treatments including, but not limited to liposuction, fillers and Botox treatments. “Many of our patients were asking for it,” she commented when referring to the cosmetic services. “After getting so many requests, I deliberated and researched the safest and most current techniques and procedures. I went to New Jersey and took many classes and seminars and practiced with a well-known physician. Upon completion I finally was able to bring the techniques down here for my own patients.”

This October, Dr. Annabelle will be departing to Guatemala for her fifth Healing International Medicine expedition with Dr. Juan Padilla, where indigenous tribes are offered care in a medical camp in what she describes as “the middle of nowhere.” She explains it is not an easy task as the people speak a different language so their group has translators to assist as they perform about 70-90 surgeries, including the removal of large tumors, ovarian cysts and other major complications. Dr. Annabelle’s mother has volunteered with her on previous expeditions. This year, for the first time, she will be taking her daughter as well. Dr. Annabelle encourages her daughter to learn about parts of the world where children are less privileged and encourages her to help and assist whenever possible.

“When you go on one of these missions you think that you’re going to help, but as a matter of fact you come back feeling that they helped you far more than you did them,” she stated emotionally.

She explains the feeling of returning home and feeling immensely grateful for the kind of life we have here in our country. “When you see their living conditions you come back feeling like your problems are not problems. Their problems have no solutions such as women dying just because they have no way to stop a hemorrhage that could have been stopped by a simple 45-minute medical procedure.”

Dr. Annabelle is also an associate professor at UTRGV’s Medical School in the departments for Family Medicine and in the nurse practitioner program. Her dynamic personality, entrepreneurial spirit and humanitarian heart will continue to drive her to new places in the field of medicine.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Annabelle in Weslaco or Mercedes please call: 956.647.5529. Contact Nobu Medical Spa in McAllen for laser body contouring, medically supervised weight loss, cosmetic and anti-aging procedures at 956.618.9915.

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