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Dr. Almanza - 1 Week Post-Op (Long Post)

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Started by nabird77, Jul 09, 2012 10:18 PM
15 replies to this topic
15 replies to this topic

    nabird77

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: Mar 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Mario Almanza-reyes
  • Surgery Date: Jul 2012
  • Starting Weight: 282
  • Weight Lost: 28
  • Current Weight: 254
  • Goal Weight: 160
  • BMI: 39.8
  • My Blogs
Posted July 9, 2012 - 10:18 PM

#1
Hi everyone! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to post a post-op update. This is long - so just a warning!!

I had surgery last Tuesday with Dr. Almanza and his team at Jerusalem Hospital in Tijuana. I flew out Monday evening and got to the hotel. The next morning I took the shuttle to the Jet Blue terminal to wait for the van to pick us all up. On the way, the driver was telling me that he takes people there almost every day and not once has he had anyone complain; they all seem to come back pleased with their experience. Once I got to the terminal, the others were also arriving. What a great, fun group of people! We all clicked and chatted while we waited. Two vans arrived and we started our journey across the border. Very uneventful. In all, it took about 15-20 minutes to arrive at the clinic. I had read enough about the facility to know that it was in a shopping center and was small. All true - but also true was that it was clean and well-kept.

When you first arrive, they have you label all of your belongings with your name and where you are staying (hotel or recovery house). They then call you one by one to check you in and receive payment if you have a balance. There is a little nurse who will then call for you to take your blood. She is really good, gentle, and knows exactly what she is doing. They then begin to call a few people at a time to the back for pre-op. They will wrap your legs, the little nurse will insert an IV and will start you on fluids. There is a sweet older doctor, the cardiologist, who will do your EKG also. Dr. Almanza comes in and speaks to the group about the procedure. He does have an interpreter, however, you can understand him fine. He will answer questions for you and will even take a pre-surgery picture with you, as well if you like. The group all sat around while we waited our turn. The day I was there, there were 2 lap band patients, and 5 VSG patients. As far as I could tell, the lap-band patients went first and it took them each around 30 minutes, then they do the surgeries based on your weight - heaviest being last. I was second to the last to go in at 4:20. You are taken down stairs and walked into the operating room. They were all very nice and once I was on the table, the anesthesiologist asked me a few questions to calm me down and I was out like a light. I woke up about an hour later in the recovery room. The nurse took me back upstairs to my room. I slept for a little while, but since I had never had any type of surgery before, did not know how I would react to the anesthesia. Let's just say, it didn't like me. I proceeded to be nauseous throughout the night and the next day. Other than the nausea, I didn't feel bad - just sore. Some people compare it to doing tons of sit-ups.. I can agree with that. Luckily, I did not have the painful gas pains that most people have. There was lots of gas in the tummy, though, and the best thing is what everyone says to do - walk. I was not impressed with the night nurses at the clinic. They were both male and pretty indifferent to how you were feeling - actually, one of them was just plain not nice. But we made it through the night. They did come give us our meds on schedule, though.

The morning after the surgery, they got us up and we went either to the recovery house or the hotel. I went to the recovery house. They gave you a bed and luckily I got to keep my sweet roommate from the clinic. That girl and I have been through tons together, let me tell ya! We rested and they gave us our meds on a specific schedule throughout the day. Great nurse there named Seveno during the day and two at night (Edgar and ? - can't remember). It was great to talk with the others there if you were in the mood, or sleep if you needed to, or go out and walk in the courtyard. If you are sensitive to smells of food cooking or chatty women, the recovery house will be tough for you. I appreciated all of the above and the relationships I formed with these amazing women. The house has all the broth, tea, jello, yogurt (after your leak test), and popsicles you would ever need or want available at your leisure.

The third day after your surgery, in my opinion, is the hardest. They wake you up early and have you start drinking a purple liquid which tastes kinda like ink. Terrible to get down, so try it with a popsicle. Ugh! But the worst is coming. They then have the driver take you to have your x-ray for your leak test. The stuff they give you there should be illegal. Nasty stuff. And, you have to drink it quickly, which is physically hard to do. Not fun. But no leaks! Yay! We got back to the recovery house and took a nap to sleep off the nausea of the morning liquids. About 2:00 they came to take us to go shopping if we were up to it. By then, I was starting to feel much better and we had a great time in the little shops for about an hour. That's about all you are up to at that point, I think.

The last night, they asked my roommate and I if we would be willing to stay the night at the hotel at their expense. We happily obliged, especially since the other girls we were with were staying there. I am glad I got to experience both places. You are able to freely ask the front desk for popsicles anytime and they will give you 3 broth tickets a day for their restaurant. The broth is. a.m.a.z.i.n.g. However, don't plan on being able to take but just a few sips of it. The hotel is very nice and not once did I feel uncomfortable there. In fact, there is a small convenience store called Osso about a half block away where we walked together to get some gatorade. I found the gatorade went down MUCH better than water.

The last morning, you can take either a 7:00 van or 11:00 van back across the border to the airport. Just make sure they know which one you want to be on so you get picked up! It only took us about 20-25 minutes to cross back into the states. I was very pleased with my experience there. It is certainly not an American hospital. They do things a little bit differently. So, if you choose to go, expect that. Everything was constantly being cleaned. Some of the things that they use were older and not state-of-the-art, like the EKG machine, but it worked. They don't use throw-away stockings, instead they use reusable ace bandages, etc. Negatives would include the fact that one of the girls was missing $100 out of her purse when she left the clinic... she came alone and didn't have anyone to watch her stuff (hate to be accusatory, but night nurse?). SO - make friends with someone who could possible watch it while you are in surgery! Also, the fact they were playing mexican music in the surgery room when I walked in kinda freaked me out a bit. I had to remind myself, "you ARE in MEXICO, gena'." But, it would've been nice to have some classical or something calming when you walked in... haha.

My incisions are healing good. They only one that I worry about is the one closest to the bra area - which makes sense. Hard to keep it aired out. They give you 5 days of antibiotics and 5 days of pain meds. I have not needed the pain meds, but have been taking them as directed because it also has an anti-inflammatory aspect that I figured I needed. Tomorrow will be my one week surgiversary and I feel great. A little tired, but that is to be expected. My fluids are going down well and I got in two protein shakes today. Yay for me! I am sorry this was a little long, but I wanted to let everyone know what to expect if you are thinking about using Dr. Almanza.

One last thing, I used Christi and Jason Bearden with Successfully Slimmer as my coordinators. They have both had the surgery with Dr. Almanza and was there with me every step of the way. I believe the best compliment is a referral, so I would refer them in a heartbeat!!!!

Thanks for reading,

gena'


    Elsa Munoz

    Intermediate Member

  • Posts: 27
  • Joined: Jul 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: OHIO
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery Date: Jun 2012
  • Starting Weight: 234 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 49 lbs
  • Current Weight: 185 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 150 lbs
  • BMI: 32.8
Posted July 9, 2012 - 10:34 PM

#2
wow thank's God that you are doing fine. Im puerto rican i can imaging how is feel to go to another country to do this type of surgery .everyone that go to mexico for this. I take my hat because i think i wouldn't do it myself but i prayed every day that everyone that go to have surgery they will have good experience like you. I'm glad that is over and that you new journey start good luck be bless


    noelaniskyful

    Novice

  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: CALIFORNIA
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgeon: Mario Almanza-reyes
  • Surgery Date: Jul 2012
  • Starting Weight: 215
  • Weight Lost: 42
  • Current Weight: 173
  • Goal Weight: 145
  • BMI: 29.7
Posted July 9, 2012 - 11:28 PM

#3
Thank you so much for posting this. I am having my surgery with Dr. Almanza on Friday, 13th. I am getting a little scared. People have been really judging me for doing this, and have tried to undermine my confidence in the surgery. I don't need frills, and I want is to come out of this safely and start my new life. Please wish me luck and I do you.


    SweetTee

    Aspiring Evangelist

  • Posts: 577
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: LOUISIANA
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgeon: Fernando Garcia
  • Surgery Date: Feb 2013
  • Starting Weight: 232
  • Weight Lost: 70
  • Current Weight: 162
  • Goal Weight: 140
  • BMI: 30.6
  • My Blogs
Posted July 10, 2012 - 1:42 AM

#4
Words can almost not express how grateful to you I am for sharing with us your experience with Dr Almanza. This offers so much relief to those of us who have chosen to use his services. I prayed for all of you who were going and I am so thankful that you had a positive experience. I'm so glad to hear that you are recovering well. Your post is not to long at all. I think it was just enough to give us an accurate picture of what we can expect. I can't wait to see your progress as I wait til my surgery date. It will give me a glimpse of what I have to look forward to.


    flbelle29

    Novice

  • Posts: 19
  • Joined: May 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: FLORIDA
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Mario Almanza-reyes
  • Surgery Date: Jul 2012
  • Starting Weight: 375
  • Weight Lost: 122
  • Current Weight: 253
  • Goal Weight: 160
  • BMI: 43.4
Posted July 10, 2012 - 8:39 AM

#5
Gena...THANK YOU SO MUCH. I am so glad I was able to access this post.

I am going to Almanza next week and you gave a great depiction of your experience and it is helping me so much. Can't wait to hear all the updates in the coming months.


    thetruedream

    Guru in Training

  • Posts: 202
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
Posted July 13, 2012 - 8:13 PM

#6
Please keep us posted.. I will be there next month ..
Feel more better .. I'm traveling by myself too..


    ~*~ Melissa ~*~

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 69
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: MICHIGAN
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Mario Almanza-reyes
  • Surgery Date: Jul 2012
  • Starting Weight: 295
  • Weight Lost: 155
  • Current Weight: 140
  • Goal Weight: 150
  • BMI: 26.4
  • My Blogs
Posted July 15, 2012 - 4:45 PM

#7
Thank you SO much for your post!!

Question:: are the vans back at 7:00 and 11:00 AM or PM?? I hope they work with me because my flight out from California is at 10:00p :(


    mylifeinpink

    My Life In Pink!

  • Posts: 630
  • Joined: Mar 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: OREGON
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery Date: May 2012
  • Starting Weight: 254 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 115 lbs
  • Current Weight: 139 lbs
  • Goal Weight: 150 lbs
  • BMI: 26.3
Posted July 15, 2012 - 8:49 PM

#8

Thank you SO much for your post!!

Question:: are the vans back at 7:00 and 11:00 AM or PM?? I hope they work with me because my flight out from California is at 10:00p :(


AM


    nabird77

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: Mar 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Mario Almanza-reyes
  • Surgery Date: Jul 2012
  • Starting Weight: 282
  • Weight Lost: 28
  • Current Weight: 254
  • Goal Weight: 160
  • BMI: 39.8
  • My Blogs
Posted July 15, 2012 - 9:02 PM

#9

Thank you so much for posting this. I am having my surgery with Dr. Almanza on Friday, 13th. I am getting a little scared. People have been really judging me for doing this, and have tried to undermine my confidence in the surgery. I don't need frills, and I want is to come out of this safely and start my new life. Please wish me luck and I do you.


Good luck! You will be great... wishing you a quick recovery!


    nabird77

    Senior Member

  • Posts: 98
  • Joined: Mar 2012
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Mario Almanza-reyes
  • Surgery Date: Jul 2012
  • Starting Weight: 282
  • Weight Lost: 28
  • Current Weight: 254
  • Goal Weight: 160
  • BMI: 39.8
  • My Blogs
Posted July 15, 2012 - 9:02 PM

#10

AM


They leave at 7 and 11 in the morning. You might talk to them and see if they have anything going later. Wishing you lots of luck!!


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