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  • Name: Steven Cooper
  • Age: 57
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: June 5th, 2012
  • Testimonial date: February 2nd, 2015
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
First of all I should tell you that I used to be I top physical condition as an Apache Attack Helicopter pilot in the US Army Reseves, and I have a PhD in Geology, so as a scientist I will try to be as objective an honest as possible.

It has now been a year and a half since my surgery.

Prior to the surgery I had a lot of questions, fears, and anticipations. I was about 260 lbs (75 lbs over weight). I was diagnosed with hypertension, tachycardia, per-type II diabetes, sleep apnea. I snoored, was tired all of the time, drank more than I should, felt embarrassed about my weight. And generally just felt terrible. I knew I had to do something drastic to improve my health. I had already tried every concievible diet known, had undergone two separate liposuction events for my belly, buttocks and legs. In which both times the fat reappeared within a year. I was at my wits end.

I researched several options, and came across the "gastric sleeve" operation. It sounded like exactly what I needed.

I reserved a day for the operation and booked a flight to San Diego. I was met at the airport promptly, driven to the hospital in Tijuana Mexico. The hospital was small but very modern and clean. Spotless is a better word. The staff were all very friendly and spoke good English.

I was thoroughly explained every procedure that would take place during my surgery. There was plenty of time for questions and answers both individually and as a group.

I was put to sleep with anesthesia and woke up after the surgery was completed. I felt no pain during the surgery but did hurt after the surgery was over with.

In my own opinion I feel that the pain medication could have been a bit stronger. However, I might have a higher tolerance to pain medication than most. I was absolutely impressed with how clean they kept the rooms continually disinfected them throughout the day. Better than any hospital i have been in in the USA. Seriously! So I was not worried so much about infection.

After a day or two in at the hospital I was taken to a "recovery house". The house was new and modern. The space was a bit cramped with bunk beds in the rooms that you shared with two or three other patients. Again, I feel the pain medication needed to be much stronger. I am not sure why they don't just give you something stronger. After all we're in Mexico where they have a reputation of giving you anything you want at the Pharmacia.

The staff were all very friendly and attentive except for one person in particular. She was a bitch!

After the surgery I found the best thing to eat was frozen cool pops. Later I drank a lot (a lot!), of ensure protein shakes, gator aid and water. My diet was very limited for several months. I highly advice that you follow exactly the diet plan they recommend. I carried a bottle of water or gator aid with me everywhere for over a year.

One issue I had was I felt that the postoperative follow-up could have been much better. I felt like I was pretty much ignored after I left Mexico. I had some serious questions about throwing up continually that went unanswered. However, with time I eventually made it through it all. I suppose they knew this would happen.

One of the problems I encountered for many months (almost a year), was regurgitating some of my food. It kind of comes up foamy. This was especially a problem if I ate too fast or to much. Get used to eating about a third of what you may have been used to eating. It's something you just have to get used to. Eat slowly, chew your food a lot and have plenty if tums available. A good side affect is that you really don't experience hunger like you used to.

*My follow-up, after I left Mexico, by the doctors and/or staff could have been much better;
*Need to keep a bottle of water or gator aid with you all of the time;
*Must keep tums on hand at all meals;
*Cannot eat a big meal;
*Will throw up if you eat too fast or too much;
*Must chew your food exessively;and,
*Your stomach will hurt for several months after the surgery.

*Your weight comes off fast!
*My high blood pressure is gone. No more medication almost immediately;
*My rapid heart rate returned to normal almost immediately;
*No type II diabetes;
*My bad cholesterol level is completely gone and actually excellent! I eat oatmeal every morning;
*I feel more energy;
*I feel healthier;
*No more sleep apnea;
*No more snoring;
*I look 100% better, and,
*I'm not embarrassed by my weight in public or around my children.

Would I do it all over again? Absolutely! Without a doubt.

It was one of the best choices I have ever made. The doctors were professional and true artist with their craft. The price was right, the care was good, and the facilities were clean, sanitary, and overall excellent.

In addition, because my apitite is less and I can only eat small meals, I know that I will NEVER be overweight/obese again! I truly believe because of this decision I have added several years to my life, to be filled with the happiness of seeing my children grow up and being around for them.

I am writing this on my I-Phone. So I don't have access to my before and after photos right now. I will try to send them later.
    * This is an actual testimonial, however, your results may vary. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of Surgery.

    Response: Thank you for your testimonial, we greatly appreciate it and are sure will so many future patients who will read it. Just a note to the readers, patients no longer recover in the recovery house, all patients recover in a wonderful hotel after surgery.

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      * The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented on our website are only applicable to the individuals depicted, and may not be representative of the experience of others. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of Surgery.