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  • Name: Wendy Lewis, RN
  • Age: 47
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: September 20th, 2013
  • Testimonial date: November 20th, 2013
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
Hi, My name is Wendy Lewis and I am telling my story to help you take control of your life. I was just under a BMI of 40 and had no comorbidities to qualify for much, if any insurance here in the US. I didn't want to wait for diabetes, high blood pressure, or any of the other potential diseases that are all exacerbated by being fat. I figure with Obamacare invading in the US it will not be long before there is more fat descrimination to follow, so I decided to take control of my destiny. I am a registered nurse and after I did my homework, chose Dr. Almanza for my gastric sleeve surgery. I traveled by myself and after enduring delays at the airport(not the fault of Jerusalem Hospital), I arrived at the very clean clinic. I was instructed to apply shoe covers before entering the facility. Now this clinic was not a free standing hospital with every emenity but it was fine. I was interviewed preoperatively and had an EKG done. I met Dr. Almanza for about 2 minutes which is longer than some surgeons in the US. I was in and out of surgery quickly. I did have some discomfort which I would be expected but nothing that I could not live with if medicated appropriately. I received Toradol and Zofran every 8 hours. The room at the clinic was clean but primitive when compared to US hospitals. There was no oxygen or suction in the wall and one IV pole was shared by myself and another patient which, while not typical in the US, was just fine. There was just enough room for the nurse to walk between the beds. There was an intercom system on the wall. The nurses(all 20 something polite young men) used gloves appropriately when performing care to us and changed gloves in between patients. The morning after the surgery, I was taken by a van to a gorgeous hotel, Hotel Ticuan. If I were returning to Tijuana for vacation I would definitely stay here. The nurses were available to the patients at any time but the routine was to visit once a day. I really just laid around and rested during this time. On day two, I had an xray with contrast to check for leaking. The oral contrast was gross, but I did not throw it up. The third day my JP drain was removed before heading back to the airport. That was not pleasant, but again nothing that caused discomfort that I could not handle. I am really feeling good at 2 months post op and my body is returning to my normal. I had been taking ultram for pain control for chronic bursitis 3 times a day and after losing the first 20 pounds I had cut that down by 80%. Now after 36 pounds off I have not taken ultram for over a week. I am riding my horses again and buying a few new clothes(and high heels for the first time in years!). I feel good about myself and have pretty much adjusted how to eat. I know that my health will continue to improve and I will NOT be the patient that I see on a daily basis whose life has been physically and mentally ruined by being morbidly obese. I would have liked to take a friend, but I was fine by myself and could not see someone taking that much time away from family or work to go with me. In hindsight, I would probably have started on an H2 blocker(Protinix) preop if this would have been OK with Dr. Almanza. I did not find much use from the heating pad, sippy cups, or the gas drops, but maybe that was just my experience. For the naysayers that will try to discourage, you there is just as much risk in a US hospital and often the surgeons are not as experienced as Dr. Almanza. So in conclusion, I would encourage anyone considering a gastric sleeve to do it for yourself, your family and for your life. God Bless you and the team at Hospital Jerusalem. W. Lewis, RN
    * This is an actual testimonial, however, your results may vary. For more information, please read our Testimonial Disclaimer and Risks of 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.