Lapband Removal March 2014 *

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  • Name: Stephanie C
  • Age: 36
  • Surgery: Lap Band Removal
  • Surgery date: March 25th, 2014
  • Testimonial date: February 26th, 2016
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
I originally wrote my testimonial in July of 2014, so at this time (Feb 2016), I'd just like to add that my opinions have not changed. Looking back, this was such a positive experience (as much as it could be, anyway). The hospital they were using was nothing like the reviews I remember about a small clinic before I went down there. I felt safe there and the staff was very professional. If it's still Dr Almanza and the same staff, I can give a hearty endorsement for these people.

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I was a little nervous about going to Mexico for surgery. You hear the horror stories here and there. All the reviews and info I could find about Dr Almanza's practice were positive. So I went for it. (The price also didn't hurt.)

I had a Lapband removed that I originally had placed in 2007. I was diagnosed with a major slip in December 2013. (Nobody EVER said anything about erosion at my dr's office in the states.) I thought it would be a quick in/out procedure because I wasn't having a revision. I had plans to fly out the next day, according to the original information I was given.

When I woke from surgery on Tuesday, I had a tube in my nose. But I still thought I was going to get to leave. Then Dr Almanza came and told me that the damage to my stomach had been extensive. He had had to cut into my stomach to get the Lapband out of there. My stomach had multiple holes. He patched it all up and I would need to stay a few days in hospital before I could go home.

The news was heartbreaking. I didn't want to stay there. I was tired, hurting, I had come alone, I just wanted to go home. But it's very clear that Almanza has the best interest of his patients at heart. I never ended up paying more to them for the extra trouble and extra hospital nights (could you say the same of U.S. hospitals?). I ended up there for three nights more than I was expecting. I changed my flight.

When I finally got out to go to Hotel Ticuan, I still had three days before my flight was due to leave. (I was originally quoted Sunday to leave the hospital and the earliest flight I could get after that was Monday...I ended up actually getting out of hospital on Friday.) I wanted a private room because I'm a bit of a hermit. But they told me at the front desk that if I was willing to share a room, I would've had all three remaining nights covered by the doctor.

I have nothing but positive things to say about this doctor, the hospital, and his staff. I'm super thankful for the nursing staff - Cecilia, Andres (la enferma feliz), and Osiri (I probably spelled those last two names sooo wrong - I'm sorry!). I know there are others who were great - unfortunately, I was so out of it, I didn't get everybody's names. But they were so helpful, so compassionate, and understanding. I didn't feel totally alone because they were so nice. Granted, I had to speed-learn some Spanish (thank god for Google translate). But they have some good translators and the others are very patient trying to understand you.

I also want to thank all of the office staff - too many to name whom I spoke with before traveling. But also Melissa, who was great in helping me find my way around once I got here (easily available by text - sorry! Hope I didn't open a floodgate there). I can't say I've ever had ANY doctor's staff so responsive and easy to reach in the states.

The drivers and other help staff were all great. If you're getting ready to come down here, PLEASE bring some cash to tip the drivers. They work so hard and they're so helpful. They jump to help with bags and they're very accommodating. Please keep cultural differences in mind and how people make their money. They aren't helpful just because they think you'll tip them - they just jump to help. You're getting a huge break in cost by coming to Mexico - throw some dollars their way. I wish I had understood that better before getting down here. I wound up feeling a little cheap when I didn't have cash at hand and they were working so hard.

Since I had a few days to hang around his staff, I heard more than I think most patients get to hear about Dr Almanza as a boss. It speaks volumes when your staff loves you. He's down to earth, takes care of his staff, takes extra good care of his patients - it's obvious he cares about people.

I would heartily recommend Dr Almanza in a heartbeat. The experience (aside from the complications that were nobody's fault) have been as positive as something like this could be. I can't say thank you enough to Dr Almanza and his staff - thank you, thank you, thank you! I wish I could do more to show you my gratitude. I hope your practice continues to grow and flourish exponentially - you all deserve the best that life can provide. You sure made life so much easier for this scared American who wasn't sure what she was getting into. Thank you!!

PS - When I had my stitches removed by my local doctor, she commented on what a good job my surgeon had done.
    * 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.