My experience *

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  • Name: S.J.H.
  • Age: 42
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: January 7th, 2013
  • Testimonial date: February 6th, 2013
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
As I write this testimonial it is one month after I received the gastric sleeve surgery with Dr. Almanza. Since I'm only one month out I can't tell you that I've dropped a huge amount of weight yet; I'm just starting, though I am 18 pounds lighter since surgery. What I can tell you, however, is about the experience.

First off, the place is nothing like an American hospital. It is located in a clinic in a strip mall. There is not a lot of communication to the patient either as there would be in an American hospital. I only saw Dr Almanza once before surgery and I was sat in a group. He spoke for a couple of minutes and that was it. So if you expect a lot of communication and talking you may be disappointed. Having said that, the staff was all very friendly. The time I spent there I only saw one female nurse. The rest of the nurses were young men in their twenties. Some were better at English than others, but all seemed very nice.

If you are sensitive to the cold as I am and you get the gastric sleeve done in the winter months you may find yourself freezing in this clinic. Before my surgery as I sat in the thin gown I nearly froze to death. However, after my surgery when I found myself in bed there seemed to be more heating on and I was ok. This is just an individual thing. Other ladies were there and preferred things cooler, so it just depends on the individual. I just happen to hate cold.

I was taken down to surgery and sat in a room since they said I was next. I ended up sitting there for ages, freezing. My husband was upstairs waiting. They had told him I was going to surgery, and so much time passed he thought I must have been finished with the surgery when I hadn't even started yet. I'm not sure what the delay was. The doctor must have been very busy. Once I finally got into surgery, though, I was asked to lay down on a table. Basically, that's all I remember. I do not remember being put under, I just remember laying down on that table and then finding myself awake and being led to bed. It all seemed to happen in an instant.

After staying in the hospital a night you are then moved to the hotel. I must say, this hotel is extremely nice, classy, clean.... not really fitting in with the neighbourhood surrounding it.

The transportation to and from the hotel and across the border is in a van. Driving is a bit nutty in Tihuana, and the van bounces up and down, not so pleasant for someone who just had surgery. Another one of the ladies and I sat there holding our stomachs and looking at each other groaning after each bump.

There is good and bad with getting the sleeve done here. The good is that Dr Almanza is one of the most experienced gastric surgeons in the world, and you certainly can't beat the price. You save an absolute fortune getting it done here. It would not have been possible for me any other way.

The bad is the lack of communication, and there are no comforts and frills you'd find in an American hospital. But hey, in a USA hospital you're paying a fortune for those frills.

I did not handle the surgery as well as some of the others who got it done on the same day. I was uncomfortable and did have pain. Some of the others felt well enough to take walks to the store though.

Another thing is you may feel a bond form with the group you're with, the others who had surgery the same day as you. You're all transported around together and you'll be sharing a room with someone at the clinic. If you go to the hotel without a family member or guest they will pair you up with someone. I had my husband with me, and it was a good thing since I needed the support. Most of the others came alone and did just fine.

Life has been different after this gastric sleeve. I'm only a month out, but all has changed. I'm able to eat a "normal" diet now but only a few bites of food. I'm 18 pounds down so far.

By the way, my starting weight was just 200. This is low for in USA, but for me it was devastating and ruining my life. I've tried to lose weight for years now unsuccessfully. (Well, I did lose loads before but ended up putting it back on when I stopped exercising like crazy.) I would do this again.

If your weight is ruining your life as it has been mine (I'd become a recluse because of it) and you've tried everything and can't lose weight -- I would recommend this. It is not reversible though so make sure that you want to lose weight more than anything. You will never be able to eat a lot of food again, it will always be in small amounts. If you are ok with this, I say go for it.

    * 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.