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  • Name: Dean Schillereff
  • Age: 69
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: January 18th, 2013
  • Testimonial date: August 18th, 2013
  • Surgeon: Dr. Almanza
Weight Loss Clinic

Greetings from a January 2013 patient of Dr Almanza at the Hospital Jerusalem in Tijuana, Mexico. Here it is 8 months post-surgery and not only do I look great I feel even better. On January 17 Diane and I were sitting in front of the Jet Blue terminal entrance to the San Diego Airport waiting to be picked up and transported a half an hour south to Tijuana.

Earlier that day I had weighed myself at exactly 269 uncomfortable pounds. I felt fat, looked fat and was troubled by the many of the miseries associated with being fat …. Shortness of breath, no energy, bad knees, back pain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes in addition to the general depression associated with not liking yourself. As I put on my size 40 pants and size 3X shirt I reflected on what was going to happen the next day with great anticipation. I don’t ever remember being so excited about having an operation. I was convinced that having the gastric sleeve procedure was going to be a life changing event .….. and it has been every bit the life changing event I had hoped for.

Diane and I were soon joined by other future Weight Loss clinic patients and their friend and family members. Friendships developed immediately and many of us still continue to stay in touch months later. I was pleasantly surprised by the many different areas of the USA everyone had flown in from. In our small group we covered the east cost to the west coast, Delaware, Georgia, Utah, Arizona and the State of Washington. I would later find out that 3 other countries were represented in our patient group for the next day.

Having a bariatric procedure was not a spur of the moment decision. Months prior I had attempted to get my insurance carrier to consider the procedure …. but for some unknown reason they do not see the logic for the operation despite the probable general health improvements and the probable prescription savings that will save them money until I eventually exit stage left. With no likely help coming from our supposedly great US health system I turned to the internet to research potential medical tourism sites around the world. I looked at India, Belgium, Greece, Thailand and Mexico. All the Dr’s and clinics had great reputations and testimonials but the flight expense and pre and post lodging expenses were too expensive other than to go to Mexico and specifically the total cost to fly to San Diego and stay in San Diego and Tijuana Mexico.

I called the Hospital Jerusalem in November of 2012 and made arrangements for a date in January of 2013 (after a cruise my wife and I previously planned for in December).The clinic allowed me to secure the date with a 25% down payment and was allowed to pay the balance in 3 additional payments. I was assured that the date and payments could be extended if financial situations required it. The cost is so dramatically better than the US costs (under $5,000 compared with $15,000 to $22,000 in the US) I wondered why I had not considered this years ago.

Finally January was here, we had crossed the international border and arrivied at the hospital (actually more like an outpatient clinic) located in a strip mall in Tijuana. Our group was given a pre-op examination to verify that there were no problems that would preclude surgery the next day i.e blood test, ekg, e-ray etc. After finishing the exam it was on to the first night stay in the Hospital Jerusalem’s affiliated ‘Hotel Ticuan’ (a very nice upscale facility) with great restaurants and sports lounges that had pictures everywhere of gorgeous meals and drink concoctions …… items that soon won’t be part of the groups normal culinary agenda …. unless there were 3 or more of us sharing a meal. There were additional people checking in that were scheduled for surgery the next day ….. Obviously all of us had chosen a popular and very busy practice. It was now late into the evening so everyone was told to get some sleep because tomorrow the van will be leaving at 6:00 am to head to the clinic.

Tomorrow came quickly however the van was not so quick. The van did not get there until about 6:45 am …. Don’t forget you will be on Mexican time. After checking into the clinic we are all given a number. I am number 9 out a total of 15 people that will be having a gastric sleeve procedure that day. There were only 2 men out of the 15 patients scheduled that day …. So I pretty much knew who my roommate for my overnight hospital stay was going to be. Everyone is hooked up to an IV for additional hydration and sits reading or talking while waiting for their turn in the surgery room. Time goes by reasonably fast especially when you get to give congratulations and comfort to the post op patients that come out from surgery about every 45 minutes.

Finally I hear my number called. I walk down to surgery (with my IV) and hop up on the surgery table staring at a huge surgical light fixture and look back at the anesthesiologist who casually says ‘good night’…. 45 minutes later I’m heading for my hospital room minus 85% of my stomach. I personally did not have any major discomfort from the procedure. I was up and walking immediately which seemed to keep the gas buildup post-surgery at a minimum (take Gas-X strips with you they really help).

The next day I went back to the Hotel and around 4:00 pm I tried a bowl of the Hotel Ticuan’s famous chicken broth soup …. It was sooooo good … however I could only eat about half the bowl … I simply was full and had no desire to continue. Not wanting to overeat continues today not because you consciously try not to overeat …. When you are full you simply do not want another bite.

The surgery has been an unequivocal success … it works … and it does not take any concentration to make it work. I have lost 85 pounds in 8 months. I now weigh 180. My ultimate goal is 170 so I have already tried to increase the frequency of my meals (not the amount), drink lots of water and WORK OUT. When you are as old as I am I’ll be 70 next birthday the skin is not as elastic as when you are younger. I am thinking I have three choices1. Live with saggy skin, 2. work out and fill the skin with muscle or 3. try some additional surgery to tighten certain areas. Initially I decided to give weight training with a trainer the first shot …. It seems to be working at least I’m stronger …. But I may try some surgery in the future. I will send some pictures soon.

If you are concerned about your weight as a health condition and or an emotional condition don’t fight the hassle, misery and eventual failure of dieting. Think gastric bypass it will change your life guaranteed …. And I have calculated that I will break even on the cost in 3 years …. I have eliminated 4 medications already for a personal $90.00 a month savings, my wife and I have cut our in home food bill by approximately 50.00 a month and our 2 times a week happy hour /restaurant costs by about $80.00 a month. …. Savings about $200.00 to 220.00 a month or about $2,400.00 a year ….. in 3 years $7,000 + .. cost of the surgery under $5,000 ….. it’s a no-brainer … just do it.

Dean Schillereff
* 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.