SO much easier than I thought it would be *

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  • Name: Jennifer Davis
  • Age: 51
  • Surgery: Gastric Sleeve
  • Surgery date: May 4th, 2017
  • Testimonial date: May 19th, 2017
  • Surgeon: Dr. Galileo Villarreal
It has only been a little over two weeks since my procedure. I averaged about a pound and a half of weight loss per day for 4 or 5 days and then it slowed down to maybe a pound to a little less than a pound per day since. It is a bid difficult to get a good reading since I drink tons of water now. However, In 15 days I have lost 12 pounds. Though I must say, a large percentage of this was fluid from my IV. I must have peed at least every hour and a half for three days after I got home. This was probably the most difficult part of the whole thing! Crazy!

I was very stressed about what recovery would be like. I honestly almost backed out from the procedure more times than I can count. I have always had a great deal of difficulty with recovery after abdominal surgeries. I am so glad I stuck with it. My surgery was early in the morning and by the evening I was walking around the hospital floor, dragging my IV pole with me. I still cannot wrap my brain around the fact that 80% of my stomach was removed and I felt pretty dang good! The five small incisions have healed nicely. The bruising is almost gone. I do have a tiny amount of discomfort when getting out of bed but on a scale of 1-10, it is only a 2. I only took pain medicine for three days (after my discharge) and have never taken anything since. I probably could have skipped the pain meds all together, but I was too chicken to try it.

I really thought I would not have much hunger because of the reduction of hormones that trigger hunger. This was true for the first few days post surgery. Then it really hit me. I was hungry a lot and I wanted to CHEW something! The liquid diet was the most difficult between day 7 through 10, post surgery. Now I am transitioning to some solids such as soft fish and canned green beans. I cannot tell you how good it felt to use my teeth!!
I found that the baby food that comes in pouches were actually pretty good. I could only eat a half a pouch at a time. I refrigerate4d the uneaten portion and slurped it when I got a little hungry. The pouches average between 60-70 calories each. I only ate the ones with fruit, grains, and veggies. No meat. Gross!

As far as eating goes, I find not drinking 30 minutes before and after a meal to be most difficult. I do use that as a baseline but if I am really thirsty, I do take a small sip of water ever now and then. I could not stop thinking about food for about a week. This has gotten much better as time has passed. Now that I am feeling almost 100%, I find that I want to gulp my food. I have to make an honest effort to chew my food to death and eat slowly. It is more mental than anything. I have not really craved anything.But like I said before, I just wanted to chew something. I take that back, I do crave to eat a salad. You must wait 5 weeks to eat any raw fruits or veggies. I love salads and find I miss them more than any of the other food I am not eating now.

One thing I have noticed is that I have so much more energy to do things. Is it just in my head? At this point I don't care "why" I am just glad I do. I am chomping at the bit to get to the gym. Believe me when I say, I never thought I would hear those words coming out of my mouth...ever.

I want to go back to the fact that I went to Mexico for my procedure. I was reluctant to tell many people because I had had several people question my mental health! I researched and researched the medical tourism aspect for quite some time. No matter what I said about my research, I was still questioned. So I clammed up and I am glad that I did. Now I can be a proponent for medical tourism. There is no invasive procedure preformed, anywhere, that can be guaranteed a perfect outcome 100% of the time. If you go to a place with a proven track record, your odds are just as good as any place state side. My hospital was very, very nice. I had all sorts of third world country ideas swimming around in my head. The reality was very much the opposite. I found my hospital, in Laredo, to be extremely clean and up to date. I enjoyed all the marble walls and floors. My room was private as was my bathroom. My care was exceptional. There is no way I would have experienced this level care and treatment in the US (unless I was very wealthy and in a private hospital). My doctor came at least three times a day to check on my, his assistant came at least twice and of course the nursing staff was also checking in on schedule. You always hear that hospitals are no place to get rest. I also found this to be not the case. It was very quiet and peaceful. I got plenty of sleep. I especially like that there was a small chapel on my floor. I am not sure if there was one on every floor though. There were a total of 10 or 12 private rooms on my floor. It was not a beehive of loud noises and nurses rushing about. I loved that.

I stayed in a very nice business class hotel which was very modern. The front desk was staffed with at least one person that spoke English very well. My room was clean and modern. There was a mini refrigerator too. I think it is important to mention that there were no clocks in either of the rooms I stayed in. I found this odd.

As far as personal safety goes, I never felt I was in any sort of danger, whether I was in the hospital or the hotel.

My driver, Karla, was fantastic. She spoke a fair amount of English. We had lots of time before my flight home and she took me to the market so I could buy a few things for my children and husband, at home. When we crossed back into the US we also went to the grocery store so I could buy bandages and a little bit of baby food. I never felt rushed and really enjoyed her company. If you get great service, like I did, I was very happy to give her a large tip.

The doctor and his assistant,Karen, spoke English very well as did the dietitian, radiology and my driver etc. However, the nurses did not speak fluently and it may have proved to be challenging if I had not grown up in San Antonio. If I were you, I would seriously consider brushing up on your Spanish and using a translate app on your phone to help you. Also, bring your laptop and bring puzzle books, reading material etc. You will go nuts with boredom. There were only two channels on the tv, in the hospital and the hotel, that were in English. To make things even more difficult, I am hearing impaired. I require subtitles when I watch tv. I about went crazy because the dialog was in English the subtitles were in Spanish. There was no way to remove them let alone switch to English subtitles. So no tv for me. Thank goodness I brought my computer and a couple of books.

As time passes, I will continue to update my progress. Right now I can only offer my opinions as to the overall experience of the procedure and my stay. I am very, very please to say that I had the best possible outcome I could have hoped for. I would, with out any hesitation, recommend Laredo and Dr. Villarreal for your procedure.
    * 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.