Gastric Sleeve - Best Decision Ever!!! *Tijuana, MX*

First let me say I hate taking pictures, even with...

First let me say I hate taking pictures, even with the weight loss. So this review will not have many pics. *Sorry*

I am currently looking into getting a BBL *hopefully* within the next few months but I am having a hard time finding a surgeon that does not want me to wait a year until I lose all I plan on losing and reach my ideal weight. But my logic is, if I lose all of my weight, I will not have anything left for the BBL, and there is no gaining weight after the sleeve…atleast not for me. Buts that's a different topic for a different review, at a different time….

Anyway, I had my sleeve done in Tijuana, Mexico by Dr. Fernando Garcia. I opted to get the single incision sleeve instead of the standard procedure becauseI did not ant the 5-7 incisions that came along with the standard. So I have one incision in my bellybutton and one incision off to the side of my stomach where the drain was.

Anyway, I am going to copy my initial reviews and post from the bariatric forums I used to post on so if this review seems kind of choppy, this is why.

xoxo,
N. Diamond

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I lied...I will post photos...

But I don't have too many body shots. Stay tuned...

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March 23, 2014 - Introduction post

Hola!
Just a quick introduction. Like many of you, Ive struggled with my weight; yoyo dieting, diet pills (off the shelf and prescription) numerous weight loss clinics, etc. Now that I am a little older, I find it even harder to lose weight, and stay healthy (my knees hurt, I'm tired all of the time). Im tired of losing 40, gaining 60. I honestly believe I have totally screwed up my metabolism from all of the torture i have put my body through.
I contacted the my local bariatric physican, attended the seminars, did all of the insurance requirements, and ended up paying 100s of dollar in copays and uncovered medical expenses just for the insurance company to deny me.
Anyway, i received a quote yesterday to get a VSG locally for $21,000. Self pay option. I can't swing that.
Mexico it is.

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March 23, 2014 - Folks who got Single Incision VSG in Mexico…where are you?! (crickets…)

I am really wanting to get the single incision VSG in Mexico and I have only read so far of people getting this type surgery done by 2 docs in Mexico: Dr. Carlos Diaz and Dr. Fernando Garcia. But no where on Dr.Garcia's website does it mention that he performs single incision. And I that is little info about either one of those drs. Whats the deal?!

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March 23, 2014 - H-Pylori and surgery in Mexico?

Back in October when i was testing for my medical clearance for my insurance company, my lab work came back positive for the H-Pylori bacteria. My surgeon called and said that I could not have surgery until it was treated and until I produced a negative blood test. Well the prescription never got filled because my insurance co denied the surgery before i filled it.
SO…my question is, did anyone test positive for H-Pylori and have the surgery in Mexico? Did the dr in Mexico even ask about it?
Thx!

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Tijuana here I come!!!!

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Thanks for sharing your review. So you had the spider sleeve?
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Tijuana Marriott Hotel

I stayed at the Tijuana Marriott hotel and it was very nice!! It was clean, the service was great and I had no problems at all. Bariatric patients were able to order free chicken broth, popsicles and jello. (The popsicles were not that tasty at all but some people like them.)

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Last pre-op meal

A big & hearty bowl of chicken broth...

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The above pics of the city and the hotel were on the day before my surgery...

April 7, 2014

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I couldnt sleep so I spent alot of time looking out of the window and talking to God..

The view from my room was amazing!!!

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April 8, 2014 (Surgery Day) - Florence Oasis Hospital

The hospital aesthetically looked a little outdated...maybe alot outdated but it was clean! I made sure to look for that! I would have had a serious fit if it was not clean!!

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Here is my experience...(post I made on a blog a few months ago)

ARRIVAL - Monday April 7, 2014 - Arrived at San Diego airport at around 10:30,10:40ish am. My driver Samuel Jr. was already there waiting on me. Let me tell u, Sam Jr. is sooo cool!! I loved him. I was the only one that he needed to pick up at that time, so it was just him and I on the trip. He told me what apps to download for free telephone calls, he took me on a tour of Tijuana and went over some of its history, etc. I asked him to correctly pronounce Tijuana for me and he said it is pronounced Tee-wanna not Tia-wanna. He took my phone and took some pictures of the city for me; we had a blast. I was all smiles and giggles, until he told me we were going straight to the hospital for pre-op testing. I told him woah, I wasn't mentally prepared to hear that and he laughed and said I would be ok. So we pulled up to Florence Oasis which I recognized from pictures I seen. It is not a grand, big bldg like the hospitals in the US but it was clean and nice and had that medical feel to it like the US. He walked me and my luggage the lobby and said Eduardo (who is the R4AC coordinator) would take me to the hotel when I was done. So they drew blood first. Now I am horribly afraid of needles and I was scared they were going to have keep sticking me to find a vein but it only took one stick. It was sort of to the side of my arm but it worked. Second was the urine sample but I had just went to the bathroom at the hospital and was dry as a bone. So the nurse gave me a bottled water and I starting drinking. Next was the chest xray which took all of 30 seconds. Next was the EKG which took all of 4 minutes. (Weird old looking machine!) After that I went and sat in a small office where Eduardo (the R4AC coordinator) was at. He gave me some papers to read and explained what time to be in the lobby the next day while I finished my water. Then I provided the urine sample. After that, he picked me up from the front of the hospital in personal vehicle and took me to the Marriott. The Marriott is very nice and clean and my room was pretty big. The check in was quick and easy and I did have to provide a cc for incidentals but R4AC had already mentioned that to me weeks ago. I immediately ordered the chicken broth and popsicle which were free for surgery patients. The broth was good but the popsicle...not so much. I ended up putting it in the sink so it would melt. A few hours later, I got a call from Dr. Velazqo at Dr.Garcias office telling me that my hemoglobin was very low (8.6) and that the doctor said I would need a blood transfusion. (Surprise of the day #2) Sure was not sure of the cost because she didn't know how much I needed but she said as soon as found out she would le me know. I also got a visit to my room from Irene who is the other R4AC coordinator. She is very nice. She brought alot paperwork and we went through them all and she explained and answered all of my questions. She left the papers that I wanted to read over again and said I could just bring them with me the next day. I told her about the blood transfusion and she made some calls to try and find out the cost, which turned out to be between $200-$500 depending upon the qty. That was day 1.

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My experience cont'd...

I got down to the lobby at 6:40 since we were supposed to be picked up at 6:45. I met 2 other ladies there who were also getting sleeved that day. I checked out of the hotel and we were shuttled to Florence Oasis. When we got there, we waited in the lobby and I was immediately called to the back. I said my "see you laters" and went with the same male nurse who escorted me around for preop the previous day. He took me to my hospital room and said someone would be with me shortly. I was brought a gown and a pair of thigh high compression stockings and was told to change into them. Shortly after, Eduardo came by to see how was I doing and to give me a pair of Florence Oasis slippers and the remote to the tv. Later Dr.Velazgo came in to talk to me to discuss the blood transfusion and why it was needed. Then the anaesthesiologist came to talk with me and I told him to make sure I was all the way under so I didn't wake up during surgery. He was a funny guy. Then I met another doctor, i forgot her name. She was very nice and said she had also been sleeved too. She was very peaceful and told me how beautiful I was. It was like a conversation with your grandma. She was very comforting. Soon after that they started my IV. The only did the IV was once which I was happy about. I was scared they were gonna screw it up. All of the nurses were very friendly and spoke very good English. I was originally scheduled to go first but ended up going last. A guy from the Red Cross came in to draw blood to confirm my blood type for the transfusion. The blood for the transfusion didn't arrive until maybe 2-ish. (Cost was $200) After that they had to monitor me to make sure I did not have any kind of reaction from the blood. Dr. Garcia came in and talked to me about the procedure and to see if I had any questions. He said my surgery was going to take 2.5hrs since I was doing the single incision. He did warn me that if for any reason he seen that he may need to do the regular 5 incision, he would. It was late afternoon before the came to get me. As I was being wheeled down the hall o the surgical suite, one of the other ladies was out in the hallway walking with her IV stand and husband. She had already been sleeved and everything. She was like you'll be fine, look at me! I smiled at her and felt better. Once I was in the operating room, the anesthesiologist was comforting me and making jokes with me. He was so funny! He said let’s get some music going in here and he played "Everybody Dance Now" over the speakers. He was dancing and they were all laughing. It calmed me down alot. Then I remember him saying, ok count to 10 and that was it. I didn't even get to 1. Next I heard a female voice calling my name and trying to wake me up. I was in my room and they were trying to move me to my bed. I remember being panicky and feeling a horrible pain in my shoulder. I was having a hard time breathing (I think) but I felt better when I was fully awake and calmed down. The nurses were checking on me constantly to make sure I was ok. I was fine but that gas was a beast. I threw up some blood but I expected that. It was dark blood and not fresh red. Then I started dry heaving. I pushed the button for the nurse and she came and rubbed my back and tried to calm me down. She emptied the little container of the mess and cleaned it for me. Whenever they administered medication into the IV, they always told me what it was for. Later that night, they told me to try and walk if I could to help with the gas. I walked around my room the entire time I was there. I would set my stopwatch on my phone and walk for 20 minutes and pray. I learned how to not throw up. Anytime I would start to feel nauseous and feel like i had to vomit, I would make myself do little burps and the feeling would go away immediately. The only time I have thrown up was the immediately after surgery and that's it. The nurses came and checked on me every few hours. Every day they would give me an anti-coagulant shot in my side. It wasn't too bad. On my last day, Dr.Velazgo came in to remove the drain. She looked at me and told me to take a deep breath and I was like ok wait im not ready. By the time I took the deep breathe she had already threw the drain in the garbage. I didn't feel a thing. Dr. Garcia came in to talk to me and make sure I was ok. He was very nice. I had to get more blood drawn to do a final lab test to make sure my levels were ok. All in all my hospital stay was a positive one. I went in on Tuesday and checked out on Thursday. They assured me that I would never be alone and I wasn't. They were there if I needed something and were always at my disposal. When Eduardo came to get me he brought me a Ready 4 A Change goodie bag that had my medicines (pain, gas, antacid, antibiotic), a stomach shaped pillow, all of lab results, my chest x-ray, a video of my leak test, a R4AC folder of all pre & post op paperwork, etc., 2 small bottles of water, a bottle of coconut water (yummy), my breathing apparatus thing with balls, packs of gauze, a bunch of band-aids, roll of tape, antiseptic spray for my incisions and R4AC chapstick. (I love goody bags!!) The day I was released from the hospital I felt %100! So much to where when Irene came to visit me, I asked her did Dr. Garcia cut enough of the stomach. Like, I was seriously concerned because I was feeling fine. She told me to try and u back on the pain meds that were given to me. She said that pain meds can affect the liver, yadda, yadda,yadda and if I could, to try not to take too much. I was like I’m good!! And I was...until the pain meds in my system from the hospital wore off. Good lawd, I was bent over and could hardly walk, eat, sleep, anything. I should've just taken the pain pill!

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SINGLE INCISION

The only scar that is visible is the drain incision. I have a deep belly button and you can barely see the incision where the port was inserted. At week 2 I had a weird red bump inside my belly button. I did not hurt but it freaked me out. I emailed the doctor and they said it might be fluid bulld up and that if it started hurting to let them know. It ended up going away on its own.

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First meal...

My first meal (if u want to call it that) were small cups of gatorade, apple juice and water. It took my 2 days to finish 2 ounces of apple juice.

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Bad tape reaction & rashes

I got a rash and slight burns from the tape adhesive. I still have little scars to date but they are fading. In the picture, if you can see it, there is a shape of a square which is where the tape was around my drain incisison.

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Ok, so everything above....

is from month one of my gastric sleeve experience. I just wanted to share what I had documented so far and then I will start posting about what has been going on now. I will discuss my experience with eating, clothes, losing weight, etc. So stay tuned!!

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Oh and will post some pre-op and current pics soon!

I have 2 pics that I took the day before surgery and I will take a picture today to show weight loss.

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Yep. I didn't want the 5,6 incisions that comes with the regular sleeve.

Goodie bag from Ready 4 A Change

Ready 4 A Change goodie:
medicines (pain, gas, antacid, antibiotic)
stomach shaped pillow
all of my lab results
my chest x-ray
video of my leak test
R4AC folder with all of my pre & post op paperwork
2 small bottles of water
bottle of coconut water
my breathing apparatus thing with the balls
packs of gauze
bunch of band-aids
roll of tape
antiseptic spray for my incisions
and R4AC chapstick.

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Bruises from a thousand needles and swollen ankles

At every injection site, I developed a bruise. I was given an injection of an anticoagulant every day to prevent blood clots. I had to have blood drawn multiple times because of the low hemoglobin. My feet and ankles swole up like crazy.

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Before and After Pic

These are the only 2 pics I took directly before my surgery. *sorry*

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Hair Loss

*sigh* Well, I knew it was gonna happen. And just lie many people, once I hit that 3 month mark, the hair started shedding. There are longs strands of hair EVERYWHERE!! In the bd, in the living room, on the dog, and the bathroom is the worst. I have been getting my hair done twice a week because when I do my hair, I am very rough with it. Im constantly washing it, pulling it, brushing it etc. But when I get it done by my stylist, I just wrap it and go. Very little manipulation. My hair line is the worst, Their is an obvious bald patch. I will be glad when this stage is over.
Oh and I take Natrol Biotin 5000mg everyday.

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I'm going to pay the $18,000 to have my sleep done 30 miles from home in the US but I'm glad you had a great experience going to Mexico for this procedure. I'm going to ask the Drs. about the single incision when I go to my Free Seminar on Aug. 9th. This gives me some good information.
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If you look at my last picture in the red, I have a silicon scar sheet, well square, on my drain incision. Other than that, that is the only scar visible. I will say though, that there is a different discomfort and healing process with the umbilical incision than the standard sleeve incisions.
Wow, you look great. I'm dreading losing my hair.
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**Hear ye, Hear ye!!! I just want to put this out there....**

This review is a review I did a few months ago right after I had my surgery. I posted this review in the Mexico/Self Pay option of that particular website so if this review seems more directed to having bariatric surgery in Mexico it is because when I initially wrote it, its purpose was to discuss my experience having surgery in Mexico. I just wanted to throw that out there.

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So I'm just wondering... How much weight have you lost as of now... Your journey was very interesting and I have some girlfriends interested in doing the sleeve... And also... What part of the process causes hair loss
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I am at 170 now. Since I'm getting a bbl, I've been slack with what I eat. I haven't gained weight but j have slowed my weight loss down tremendously. I was 249 on April 1. I'love be exactly 5 months on April 8. As far as hair loss, they say it's from lack of protein but I have 2 protein shakes a day plus i eat baked fish or chicken of seafood like it's going out of style. And I take biotin every day. I can't be nutrients ts, cause I'm on a multivitamin, vit C, biotin, iron (x2 cuz bbl) calcium & vit D. And B12. So I'm not sure what it is. My hair loss is ridiculous. I may post some pics.
Not "I love". Supposed to read I'll be 5 months post op on April 8.

bald spot

I have more than one. I'll be glad when my hair grows back.

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Thanks for sharing! I am going to Mexico for my sleeve on Oct 27th, 2014!!! I am beyond excited, I was in the same boat as you with the insurance stuff so I felt like it wasn't an option until I started researching Mexico. I chose Dr. Illan as my surgeon and it's been much anticipated and smooth sailing since I contacted the hospital!
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Dr. Fernando Garcia

I got the the single incision sleeve done by Dr.Garcia on April 8, 2014. The only scar that is visible is the drain incision. I have a deep belly button and you can barely see the incision where the port was inserted. Dr.Garcia and his staff plus Ready 4 A Change were completely awesome!!! All of the nurses were very polite and friendly and all spoke good English. They were at my disposal at all times.Everyone made sure I was comfortable and at ease. The coordinators came to the hotel everyday before and after the surgery. I traveled alone and I told them that I was concerned that I was by myself and they told me they would be right there for me and they were. My experience was top notch. I definitely recommend them to anyone!!! Gracias Dr.Garcia!!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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