That said, please do know that things work differently in Mexico. Phones go unanswered during business hours, voice-mailboxes are full and not accepting new messages more often than we would consider good business practice here in The States. It can take a week to get a phone call returned. The way of doing business is so much more relaxed than we Americans are used to that in the lead-up to surgery I was concerned. I decided to go forward and trust that behind the loose business practices is a very talented surgeon. That turned out to be true. Dr. Quiroz is the plastic surgeon my LapBand surgeon in TJ, Ariel Ortiz, recommends and I trusted Dr. Ortiz. (For the record, Dr. Ortiz' business practices are also looser that we are used to in the U.S. so I think they have a more relaxed way of doing things in Mexico but with Dr. Quiroz the end result was ultra-professional!)
I got into a bit of trouble trusting that what I wrote in emails was understandable to the Patient Coordinator reading it. There were misunderstandings that in hindsight I attribute to a language barrier. I thought I had reserved 14 nights in the Recovery Spa and when I arrived they only had reserved 7 nights and only had availability for 9 nights. So my husband had to scramble to make new travel arrangements while I was recovering at Cosmed. It ended up costing me an extra $900 in airline fees for a new return ticket and my original ticket went unused. That was disturbing. So, communicate very, very clearly and question short responses to your long detailed emails. I wrote long emails laying-out my questions and concerns in advance and believed short responses like "Everything's all set." I should have not trusted that and I should have asked, "What is all set?" That might have unearthed misunderstandings while there was time to adjust plans.
For the record, Dr. Quiroz' english is perfect! Most of the staff speaks English quite well. I did have a few nurses who really had significant problems with English. I had one nurse who didn't know what a pillow is.....even with me pointing at a pillow 4 feet from my bed and saying, "Pillow please." So, download from the internet a list of terms for communicating with hospital nurses in Spanish. I believed the literature, did not do this and paid for it with a language barrier that caused significant stress. This was stress I didn't need in the first few days dealing with 8 feet of scars from arms to pelvic region and drains hanging from my body.
Would I do it over again knowing what I know now? Yes, in a heartbeat! I left 13 pounds of flabby, wobbly abdominal, butt, breast and arm fat in Mexico and Dr. Quiroz tailored what remained into a model's body! I may return for a facelift in the coming months now that my body looks 20 and my face is 52......nothing major or reconstructive.....just fewer wrinkles......something like my face 10 years ago.
One more thing: have an aftercare plan in place at home. The day after I returned home (day 10) my abdominal incision infected and I didn't have a plan. I was lucky when the plastic surgeon's office in my local medical group agreed to take me on as an after-care patient. Many people in the same situation have had trouble finding an American to do aftercare following a procedure "abroad." They say it's a "liability issue." If Palo Alto Medical Foundation hadn't agreed to take me on as an aftercare patient on the day I needed it I don't know how I'd have gotten the antibiotics and would care I needed once I got home. This is not Cosmed's fault as the infection appeared the day after I left them. It really is your responsibility before you return home to have aftercare in place in your home town. Don't go to Mexico for surgery unless you have someone willing to work on you when you get home. This is more important the more procedures you have at one time and I had a lot! The plastic surgeon at home was shocked at the amount of surgery I had in one pass. The first month of recovery was BRUTAL but I am so glad I did go abroad and have it all done at once.....A lengthly 8-9 hour surgery two American surgeons told me they would never do in one pass.
Overall, I am very, very happy. Just go into this with your eyes wide open that you will not be in America surrounded by people whose primary language is also yours at a very delicate, needy, fragile time in your life.
I'd be happy to answer your specific questions at email@example.com