Gastric Sleeve in Tijuana, Mexico

After I got married at 21 years old and started...

After I got married at 21 years old and started having kids, I started packing on the pounds. I was comfortable and lazy. Married 16 years, 3 children. I have eaten my way to 300lbs.

I was unable to play with my kids. Depression was getting worse and worse. I never left the house, unless I had to. My son was starting to pack on the pounds. Last was the last straw. I am setting the worst example!!! Things had to change.
I finally decided on the gastric sleeve after lots and lots of research. So I look into my husband's insurance. Nope, they don't cover weight-loss surgery. DAMN! Gastric sleeve around my area costs more than $20,000. Ouch!
So now I do research on surgery in Mexico. I never thought in a million years I would ever have surgery in a different country. But at this point, I had no choice. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH

Surgery in Mexico

I guess I was like most people, thinking Mexico was a third world country and no place for surgery. My family was horrified at the idea. I knew I had no choice, so I started e-mailing different surgeons after lots of research. After I e-mailed Dr. Illan, Omar, his coordinator, called me. We spoke for an hour, at least. He was wonderful. He answered every question I had. I knew Dr. Ilan was right for me.

My expierence

So after getting my passport card and airline ticket I was ready to go. First, I needed to do a pre-op diet. One full week of sugar free liquids, including sugar free jello and popsicles. I had one protein shake a day and lots of broth. It went well and I lost 10 lbs. That will work.

So I was never nervous about going to Mexico alone or having the surgery, only about flying. I hate flying, but I do what I have to do. So 6 hours later I arrive at the San Diego airport. I called Omar and let him know I arrived. One of the drivers, Arely, came to pick me up, very sweet young lady. We headed across the border with no issues. It was very busy at the border. I was in the Navy so traveling to different countries is not a problem for me. There are nice and not-so-nice places in all countries, including ours. Hello Chicago and Detroit, to name a few.
Arely, took me to the hospital where I met the famous Omar. He was just as wonderful in person and he was on the phone. From that point he got me registered into the hospital and then took me out for my last meal. A nice bowl of, you guessed it, broth! So sweet! Next, I got my hospital room. Florence Hospital is a very nice hospital. Older but very nice and clean. I think it was built in the 60's. Most all the nurses and doctors speak English and are all very attentive. Time to get my room situated and relax. I was getting a little nervous so I watched some t.v. They have several American channels and have free WiFi.

Day of Surgery

5:30 a.m. Wake up for I.V., yeah fun! More tests and pre-op stuff. I think my surgery was around 1or 2p.m. Dr. Illan came to talk to me and make me feel very safe. Love him for that. They came to my room and asked me to get on a rolling bed type thing. They rolled me to the O.R. I was starting to get more nervous. Prayers said! There were several doctors and nurses. They asked me to get on the operating table, so I wiggled my big butt over there. Next thing I knew I was waking up in my hospital room.
I forgot to mention earlier, that Dr. Illan was also going to remove my gallbladder. I have read a lot about people that have any kind of weight-loss surgery, later have gall stone problems. I did not want to have to another surgery, or have a gallbladder attacks. For an extra $500, yes please.
Within minutes a nurse and Omar were right by my side. Like clockwork after anesthesia, nausea. Lots of it too. Yuck! Of course there was nothing to throw up, but it was there. The nurses gave me something for it and it slowly went away. Omar checked on me often, helping in any way he could. I got up to use the restroom and game back to a big cup of ice. That would be my diet for the next 48 ours. Dr. Illan came to check on me several times that day. The nurses came in hourly to check my vitals and give me pain meds. I was able to shower that night.

Looks like I need to proof read this crap! Ya'll just overlook my mistakes, because I don't want to proof read


Recovery starts

Morning after surgery was nice and relaxed. Omar reminded me to walk, walk, and walk. Needed to get all the gas out. I was not hungry at all, so I had to remind myself to keeping sucking on ice chips. More T.V. and relaxing. More vitals and meds. The next day Dr. Illan took my drain out. Ouch! I only ad a drain because I also got my gallbladder out. Holy Cow!!! Getting that drain was heaven. I felt so much better. In fact, I felt like I never even had surgery. I felt great!
Omar took me to a different hospital to do the leak test. Dr. Illan was there. Have I mentioned how handsome these men are?? I had to drink this super gross stuff, while the x-ray machine showed a leak or not. NO LEAK! yay

Shopping and flying home

After the leak test, we went to see the nutritionist. After that we went to lunch, more broth, and lots of shopping. That's right, shopping. I felt so good. We shopped all day. I felt like I never had surgery. I kept sipping my water. I slept like a baby that night. Tijuana is so nice, I felt so safe and it is just like the states. Omar was with me the whole time. The hotel I stayed at was the Hotel Lucerna. It is a VERY nice hotel. Gorgeous hotel and pool. Dr. Illan came to visit me in the hotel. That was nice.
I flew home from San Diego to Dallas and then to Nashville. The flights went smooth and I did o.k. a little uncomfortable at times. I made sure I got up to walk around the plane. Made sure I kept sipping my water and Gatorade.
The next two weeks were slow in recovery. I had good days and some bad. Bad was just me sore in bed, but not too bad. It was very hard to get in the requires liquid. Eating and drinking became a full time job. I started walking slowly at about 3 or 4 weeks post-op. At 6 weeks, I started back at the gym. I lost so quickly, it was amazing and it felt great. I did great on my water and protein. Protein first always.

The first Year

The first year has been very smooth. I have had about 3 stalls lasting about 3-4 weeks each. Just had to change up the diets or exercise up to get out of them. I have had 2 protein shakes every single day. That plus eggs, nuts and chicken help me get my 90 grams of protein in a day. I starting loosing a little hair at 3 months post-op. It only lasted a couple of months and has since grown back.
I have lost 100lbs and counting. On March 7th, 2014, I will be going back to Tijuana to get my first rounds of plastic surgery. Breast lift and arm lift. Next spring, the tummy tuck.
All thanks to Dr. Illan and some hard work. I wish I did this earlier in my life. I would recommend Dr. Illan in a heartbeat.
Dr. Illan

Dr. Illan, (full name is Dr. Selim Jalil Illán Fraijo). is an angel!!! He saved my life on so many levels. Dr. Illan is caring and has treated me like family from the second I met him. He was very patient with all my questions. He put me at ease before surgery and was right there when I woke up from surgery. He even came to the hotel to check on me several times. He also has the best coordinator on the planet, Omar! If you are ever on, search for Omar, and you will read all about him.

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
5 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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