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My Sleeve Journey

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Quote Originally Posted by dbarnes7 View Post
Here is the story of my journey to The Obesity Control Center in Tijuana Mexico with Dr. Ortiz for my Gastric Sleeve procedure.
Mexico Weight Loss Surgery Center for Excellence | Bariatric Surgery Tijuana
I arrived on Tuesday afternoon in the San Diego airport about 3:00pm. Soon after I arrived, the driver sent me a text me to let me know he was held up at the border and would be about 45 minutes late. It took about an hour but he did arrive to pick me up. He was very informative in telling me what to expect and what to do during our ride to the hotel. It was about a 45 minute ride to the hotel. When I arrived at the hotel, The Marriott, it was a Very fancy hotel. I Checked in and went to my room. The first thing I did was ordered chicken broth and water from room service. OCC guest are given 3 bowls of chicken broth and 2 bottles of water per day as well as popsicles. They did not have any popsicles the whole time I was there but I was told that I didn’t miss anything, they weren’t very good. I was told to be in the lobby at 6:40 the next morning to be picked up and taken to the clinic. You just go to the front desk and tell them you need a ride to OCC and they will send for a van.
I got to the clinic and registered. They have you fill out some paperwork and then ask you to wait. The lobby was nice and was clean. I was the second person on the schedule for the day. Dr. Ortiz does 3 to 4 surgery’s a day. I didn’t have to wait very long before they called me. They took me back to the pre-surgery room where they took blood for the blood work and started my IV. The nurse was very good and was as painless as an IV can be. Then back to the waiting room. I was then called back to talk to Dr. Miranda the nutritionist. Then back to the waiting room. They then called me to have my EKG . Shortly after that I was taken to my room. It was a small private room with nice furniture with a comfortable chair, a couch and a TV. They ask me to strip down and put on a gown and some paper underwear. (One size does NOT fit all). After I was &#8***;dressed” the nurse returned and started a drip in my IV and injected several syringes of medications into it. All painless. Then she administered a shot to my thigh which was also painless. Dr. Ortiz came in to see me. He was not what I had expected. He is young and not a trace of Spanish accent. He was like an old friend stopping by to visit me in the hospital. Very personable and down to earth. He ask if I had any questions or concerns and then just visited for a few minutes like we were old friends. After a few minutes the nurses came back and ask if I was ready. She walked me into the OR. I walked in and there were 4 men in the room in scrubs all speaking Spanish. Up until now everyone had been speaking English around me. They ask me to lie down on the table and one of them put a mask on me. The next thing I knew I woke up back in my room. I didn’t have any pain at all, I just felt bloated from the gas they injected. I slept off and on throughout the day and night. I did get up once and set up my CPAP so I could sleep more comfortably and a couple of other times just to walk around a bit to help get rid of the gas that was causing the bloated feeling. The nurse came in the next morning (Thursday) and gave me a small bottle of water and a couple of pills. You will learn VERY quickly to take small sips. The nurse checked my drain said that anytime I was ready I could get dressed and return to the hotel. I got dressed and was taken to the waiting room.
I was given my prescriptions, 1 bottle of an antibiotic, 1 box of pain pills, 2 boxes of anti-nausea tablets and 1 box of antacid. &#8***;Given” is a misnomer here, they charge you $125.00 for these medications that you have to pay for right then. Then I was transported back to the hotel. You have to check in again at the hotel front desk. They told me to come back to the clinic at 10:00 the next day.
I pretty much stayed in my room napping off and on and reading. Took a couple of walks around the halls but mostly stayed in my room. I thought I was hungry so I ordered 2 bowls of chicken broth. I could only eat about 5 or 6 spoonful’s and was full. A first in my life! Again, you learn very quickly to take small sips, If you try to eat the broth or drink like your used to, it hurts, it feels like a large gas bubble in the gut, very uncomfortable. When you go down to the lobby the next morning, remember to let them know at the front desk that you need a ride to OCC.
I was taken back to OCC and the drain was checked and bandage changed. Still feeling bloated but other than that I felt fine. Very short stay at the clinic and then taken back to the hotel. I was told to return at 8:00 the next morning to have the drain removed. I returned the next morning and waited briefly in the waiting room. They called me and I went back to the X-ray room where they did the barium check for leaks. I ask the technician to show me my &#8***;new” stomach on the screen, so I did the barium swallow a few more times trying to make out the blob on the screen. I only had to take small sips of the barium and it didn’t taste too bad so I didn’t mind doing it a few times. He showed me my &#8***;new” stomach but it just looked like a wadded up rag to me. Anyway, the tests were all good with no leakage. The X-ray tech then took me into the surgery prep room and removed the drain, which was also painless.
I was then driven to the airport and flew home.

I had the bloated feeling for a day or so after returning home but it passed. I still have trouble remembering to take small sips but my new stomach quickly reminds me.
I do not have any pain and never did. I did feel hungry though,for several days afterward, but then I am used to always feeling hungry which I was told is most likely mental hunger and not actual hunger pains.

All in all it went pretty much as everyone said it would. I had chatted with a lot of people that had been through the procedure before me and had a good idea what to expect. I had watched several videos on the actual procedure so I pretty well knew exactly what they were going to do inside me. I have 5 small incisions where they inserted the tools and they are all healing fine with no issues. They have internal stitches and glue on the surface. They told me just to keep them clean with soap and water and they would dissolve on their own.
All in All it was a nice experience and I am now on my way to a new me. Eating small portions, something I was never able to do on my own after many years of trying.

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  1. lookitsabird's Avatar
    Great job! I have had a great expereince in the USA, too.
  2. toirelan's Avatar
    I'm glad everything went well for you.
  3. Bilby's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing all the detail. I wish you every success in the future.
    Keep the posts coming.