Kevin sent this email to us. He's down 80 pounds since June* and he also gives us a detail on his surgery trip and experience:
First off, my entire experience was EXCELLENT! The folks at BeLiteWeight are awesome and they are all great at coordinating everything from the financing, the travel plans, the trip across the border, and bridging the gap between the patient and the hospital.
I took Amtrak to San Diego...a very friendly professional bilingual Mexican gentleman met me at the station to whisk me away to the hospital in TJ. I was driven in comfort in a new minivan...the border patrol waved us across the border (they recognize the driver whom makes several crossings every week). Within 20 minutes, we were at the beautiful, modern Hospital Angeles...the driver went with me to the admission desk, translated for me and accompanied me up to my hospital room. The room was beautiful, with a patient bed and an extra day bed for a guest. Cable tv (with several San Diego stations) and a nice private bathroom with a large standup shower.
JoAnne with BeLiteWeight and some of her staff visited me the next morning...prior to my surgery...and answered any questions I had. Shortly after that, my surgeon Dr. Jose Rodriguez-Villareal and his medical partner met with me and reassured me that all would be fine. Both docs speak perfect English and they were both very professional and friendly.
I had the surgery on a Thursday afternoon, and was supposed to be up and walking a few hours later---that didn't happen. When I awoke from surgery I was in a good deal of pain, but they gave me some powerful meds and I comfortably slept until the following morning. That afternoon, I was slowly walking around the hospital and only feeling a little soreness. The surgeons came by to check on me again and made certain that I was doing well. The surgery went very well...zero problems or complications.
The next morning, Saturday, I was cleared to go home. Another professional driver picked me up at the hospital and took me back to the train station in San Diego. By Saturday afternoon, I was home and resting comfortably! I returned to work on Tuesday, just 6 days after my gastric sleeve! (I'm a tv weatherman, so my job is NOT physical. Some folks with physical or strenuous jobs may need 3 weeks to a month before returning to work)
I was also nervous about going to Mexico, after all, TJ can be a very dangerous place! The hospital, however, is in the upscale Rio Zono area...the best part of TJ. If you stay in that area around the hospital property...you will be safe.
Don't worry about not speaking Spanish, I don't either. The dayshift nurses speak broken English fairly well, and the doctors speak English very well. The nightshift staff speak less English, but you'll find it's still easy enough to communicate with them. I suggest you bring another person with you to help you walk around, get you ice chips, help you to the bathroom, etc.
Although there was no follow up needed with my surgeon after I returned home, the BeLiteWeight folks are always available to deal with any complications (don't think there will be any) and you can follow up with your own doc later. That's what I did.
If I had to do this again, would I? ABSOLUTELY! I'm down 80 pounds and 3 suit sizes since mid June and I'm loving life!
Good luck to you all...hope this helps...