I guess I never really posted how the whole thing happened. I know I'll want this information later and it might be helpful to others that are considering this procedure so I'm going to go over it now.
We met up at the San Diego Jet Blue terminal at 8am with Terry, Leslie, Darlene and Jason who were also getting the sleeve the same day as me. Our transport arrived on time in a VW van to take us to Tijuana. The trip over the border was uneventful. I think we stopped for about 2 seconds... didn't have to talk to anyone, nothing. Vehicle just got its pictures taken, that's it and then we were off.
We arrived at the Jerusalem Clinic about 9am and sat around upstairs for quite awhile. Blood was drawn, EKGs were done, met Dr Almanza and he discussed the procedure a little, consulted with Juan Betancourt (patient coordinator/admin) and Dr. Betancourt (his brother and VP of the place) were done and then we were taken down to the room to be put in a gown, IV put in and weighed.
Not too much longer later you're walked into the surgical suite. Within moments you talk to the anesthiesiologist and you're out like a light. You awake in the recovery room beside the surgical suite and are then walked to a waiting bed. From then on, its basically pass out, pain meds/saline by IV, walk a little to get rid of gas pains, pass out, ad nauseaum until the next morning.
By 9am they put some more meds in your IV and you're transferred to the recovery house/hotel (whichever you've chosen). They dropped us off at the hotel, made sure we were situated and then we didn't see anyone again until around 8pm that night when we were picked up again for transport back to the clinic for more pain meds and antibiotics and then transported back to the hotel.
They picked us up around 10 am and they took us to radiology to have our leak test. They give you this nasty blue water that you're supposed to drink down while they drive you. Once you are called in for your test, you're done with the nasty blue stuff and instead, you get even nastier clear stuff. You have to drink it while standing in front of the xray so they can take pictures while it goes down and make sure you're ok to go home. After the test, we were driven back to the clinic to have the xrays reviewed. We were there not even 10 minutes before we were released and headed back to the hotel again. Yay no leaks! That night we were picked up again around 10pm and brought to the clinic for 1 last pain med and they took the IV out as well as the drain. It doesn't hurt. It feels really weird, but it doesn't hurt to have it removed. They don't sew up the spot where the drain was so you're left with a 1" slit that has to heal without the stitches.
They picked us up at 11 am and off we headed to the USA border to go back into San Diego. The drive was very quick. They had warned us originally that it could be up to 3 hours waiting to get through but it was an hour total from the time we left the hotel until we were back in the states!
We flew home May 1 :)
Sleeve Gastrectomy is a surgical weight loss tool in which the stomach is reduced to about 25% of its original size, by surgical removal of a large portion of the stomach, following the major curve. The open edges are then attached together (often with surgical staples, glue and possibly cauterization) to form a sleeve or tube with a banana shape. The procedure permanently reduces the size of the stomach and is performed laparoscopically and is not reversible.
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