I woke up feeling pretty good. I have 4 small incisions. The largest of them is about 6 inches above my belly button and is about 1 1/2 inches wide. That is the whole that they pulled the excised stomach through. Only 3 of the incisions were closed, the 4th had a drain in it that didn’t come out until Tuesday evening after our new sleeves were tested for leaks. K on the other hand came out with a migraine and dry heaves. She was miserable until we got back to Texas.
Monday night we didn’t get a lot of sleep. K was sick as a dog, I was worried about getting a blood clot, so I was up and walk as much as I could. Through our IVs we were getting antibiotics, pain meds, anti-nausea meds & antacids. The IV stayed in until Wednesday mid morning, in those 48 hours I went through at least 10 bags of fluids. The night nurse Sonja was AMAZING. She encouraged us to get up and walk, brought us ice chips, and when K was feeling really bad, she called Dr. M at 2 am! I would have brought her home with us 😀
One of the downsides, we never saw Dr. Maytorena or Dr. David again. So we didn’t get to ask any questions about surgery or how it went etc. There were things we wanted to know but didn’t get to ask. Dr. Montano did our very brief follow up on Tuesday and didn’t stick around long enough to ask any questions.
On Tuesday, about 11 am we got dressed and moved from the Clinic over to TLVSG’s Recovery House. I would have called it a Condo I think. It has 4 private bedrooms each with a hospital bed, leather(ette) recliner, flat panel TV w/Dish and individual A/Cs(VERY important!) and a shared bathroom. The attendant Marta was very nice but spoke very little English. We pretty much went to our rooms and stayed there until we had to use the bathroom. Downside was there was a step down from the bedrooms to get to the bathroom and lugging an IV pole made that unwieldy…but not horrible.
SIDEBAR: Nurses. I never asked, and I’m not even sure I want to know if the “nurses” are actual trained nurses like an RN or even an LVN would be here in the US. I think that Elizabeth(and the surgical nurses I didn’t meet) was the only one that was on the same level as say an RN here in the US. I think all the others just had training to do their specific job duties, mainly change the IV bags and give us meds via IV. That actually didn’t bother me too much once I thought it through.
Dr. Montano popped in for a few minutes Tuesday evening and left us Rxs for the same things we had been getting in our IVs, and told us we could buy them from the Clinic or we could go to any of the pharmacies in Tijuana and have them filled, but that they wouldn’t be go in the US. He also gave us a Rx for a blood thinner that could only be purchased from a pharmacy.
SIDEBAR: The Recovery house has 24/7 staff. There is a young female doctor that comes in at night, and is the one responsible for giving the leak tests and removing the surgical drains before we went home. We had two attendants Marta & Carlos at the house, both very nice. Neither one had good English skills but we got by ok.
Wednesday morning our IVs came out and we got ready to go home. I took my first shower in 3 days and it felt GREAT! Annette, the transporter, was suppose to show up at 3pm to help us get our meds and take us to the airport for a 6:30 flight back to Dallas. She didn’t show up until 4:05! I was starting to stress out. K was still feeling horrible, they decided that it was the pain med that was making things worse. I was dreading having to get her through the airport and onto the plane. BUT I had asked to leave early so that we wouldn’t have to rush. We RUSHED. Annette showed up, we decided we only needed to buy Cipro(antibiotic) and bit of anti-nausea meds. I had only brought about $60 in cash with me and to get everything would have been about $50 each! Got into the car, stopped at the clinic so that we could pick up the rest of the Cipro we needed(needed 4 boxes and only had 1 at the house) and then raced to the Border. We had a pass to use the Medical Express Lane. We sat in line for 45 minutes. By the time we got through it was 5:15 and our flight was suppose to start boarding at 6 pm!
Annette dropped us at the airport at 5:35 and we rushed to check-in. But we couldn’t check in at the kiosk, something was wrong with our confirmation number, so we had to go and get in the queue with everyone who needed to check bags. Finally at 5:50 we got to a customer service agent and he got us all figured out and on our way in a matter of 4 minutes.
We rushed through security, and managed to get there before boarding started by about 3 minutes, so we got to pre-board! Flight was uneventful, K still wasn’t feeling great, and we were both tired from not having anything to drink but water for most of the day. Landed and ended up having to wait 45 minutes to catch a ride to our hotel. Had minor issues with the hotel and with getting our car the next morning, but finally made it home Thursday afternoon about 12:30 pm.
Here are my thoughts about the Surgical Group Long Term VSG. The medical care and the doctors are excellent. I just wish I had seen a bit more of them. The recovery house was nice, but I felt the time line on everything was a bit rushed, I would have paid a bit more(but not as much as they wanted) to have stayed an extra night. I think we really needed another day post-op before we flew home. There were a few negatives, the biggest for me was mainly organizational in nature. None of it is actually a big deal if you know to expect it in advance. The biggest issue I see is the lack of space if you have a travel companion. They need a hotel for the night you have surgery, and while they can stay at the recovery house, they have to sleep in the recliner…so not always practical. I’m sure there are a dozen things I’m forgetting and will add later. Even with everything happening as it did, I would use LTVSG again in a heartbeat for that price 🙂