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10/28/12
valentinoAB
ObesityHelp.com

Ok I am home and on day 3 of my post op trying to get in as much water and protien as I can!
I just need to say a few things … For those of you who are on the fence … My experience with Dr Aceves was BEYOND words!!! He is a very kind loving and serious man! It was as perfect as I dreamed it would be…. Better! Please please please…. If your still looking for a surgeon do yourself a favor and check him out !!!! You know how they say everyone has a vocation…(a calling from god) this IS his!! All I can say is ……DR ACEVES…. YOU ROCK!!!!

Your VERY satisfied patient,
Amber

10/28/12
Kelly-Anne
Canada

We were super thrilled with our experience as well. I can’t say enough good about Dr Aceves and his team.

Kelly-Anne

10/28/12
OctoberRosie
Canada

Me too, I had my VSG with Dr Aceves (October 6th 2012), great experience. When I woke up from surgery I could hardly believe all was finished and done – LOL – I went into another world with the pill they get me 45 minutes before surgery, that’s a wonderful idea LOL. I suffer from back, neck and shoulders pain; when I came back I had no pain at all nowhere other than in the sternum area maybe gas or the hiatus hernia repair. I would recommend Dr. Aceves and his team to everyone, no doubt at all. The hospital extremely clean, unbelievable. I have never see here in Montreal to clean a room all the times they did each day. Yolanda the hospital coordinator is so helpful and always finding the way for you to be comfortable and to have everything you need even before you ask.Excellent!

10/28/12
LessOfSarah
Burlington, Canada

So glad to read about your great experience, as I’m scheduled for a VSG with Dr. Aceves on November 30th. I’ve always felt I was making the best possible decision, but it never hurts to hear reassuring stories like yours.

10/29/12
ladybuglv

NVI had surgery with him on 8/31 and I agree it was the best experience. I went alone and was treated like a VIP from pick up at the airport to drop-off. I never had any pain. There were several people there in various stages of recovery so I was never alone or lonely. The staff was super friendly and they cleaned at least twice a day. Day or night, every time I did laps I had to go around a cleaning cart. I can’t say enough good things about Dr Aceves and his staff.

7/5/12
ND2BTHN
Canada

Hi! I went alone too. It is quite safe. It literally is a 5 min drive over the boarder. You see people walking around everywhere. You even pass their own little China town. You will only be alone at he hotel on your first night, and then in your hospital room. I asked a fellow sleever who traveled with our group to walk together across the street to the pharmacy there, to pick up or PPI’s. We never felt uncomfortable. You see people walking with their little kids down the street in front of the hospital. It was just like home, but much warmer. (I went in January)

Best way is to fly in to San Diego. Ernesto will pick you and the other patients up at the airport and drive you all the way to the hospital for your pre-op testing. Then to the hotel for your last dinner before bed. They have a nice restaurant on site so you don’t need to wonder the streets at night. Ernesto will pick you up again at 7am and bring you to the hospital. You are only allowed to bring one guest with you, who can stay in your hotel and hospital room on the couch. They must also pay for their own food, at the hospital cafeteria. It can be really boring for the companion, so pick your best supporting person if you really need one, and have them bring some form of entertainment, since you may be sleeping a lot. Your fears will be eased once you see that it is just like any other small town. Trust me, they will take good care of you.

7/5/12
changeiscomingsoon

Do not worry a second about going to see Dr A…LOVE LOVE LOVE him and all his staff is WONDERFUL. I would most def do it all again. You will be surrounded like a cocoon. NOT a single worry in the world. You will meet others there and will be SO well taken care of. I cannot recommend him and his staff enough. I want to go back one day to show them the progress I have made.

114 pounds G O N E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 94% of my excess weight lost…just can hardly believe it every day of my life.

I do not find anything hard about this at all. It is a welcomed way of life now…free from the chains of food…literally. Never hungry but I do know when my body needs to eat now…it is completely different for me now. I am never hungry but some people say they are on here.. more head hunger it seems. The gym and a trainer a essential to my lifestyle now…just like breathing.
DO NOT worry about what others say…no matter who they are. They love you and just want you safe. You will have the world by the tail in the months to come. You will struggle some but let me tell you there is a new life ahead and you will not regret one second while you are out there living it up in ways that you never imagined you could…just even the simplest things will amaze you. Get on with your life and don’t look back..GET BUSY LIVING!! I wish I had this available when I was 19 but it is great it it happened now…I FEEL 19…no kidding.

GO FOR IT!
NO LOOKING BACK!
GET ON WITH LIVING :))) THROW THAT BAGGAGE AWAY…FREE YOUR MIND..honestly it does 🙂

7/5/12
mulamishka

I went to Mexicali, Mexico by myself on March 23, 2012 and Dr, Aceves performed my sleeve! It was a piece of cake and I would do it again! I was never scared or worried. I felt 100 percent safe at all times! He and his staff are amazing and the hospital is absolutely beautiful. You really dont need anyone with you because the nurses and Dr.’s take such good care of you. You can see the fence at the border right across the street from the hospital. I never told my parents that I was having the surgery done in Mexico for that same reason. They would have thrown a fit and I’m 43 years old. They thought I was having it done in San Diego. My husband and kids knew though and when I returned my parents were floored when I told them. I plan on going back next summer when I have all my weight off for plastics! This surgery saved my life literally! I have lost 66 pounds and feel great! I eat to stay alive, and before I used to live to eat! Food no longer controls me, I control the food! Such an overwhelming feeling to be in control! I love it and am starting to love myself, again!!! Dr.Aceves knows his stuff and I would put him and the hospital up against any surgeon in the states and I sincerely mean that when I say that! You’ll be fine! Have faith!!!

Nov 26, 2012
Vertical Sleeve Talkamykins

You’ll be in great hands. I had Dr Aceves and the staff made me feel so comfortable and safe. I was so nervous but once I met them all my fears disappeared. And there was no pain at all. I went to the pharmacy across the street the day before I left to get another box on pantazol (anti-reflux). They give you one box but the grains were so much easier to take than the pills I was glad I had it. I also got an extra box of supradol (pain pill) but I never used them. They dissolve in your mouth but I really didn’t have any pain to take them for.

June 1, 2009
Elisabethsew

I’ll start by saying that I am a registered nurse and hold a PhD in education. Given my medical and research background, you can be sure that I did a lot of searching before deciding on who I would allow to operate on me.

Because I was a self-pay for the VSG revision (banding was via insurance), I looked into Mexican surgeons. The three U.S. surgeons I explored wanted $22,000 – $26,000 and that only included the surgery and one night in the hospital.

I wanted a surgeon who was certified in bariatrics, one who had done over 250 revisions, one who operated out of a clean hospital with an intensive care unit in case I needed that level of care, and one who insisted that the people taking care of me post-op were registered nurses. I also looked into complication rates and talked with others who had used the surgeons I was considering. Finally, I wanted to be sure that when I left Mexico, I would be safe to carry on with my life in the U.S. That meant making sure complications were prevented.

Dr. Aceves met my criteria. He did 3 different leak tests to make sure all was fine and kept me in the hospital for 3 nights. I had a chest x-ray, an EKG, a urinalysis, and blood work prior to the surgery and a complete unfill of my band after a barium esophagram. I was seen by Dr. Aceves, his assistant surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and a medical MD all prior to surgery.

My experience was text book and I have no regrets. If you’re considering going to Mexico for surgery I highly recommend Dr. Aceves and his team.

Oct 18, 2012
windycitymom Verticalsleevetalk.com

I’d say that I was a little nervous once I arrived at the hospital since it was sunday and there was barely anybody there. Then I got nervous the night before however I made friends online via vst with someone who had the surgery night before (with Dr. A) and she skyped me and chatted with me especially since I was all alone and noone knew I was going, I couldnt’ really talk to anyone else. I left my hubby and 2 small kids to do this so there was alot riding on it. After the surgery I had so many friends from the woman who spoke to me the night before to the new patients that were getting sleeved on the same day. I told them I was nervous so they took me first. Honestly, after that night in the hotel, I never really felt alone again! and honestly, I knew that even though I chatted with dh a bit I was really enjoying getting to know my new sleeve sisters ;)We all took care of each other mentally and physically (not that the hospital didn’t but you know what I mean, we made each other walked and waiting for each other and asked questions), and the doctors came to visit me 1-2/ day. I had a slight complication in that my lungs weren’t filling up with air properly. This was “almost” scary except that I had my sisters there with me and the doctor took excellent care of me. I insisted on extra leak test just to be sure since VST friends were telling me online that I need to do that before leaving the hospital. The Doctor said that it wasn’t a leak and that I shouldn’t worry however that he felt that it might make me “feel” better knowing that we did a leak test and sure enough he did it, also allowed me to stay an extra day until I was feeling better even though I was up on my feet walking around the hospital like I owned. Dr. A and his team were outstanding and made me feel good and didn’t dismiss my concerns even though he knew. BTW, I was BMI=30 before surgery and I really appreciated the talk with Dr. A that I had before he admitted me, he was honest and sincere and genuine.
Sorry for the broken email I have two kids yelling and screaming in my ear as I type this but I wanted to reach out to let you know that it was the best decision I’ve made and I am thrilled that I chose Dr. A. I will be going back to Mexacali in August to get my check up and can’t wait to see them (and a also a little bit to show off how much weight I’ve lost) :))
Best of luck to you and keep us posted. Feel free to message me if you’d like to chat further, I’m also happy to give you my phone number. You are a strong women for even considering this. Why not give yourself this gift, you deserve I’m sure otherwise you wouldn’t be here on this site!!
Information from ObesityHelp.comPosted by: rebeckyDate & time: 7/19/12 9:40 pm

I originally was set up with Dr. Ortiz, impressed by the hype. But I read a couple of mediocre reports on his surgical facility, and changed my mind. Meanwhile EVERYTHING I read about Dr. Aceves was glowing. I had to sacrifice my $500 deposit. But it was all OK, because I just had my gastric sleeve surgery July 9th with Dr. Aceves, and the experience was excellent. He is an experienced, and super careful surgeon; 3 separate leak tests were done to make sure the sleeve was tight. Also, Dr. Aceves, along with his colleague Dr. Campos(who himself had the sleeve surgery!) practice in a real, fully-equipped hospital. It is a very clean, private facility, with the state of the art equipment. Also the environment was so quiet & restful, not like most noisy, stressful hospitals in the States. I was able to really recover quickly. Often thought I was in a hotel! The nursing staff was so attentive, responding to my calls very quickly. They guide you through the whole process smoothly and professionally. I say, hands down, Dr. Aceves is your man!

Information post from: weightlosssurgery.proboards.com/Posted by: jo777Date & Time: Feb 28, 2012, 1:26pm

There are only a few Drs in MX I’d recommend, Aceves is the one I chose for the procedure I wanted. Here’s the run down on how it all went.

I dealt direct with Nina at Aceves practice, no coordinators. Set up my date, my airfare and got my pass-cards for my husband and me.

Mexicali is a very safe border town, crime stats are higher where I live than there.. Crossing the border into MX is fast & easy, there is a line to get out, but it also was easy.. no issue, just some waiting. Everything is faded in MX, the heat and sun do take a serious toll.. but nothing rusts, so some interesting car spotting. It is a working class factory town, so nothing fancy to be seen.. but the drive through the desert is beautiful.

Picked up at the airport in a comfy van with a couple other people getting surgery, driven straight to the hospital (yes, a real hospital.. small by big city standards, but fully functional in every way.. oh, and might I add, far cleaner and more organized than the one I spent time in here at home once!)

Tests ran at the hospital.. btw the tests and whatnot are by the emergency room, which can get busy. The floor you are kept on is quiet and not hectic. Driven to a nice hotel, had a good meal, took the couple pills I was given and had nothing by mouth after 10pm. Woke up, showered, back to the hospital.. more talking to the drs.. Dr A & Dr Campos, and one other Dr regarding my labs.. and waited for a couple hours until my turn was up.

It was explained that there was a possible option based on my vitals to use spinal anesthesia along with general.. I recall (some meds had already started kicking in at this point) that I was good to go on the epidural.. I’ve had a couple spinal taps, so knew what this would be like (nothing painful, just weird).. spinal went in, I went out..

Next thing, *plink* wide awake (without my glasses) in recovery.. feeling absolutely no pain. Listening to one of the other VSGers wake up moaning about pain.. hearing the nurses give him something by IV.. out again.. Woke up wheeling to my room.. post-anesthesia nausea set in big time (very intolerant to opiates.. I had hoped the epidural wouldn’t effect me this way, but unfortunately it did.) I was given meds to help with that, and with the other issue I apparently have with narcotics.. I can’t void my bladder.. When the epidural wore off- about 36hrs, so did all the other issues..

I was up walking the halls, just feeling like someone kicked me in the guts, no gas pain.. no real bad pain at all. This was my first surgery as an adult, and it was far more tolerable than I expected it to be. Pain was very well managed.. no pain pumps, so DO NOT be shy, if you feel like you need a dose ahead of schedule ask the nurse, they oblige you quickly. The worst pain I had was when my sucky vein in my hand decided to fail.. IVs do not last long in me.

Dr Aceves & Dr. Campos did rounds at least twice a day, and they do spend time with you if you have questions.. the hospital was very clean, the nurses mostly spoke English, night nurses did not- but my husband who stayed in my room used a laptop to translate and that worked very well on both sides.. I am (as is he) the type that NEEDs to know exactly what they are giving me before it goes in my arm.. I’ve had issues at a hospital here in my town where they kept trying to give me things I could not take, that were on my chart that the doc apparently was not reading.. that did not happen in MX. So both he and I are a nurses PITA patient.. but I am in charge of my body, sorry if that ticks off any nurses..

My husband ate at the cafeteria (proclaimed it has great food) and also at a taco cart a walk away from the hospital. He walked a couple miles to the local mall to see if there was anything worthy, not really.. but no safety issues.. he would walk day and night.. it’s a quiet town. As soon as my IV came out, I jumped in the shower (private room, comfy, and nice shower..) and proceeded to walk around in the sun outside the hospital.. it felt great.

Three nights later, we took off for home.. it was a long day of travel, but I only felt discomfort walking, and again- it just felt as if someone kicked me.. I just had to walk a tad slower than normal. I was on Toradol (strong NSAID) out of the hospital, and took it for about 3-4 days.. usually at night. The eating plan Dr. Aceves sends you home with is a tad lacking in finer detail. The overall macros are the same as LapSF’s plan, so I chose to read that.. though by the time I had surgery, I didn’t have any food questions.. Here’s the plan as it seems to be the best laid-out one available to date:

I had a couple quick questions once home, and got immediate answers when I emailed.. I don’t think I waited more than an hour.. Good communication. Other than that I’ve not needed to contact my surgeon, and only see my PCP for labs to get pulled when required.. Doing wonderfully, healed quickly.. went through the normal fatigue, lack of stamina and all that that comes with healing from major surgery..

Long post, but short summary.. I wouldn’t hesitate to travel to an experienced surgeon with great stats, that practices in a real hospital.. yes, I fully checked Almater Hospital as well as the Drs.. all of that is pertinent and should be looked at.. My experience for traveling outside the country (other than Canada) for my first ever major surgery was spotless, and worked like a well maintained machine..

I feel this applies to any patient of any medical procedure done anywhere, but especially if you decide on medical tourism. UNDERSTAND what you are doing to your anatomy, your aftercare, all the potential risks long and short term.. investigate everything, the facilities, the doctors..everything. This should be done regardless of having it out of the country or three miles from home, and I’ve seen people post about their COE program and how badly it can suck, so that means NOTHING.. It is on you as the patient to do the research that goes double when your surgical team is not a cars drive away from you. Be smart, this is your life and or health on the line. Treat it with the seriousness it deserves.

Information post from: weightlosssurgery.proboards.com/

Posted by: CarlaDate & time: Jun 14, 2012, 6:39pm
I couldn’t agree more with joy777 on her review of Dr. Aceves and Almater Hospital in Mexicali, MX.

I had a virgin DS on June 2nd 2012 with Dr. Aceves who was assisted by Dr. Ungson, (supposedly the only vetted DS surgeon in Mexico) which by the way, they are very good friends.

My surgery went flawlessly. I couldn’t have asked for more.

Almater Hospital is a small private hospital and it is the best hospital I have ever been treated in. That is saying a lot, because I have had 12 different surgeries (not weight related) before my DS and I’ve been hospitalized for asthma attacks and pneumonia several times, so I am very well versed in hospital care, so to speak.

I know that all the weight loss surgery sites say that Dr. Ungson is the only vetted DS surgeon in Mexico and so you should not go to anyone else in that country to have the DS, but I can tell you that Dr. Aceves is very well qualified, talented and skilled for the DS. I spoke to him about this before I left and asked him what he thought about it. His response was very humble and honest. He said that Dr. Ungson has told him that he can do this surgery on his own, without Dr. Ungson’s assistance, but Dr. Aceves said he prefers to be safe. He prefers to have Dr. Ungson assist with his DS surgeries because he likes to have the expert hands and experience there to assist him, just in case. So, this is why Dr. Ungson is on Dr. Aceves’s DS surgical team.
I personally think that his response showed what a conscientious, honest & caring surgeon he is.

I was so completely happy with the level of care, the cleanliness of the hospital and the entire experience, that I will probably be looking to return to Mexicali for any other medical treatment that I may need in the future.

I most definitely recommend Dr. Aceves to anyone for any weight loss surgery. He is a super cut above any other surgeon I have had to deal with.

Thank you Dr. Aceves and your entire team, plus Almater hospital. I am forever in your debt.

Carla

Patients comments about Dr. Aceves & Care they receivedOctober 18, 2012 10:12 AM

These reviews are from patients & were found on: ObesityHelp.com
By: NdakotagirlOct. 4, 2012
I had my sleeve surgery on September 20th and can’t believe how good I feel. A friend had the surgery with Dr. Aceves in Mexicali a year before and recommened I consider him. I did my research and assumed I would have the surgery in the US. My husband did not want me to do it in Mexico. I have worked with US physicians/surgeons all my professional life and have great faith in them. But I knew after my research that I would have Dr. Aceves do it. The entire experience was amazing. I felt confident in the entire staff and doctors from my first email to Nina to the car ride to the border where friends from Phoenix picked us up. This is day 14 and I have lost 16 pounds. I’m tolerating phase 2 foods well and am looking forward to phase 3 foods next week. I had a brief bout with diarrhea and contacted Gaby, the post op contact. She gave me great advice and the problem was over quickly. I’m feeling confident, in control and happy. Doesn’t get much better than that.

By: tammy8399Sept. 15, 2012
Dr. Aceves and his staff took wonderful care of me before and after surgery. They are kind-hearted and very knowledgeable in this field. I would definitely recommend him as anyone’s surgeon!

By: beach_mamaSept14, 2012
I have nothing but the best to say about my experience with Drs. Aceves and Campos as well as Nina, Karla, Yolanda and Ramon. It was nice meeting another patient Diana who shared the drives and surgery date and the meal the night before surgery too. We met with both doctors the day before surgery and they were both very nice and informed us about the procedure. Karla was there from the beginning and stayed with us the whole time and was very helpful. It was so nice to see one or both doctors every dAy after surgery too. Dr. Aceves even took my picture of my blue tongue (die test) to have as a keepsake. He does have strict instructions with aftercare and a printed copies of all instructions to follow. Also included as you leave are your x-rays of your stomach, surgery report and instructions. One of the nurses actually accompanied me to the pharmacy for the Pantazol to take post op. The hospital room and in general was very clean and they seem to clean it all day. Upon leaving, we were given some nice vitamin water, soup for our ride back to the airport. Everything ran smoothly. Thank you Dr. Aceves and Dr. Campos! You’ve changed my life

By: BebeeSept. 7, 2012

I had met Dr. Aceves last year when I accompanied my daughter. At that time I was a little apprehensive in not knowing what to expect. When we arrived, all of my fears were put to rest. Therefore, I knew what to expect and was not disappointed. Everyone on Dr. Aceves’ staff is extremely professional from the driver who picked us up at our hotel, to the nurses who went out of their way to address any questions that I had. When you commit to the surgery with Dr. Aceves, you are immediately sent a packet of materials with detailed pre-op instructions as well as an extensive health profile that you must complete. Nina, works with you to make sure that every question you have gets a timely response. When you arrive, certain lab tests are completed and I spent time with Dr. Campos who works with Dr. Aceves to discuss what was going to happen and to discuss what you will need to do afterward. We went over a lot of information, most of which had been previously provided in the packet of information Nina sent. I did get to ask specific questions about my lifestyle and how this would be impacted. There is really nothing negative that I can say. Every aspect of the surgery was explained including the risks. Dr. Aceves has a gentle bedside manner and I felt completely confident in my decision to go with him as my surgeon. Since, I have had the surgery, they have been there to repond to every question I have had. They have made me feel like I can ask anything, no matter how trivial it might seem. I can’t thank all of his staff enough.

By: jennyrennySept. 6, 2012

I don’t even know where to start in describing how awesome my experience was with Dr. Aceves and his team. From the moment I arrived in San Diego everyone was warm, kind and professional. The night before surgery every detail of what was going to happen was explained to me. I mean every detail. It helped allay so many of my fears about surgery the following morning. On the evening before surgery I met with four different doctors, including Dr. Aceves and the anesthesiologist. The following morning I met with Dr. Aceves and Dr. Ungson, who assisted with my DS. The surgery went off without a hitch. I woke up when it was done asking when it was starting. They had to tell me a couple of times that it was over. Dr. Aceves is such a skilled surgeon that my recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. I was up and about within a couple of hours of returning to my room, and off pain meds in less than a week. I felt so good that I had to keep reminding myself that I just had surgery. Dr. Aceves and Dr. Campos both checked in on me twice a day, even on Sunday and when they weren’t there the nurses were extrememly attentive. When I left Dr. Aceves gave me a big hug and made me promise to keep in touch. I should mention that while I was under Dr. Aceves took an extra half hour and removed some scar tissue from my two C-sections (something no doctor in Canada would do). This was an amazing surprise. Since I had my son I have been urinating every hour. It interered with work and made road trips torture. Now I am normal!!! I could go on and on but suffice it to say that this was the best health care experience that I have ever had.

I guess the only negative I could really say is that I wish they were closer in case things did go wrong in the few weeks after surgery, but I knew this going in and had arranged for aftercare in my home town.

By: Kelly-AnneHAug. 24, 2012

I found Dr Aceves to be very kind, encouraging and informative. He explained what he’d be doing and what my role in my success would be, making me feel very confident that I would be successful in using my new and improved stomach. My surgery went very well and I was up, walking the halls and gabbing with other patients within a couple of hours.

I was very impressed that not only did Dr Aceves pop in to see me a couple of times each day, but he remembered my husband’s name and chatted with him as well. He was friendly, open to questions and actually applauded when I answered his question of whether I was passing gas yet with a yes.

I’ve had other surgeries (2 c-sections and a hernia repair) and my experience with Dr Aceves makes the others pale in comparison. Not only am I extremely happy with the surgical work he did, but I think he could give lessons in patient education, bedside manner and compassion.

By: WStachourAug. 14, 2012

Tomorrow is the one month anniversary of getting my sleeve with Dr. Aceves at the Mexicali Bariatric Center.

I found Dr. Aceves by way of a couple coworkers who had been his patients and strongly recommended him. I initially sent a couple emails and made a couple phone calls to Nina, all of which were promptly and courteously answered. I was trying to decide if the VSG was the best option for me, and Nina happily answered all my questions. She was very encouraging without any kind of pressure, and they were very accommodating.

Once I made the decision to go ahead, we scheduled the surgery and everything afterward went off exactly as advertised (and as my coworkers had led me to expect). I sent in my deposit, and promptly received several emails with instructions going forward: a dietary plan for the week prior to surgery, the post-op diet, and general information. I had another friend who also scheduled his surgery when I did, though his actual date was a couple weeks prior to mine. His experiences exactly mirrored my own.

When the day arrived (with a friendly pre-date email reminder or two from Nina!), the transfer from San Diego to Mexicali went off exactly as planned; very friendly driver and a nice new Honda van. We were met at the hospital by Yolanda, the Patient Coordinator, and we had sessions with her and Drs. Aceves and Campos plus an anesthesiologist. Everything for surgery day (the next day) was carefully explained to us, and we were encouraged to ask questions. Both Drs. Aceves and Campos spent time emphasizing that the surgery is a tool, not a cure-all, and that good choices going forward are essential for success. (Campos himself is a sleeve patient, so he understands all this firsthand.) Everyone seemed extraordinarily competent and relaxed, and there was a strong sense of being in good hands–exactly the vibe I wanted for such a momentous thing.

The next morning I was #1 (of 3–the usual daily number of surgeries at MBC), and I was in the OR by 9:30 AM. It seemed like I was in the recovery room almost immediately, and I was back in my own room shortly after noon. by 4:30 PM I was up and walking, and there were frequent visits by the Drs. and the nursing staff. (Our particular wing of the hospital is very intimate, with six or seven rooms clustered around the constantly-manned nursing station.)

The rest of that day and the next two days passed quickly, with the second half of Day 2 being the most uncomfortable (though still quite bearable). I avoided pain medication until the evening when I had a pain pill and a sleeping pill for the night. By Day 3 I was quite comfortable, and the mending seemed to happen quickly. Day 4 is a traveling day to get home, and I’ve had no issues in the subsequent three weeks.

I give the highest recommendation to MBC and Drs. Aceves and Campos and all the staff. My reasons for going outside the US initially were financial, but after doing my research–and especially knowing what I know now–I would have paid more than a US facility to go to Dr. Aceves. I really believe there is no better place to have this done, and he is exactly the person I’d want at my side if there were any complications.

By: rebeckyJuly 19, 2012, Updated: July 30, 2012

I was totally well taken care of from start to finish. I had only a moderate amount of post surgical pain on day 2, and that was it! Dr. Aceves & his colleague Dr.Campos are a great team. They are compulsively careful surgeons. The nursing staff is quickly responsive. The hospital is very clean and up to date. He charges more than Mexican surgeons, but it was SO WORTH it! I had a full 3 nights & 4 days in a real hospital. Three separate leak tests were done to make sure the sleeve was tight. Dr. Aceves limits himself to 2 to 3 surgeries daily, while other surgeons do up to 5. I feel much better knowing my surgeon is not fatigued! Plus the coordinators were very helpful & responded quickly to my many questions. The hospital is right over the border, & totally safe.

By: SmilinGalMay 8, 2012

I researched extensively before I chose Dr. Aceves. I could not find one negative thing about him. I went into the surgery confident I’d made the right decision and my experience in Mexicali did not disappoint. Dr. Aceves and his staff were competent and caring. I felt like I received excellent medical care. I had very little pain and have had an easy recovery. My scars are minimal and my weight loss has been good. The hospital was clean and comfortable, and it was important to me to spend the three nights in the hospital. I would highly recommend Dr. Aceves for anyone considering weight loss surgery. By: bnormsApril 26, 2012I was sleeved by Dr. Aceves on 3/30/12. I am extremely happy with the care I received by him and his staff. I read rave reviews of him and have to say they were completely accurate. The equipment used was all very modern and up-to-date. The facility was exceptionally clean and the nurses seemed to anticipate my needs. The doctors were so patient with me and my father, who accompanied me. They provide detailed instructions for every step of the way, so you are never in doubt about what to do or eat in any situation. I was initially a little worried about being in Mexico, but it was completely safe. The trips across the border were uneventful and every person I met in Mexico (i.e. at the hotel/pharmacy/walking on the streets) were friendly and non-threatening.

I was given the option to have a relative pay the difference to have the procedure done in the US but after my exhaustive research, I only wanted to go to Dr. Aceves. I feel he can be considered more qualified than many of the US based surgeons. I experienced minimal pain from the procedure and absolutely no complications to date. I am very very pleased with my treatment and would recommend him to my closest friends and family members. In fact, my father is considering returning to Mexicali to have Dr. Aceves perform the procedure on him! They are excited about Dr. Aceves–check out what they are sayingAugust 27, 2012 2:46 PM

Posted by: dariomunoz Date: August 22, 22, 2012Time 4:04 PMSite:

Dr. Aceves I had my surgery with Dr. Aceves on Wednesday of last week — already lost 15 lbs and I’m feeling great. The experience with Dr. Aceves was EXCELLENT! Everything, specially Dr. Aceves and Dr. Campos and his team, was awesome. The day I decided to get my operation, that same day I decided to never eat like an obese person again — so I followed the pre-op diet strictly for 3 weeks and lost 20 lbs, which I feel helped in my quick recovery. By the weekend I expect to finish an ebook on my journey towards surgery, called “Love in the Time of Gastric Surgery”, which I’ll post on my website — hopefully it will encourage and guide others interested in taking this important step. I can only speak wonders of Dr. Aceves and his team — most people have already noticed the difference, so thank you to all!

Posted by: Zoe G.Post Date: 6/24/12 Time: 3:24 pm Site: Obesityhelp.com

So ive made my mind up and deposit is paid half of my surgery is paid flights are booked and im going with dr. aceves. I feel so confident in my desicion. ive heard nothing bad about him. it was either dr. aceves or dr. alverez, but since they do in house financing im going with dr. aceves. My expectations are a little high so i hope im not going to be disappointed. Is there ANYONE who thinks ive make a poor choice? or have heard anything bad/negative about Dr. Aceves, please speak up now! Thanks!!! 🙂

Posted by: ND2BTHNPost Date: 6/26/12 Time: 8:26 pm Site: Obesityhelp.com

Congratulations on your choice. Trust me you won’t be disappointed. Just bring some earplugs if you are a light sleeper, because you will be pretty close to the nurses station and you will hear them talking. That’s the only negative thing I can think of. Everyone is super nice and helpful. It is super clean, and you will feel very safe. Don’t worry, and try to relax, everything will be fine.Posted by: ND2BTHNPost Date: 4/17/12Time: 5:57 pm Site: Obesityhelp.comI chose Dr. Aceves, because he is not only the president of the Mexican Bariatric society, but he works out of a state of the art private surgical specializing hospital. He has many years of experience, uses the drain, 3 leak tests, 3 full days in hospital, not a hotel. His surgical partner, Dr. Campos who works along side him, as well as his driver trusted him with their surgeries too. That spoke volumes to me. I was so comfortable with my choice, hat I wasn’t even afraid to fly from Canada and go through major surgery by myself. I am very happy with my decision and would recommend him to everyone.

Posted by: Dynamic_DuoverPost Date: 7/18/10 Time: 3:44 pm Site: Obesityhelp.com

It’s been 19 days since I & my husband had VSG with Dr. Aceves & I’ve finally chronicled it for those interested. It was a GREAT experience & I would highly recommend him & Almater Hospital. I was on a pre-op diet for 2 wks (lost 8#) and have now dropped another 22#. I know I am “on my way” and oh, so thankful, for the surgery. Day 1 – Arriving in Mexicali We got up at the crack of dawn, downed a protein shake, and caught our flight to San Diego. We ate nothing more all day, because you need to be fasting for at least 6 hours before your pre-ops are done. My husband, daughter, and I were met at the airport by Ernesto (who also had a VSG done). He picked up 2 more patients (and their support persons) – one having a VSG & the other having a band removed.
After a 2-hour drive to Mexicali, we were met at the Almater Hospital by Yolanda and Lucy who spoke perfect English and were very efficient, friendly, and knowledgeable (as was everyone on Dr Aceves’ staff). Almater Hospital is a regular hospital (not a clinic) with an Emergency Room, ICU, etc, so they were doing “business as usual” with the general population while Yolanda guided us through all of our necessary pre-op stuff. We found it to be an excellent facility, and they are expanding and doing construction on another wing.
Our pre-ops included a urine test, blood test, EKG, Chest X-ray, and a physical by an internist who assessed our medical risk. My blood pressure was found to be high (I’m not on meds & have been borderline for years), so they were going to re-take it the next morning before I could have surgery.
We also met with the anesthesiologist, Dr. Campos (nutritionist who has also had WLS), and Dr. Aceves. Dr. A & Dr. C talked to us as a group for about 30 minutes concerning WLS & lifestyle changes. We were given an antibiotic pill and a sleeping pill for that night.
After about 3-4 hours we were all done and Ernesto transported us to the lovely Lucerna Hotel where we had GREAT chicken fajitas (even though they weren’t on the menu – just ask) & a margarita. There is a beautiful pool and the grounds were well kept. We got on-line for an hour or so and then took our 2 pills and went to bed (nothing more to eat or drink after 10pm).
Day 2
Ernesto picked us up at 7am and drove us to the hospital where we were all shown into our individual rooms. They gave me another blood pressure test (much lower, thank goodness). We changed into gowns, they put in IV’s, wrapped our legs (to prevent clotting) and we waited for our happy pill. The anesthesiologist had already explained that after we were out, he would be giving us a spinal shot of morphine for pain. This pain relief lasts about 24-36 hours before you have to ask for pain meds.
My husband’s surgery went first, and he did fine. My surgery was next and lasted about 1 ½ hours. I did fine as well (as did the other 2 people we came with). I spent an hour or so in Recovery – no pain to speak of, just uncomfortable & sore (that morphine is a GREAT painkiller!).
By evening, both my husband and I were up walking the halls and sucking on our breather ball apparatus (prevents pneumonia). All of Dr. A’s patients were in our wing, so it was nice seeing them. Peeing was weird getting started, but no problems with that. Farting & BM’s were much later, but no problems there either, just infrequent & not much (course, we’re only on liquids, for heaven’s sake). I’m also saving a lot of money on flossing!
Our first night was uneventful, nurses floating around every couple of hours checking vitals. My daughter slept in my room where there was a really comfy daybed.
Day 3
I woke up feeling great! First off, we got 4 shots of dark apple juice that we were to drink within 30 minutes or so. It tasted wonderful! This was to check for any leakage from the Penrose drain tube and was uneventful. Lots more walking, sucking breather balls, and sipping. By afternoon, I was tired and asked for my first pain pill as I wanted to nap. I woke up more alert & took a shower & put on my own gown/robe. Had great chicken broth for supper & hot tea & Gatorade. Of course, you only sip bits of it all, and most of it gets tossed! Other than feeling soreness & pressure (like I had run a mile too fast & had gotten a stitch in my side), I was doing fine! I even got on my laptop and worked for a few hours before bedtime. The hospital has wireless internet (just ask Dr. A’s staff for the code beforehand). The hospital is only about a block or so from the US border. My AT&T cell phone sometimes had US service (and I made quick phone calls) and sometimes was in roam.
Unfortunately, my husband didn’t fare quite as well as me. He has always been a FAST eater and drinker and did not heed the sip, sip, sip rules and that evening, he gulped, gulped, gulped. He thought he was going to throw up and “foamed and the mouth”. They gave him meds for nausea and kept checking on him all nite, taking vitals, more meds, etc. He said that each time he pushed the call button, someone was in the room within 60 seconds. My daughter & I had a good night’s rest. By morning, he was fine and sip, sip, sipping. No more nausea.
Day 4
About 8 am, we went for our fluoroscope test where we drank NASTY stuff (similar to Barium) and got to see our new tummies as the liquid went down. They took x-rays. Everyone passed this leak test, and they even let my daughter drink the liquid & see her 2-yr old WLS tummy (what American hospital would do that?)
Did lots more walking and visiting with friends and staff – felt like family in our few short days. Saw Lucy and Yolanda everyday bringing in new patients. The hospital staff spoke little English, but communication was really not a problem. The hospital was immaculate. There was a lady cleaning and mopping and emptying trash all the time. I did not want my bed linen changed yesterday but did let them change it today.
Got our leg wrappings off mid-day. What a relief! Got in another 2 hours on my laptop. Finally took out my IV and put on a hospital bracelet (kind of after-the-fact). I had pain meds off & on throughout the whole hospital stay. I did NOT want to experience anything other than soreness, and I didn’t!
Each meal was pretty much chicken broth, apple juice or hot tea, and some flavor of Gatorade. All quite tasty and satisfying, but you never drink the whole thing.
Later in the afternoon, we decided to purchase Nexium and Supradol (sublingual pain meds that you cannot purchase in the US) at the pharmacy which was only a few doors down from the hospital. There is also a pharmacy across the street, but it was higher priced. My daughter & husband (who by then was dressed in his shorts & t-shirt) walked to the pharmacy. Then, later my daughter went there again with the mother of the other patient.
Dr. A gives you a 2-week supply of Nexium to take home with you and a box of Supradol (8 tablets). The Nexium is about $30 for a 2 week supply, and we got a month’s worth for both my husband & I since our insurance won’t cover it. Dr. A really wants you on Nexium for 3 months, but we are going to stay on it for a month and a half and then switch to generic Prilosec for another 6 months. My daughter took PPI’s for almost 2 years and has been off of them for over a month now with no problems.
Dr. A & Dr. C were in and out too many times to count, each and every day. I don’t think they have a home, and I did comment on that to Dr .A when he checked on me that evening close to 9pm. He said he really enjoyed his work and cared about his patients and felt they needed to be checked on. He was getting ready to go to a US Bariatrics conference the following week. He is President of the Mexican Society for Bariatric Surgery and was gone to conference the week prior as well (we had tried to schedule our surgeries for that week). We said our goodbyes and he gave me my medical records to take back with me (a huge envelope containing the chest x-ray, fluoroscope tummy x-ray, EKG, 2-page blood/chem labs, and a 2-page summary of the surgery).
Then, I took another great shower, my sleeping pill and pain pill and off to sleep!
Day 5
Woke up chipper at 6 am and was packed by 7 am. Went to the Lobby to meet Ernesto, wheeling my carry-on, and carrying my Gatorade to sip, sip, sip on the drive to San Diego. The border crossing took only about 30 minutes. Ernesto said it sometimes takes an hour. We arrived at the airport shortly after 10:00 am and had a LONG wait for our flight. It was delayed because of flooding at the Houston airport! However, I got on my trusty laptop and was able to work for a couple of hours.
This was actually the worst day because of the flight problems (flooding in Houston) which delayed everything. We had to practically run to catch our connecting flight to OKC. There was also the time change, and we did not reach home until midnight! Then, there was the fact that the flight from San Diego to Houston served a meal (free)!!! The smells were head-hungry overwhelming! We had cranberry juice and survived! We were quite exhausted by the time we reached home and took a pain pill and went to bed.
Day 6
We slept until noon, and it feels so good to be home! I had purchased a lot of Crystal Lite, Propel, Isopure, S/F popsicles, S/F jello, etc., before we left for Mexico, but had no antibacterial soap (recommended for showering), so we did go and get that. We vegged for the next couple of days, and got a follow-up e-mail from one of Dr. A’s staff. She sent us a few after-care details, reminded us to stay on Post-Op diet, and asked if we had any questions, etc. I e-mailed her with a couple of questions, and she returned my e-mail within a few hours. I was disappointed to find out that Day 1 was actually the day AFTER surgery (for Post-Op diet purposes). It may be head-hunger, but I am soooo ready for something other than clear liquids!
7-18-10
My husband and I are both doing fine, and I FINALLY made the time to get all of this on Obesity.com. It would have helped us if someone had detailed their experiences for us. Our incisions are mostly healed, and we’ve had no problems. I’m finally able to sleep on my side, and my stomach area feels more & more normal with each passing day. We still feel low on energy at times, but we are NOT getting the recommended 60-70 gms of protein a day, and are still having trouble getting in the 64 oz. of fluid. I have also started walking for 30 minutes in the evening. We have both lost 30 pounds in a month & 4 days (since the day we started the pre-op diet), so we are ecstatic! We are on Phase II (Full Liquids) of our Post Op diet which involves cream soups, protein drinks, watermelon (yummy!), applesauce, s/f puddings. We’re anxious to start Phase III next week when we can finally have soft foods – eggs, beans, & oatmeal! After surgery, my husband cut his diabetes meds in half, his blood pressure meds in half, and has quit taking his cholesterol meds totally. Five days ago (14 days post-op), he stopped taking his diabetes meds altogether. He’s testing his glucose daily and it’s been averaging 96 (it used to average 117 pre-op WITH MEDS!). We’re also watching his blood pressure daily and think he’ll be off those meds shortly. We have a visit with our PCP in August.
I would highly recommend Dr. Aceves. Our surgeries and experience with Dr. Aceves was EXCELLENT. I can’t say enough about him and his staff. We sent numerous e-mails before our surgery, all of which were answered in detail. We even called a couple of times and got either Monica or Nina (no voice mail, but I’m sure they have one). His staff kept us informed at all times about what was going to happen and what we needed to be doing. We felt we were in great, caring hands. We are supposed to be checking in with them every 10 days, but I haven’t done it because we’ve had no problems. Dr. Campos called last week to check on us (which was very nice), and I did ask him a few questions. Dr. A is very professional and takes time for all his patients. I believe he is a highly skilled surgeon (my opinion), because of our surgeries, his credentials and the fact that none of his patients had any complications while we were there. I’ve never heard anything negative, although I know there is always a small percentage of risk & problems.
Our surgery was such a breeze & I still can’t believe how easy & efficient it all was. They have this down to a fine art!
Posted by: moonrisenPosted August 25, 2012 Time: 11:06 AMSite: Verticalsleevetalk.co
Wow!! just wanted to take a moment now that I’m officially on the losers bench to share my experience with Dr Acevesand his staff…. Wonderful is the only word I can find!! The entire experience felt like going to a spa!! From beginning to end it was quick efficient and organized. From emails and phone calls with the coordinator Nina to the driver Ramon! I was always escorted everywhere … Anything my friend that went with me needed was seen to… Like she wanted her teeth cleaned… Yolanda… Ninas mom set it up!! The doctors come in three times a day! The housekeepers clean constantly and clean your room three times a day! Almater hospital is a small efficient private clean hospital filled with really nice nurses and every staff that even passed me in the hallways always smiled and greeted me warmly!I have been in USA hospitals as a nurse for 32 yrs and know good care…. This was a fabulous experience! I highly recommend Dr Aceves!The lucerna hotel we stayed at the night before surgery was so beautiful! And excellent service!

Posted by: redE2bthinPosted August 6, 2012 Time: 12:08 PMSite: Verticalsleevetalk.com

Congratulations! on getting your date. I had surgery with Dr. Aceves July 14, 2012, he and Dr. Campos, the anestesiologist and the rest of the team are great and will take good care of you. I think pain may be a very individual thing but I can tell you my experience involved some discomfort but no real pain. When I asked for pain med in the hospital 2x I would describe my pain as being a 4 on the chart. The pain/discomfort I felt really came from my drain tube area which came out the second day. The gas pain that people describe can be very uncomfortable and for me I believe was minimized greatly by walking. As soon as you can get up and walk once you are out of recovery the better off you will be. My husband was a slave driver making me walk every hour and every 2-3hrs in the night. But I thanked him for it. I was sent home with pain med (Sucradol (?)) and picked up extra and the Pharmacy there just around the corner just in case. I also bought a 3 month supply of the PPI (Pantezol) at the Pharmacy around the corner. They will also send you home with a month’s supply.I wish I had bought more because I am taking it morning and night now and will run out before the 3 months that I need to take it is up. It is cheaper there and in a little packet that you take instead of having to crush a Nexium or Prilosec or something.I really haven’t had a need for any pain meds since I’ve been home, except on day when I’ve over done it with my walking.Don’t be afraid to ask for pain med when you are in the hospital if you need it. Better to get up and walk the gas out then lay in bed with pain. Happy to answer any other questions you might have about my Mexicali experience. Best Wishes. Jennifer

I have been watching this site getting helpful information for months and just haven’t signed up. Welp…I got my surgery date today with Dr. Aceves. I will be going to Mexicali to be sleeved on Sept 28th and I’m super excited~! This site is awesome for people who don’t have a very strong support system at home, thank you so much I had a consult with a local surgeon but decided to cancel and be self pay because Dr. Acevesappears to be a much more experienced surgeon…. Can anyone tell me what to expect as far as pain and pain management?

Posted by: JenCPosted August 6, 2012Date 2:32 PMSite: Verticalsleevetalk.com

Congratulations! on getting your date. I had surgery with Dr. Aceves July 14, 2012, he and Dr. Campos, the anestesiologist and the rest of the team are great and will take good care of you. I think pain may be a very individual thing but I can tell you my experience involved some discomfort but no real pain. When I asked for pain med in the hospital 2x I would describe my pain as being a 4 on the chart. The pain/discomfort I felt really came from my drain tube area which came out the second day. The gas pain that people describe can be very uncomfortable and for me I believe was minimized greatly by walking. As soon as you can get up and walk once you are out of recovery the better off you will be. My husband was a slave driver making me walk every hour and every 2-3hrs in the night. But I thanked him for it. I was sent home with pain med (Sucradol (?)) and picked up extra and the Pharmacy there just around the corner just in case. I also bought a 3 month supply of the PPI (Pantezol) at the Pharmacy around the corner. They will also send you home with a month’s supply.I wish I had bought more because I am taking it morning and night now and will run out before the 3 months that I need to take it is up. It is cheaper there and in a little packet that you take instead of having to crush a Nexium or Prilosec or something.I really haven’t had a need for any pain meds since I’ve been home, except on day when I’ve over done it with my walking.Don’t be afraid to ask for pain med when you are in the hospital if you need it. Better to get up and walk the gas out then lay in bed with pain. Happy to answer any other questions you might have about my Mexicali experience. Best Wishes. Jennifer

Posted by: PABR463 Date: November 4, 2010 Time: 3:21 PM in SixtiesSite: Verticalsleevetalk.com
Hi Ginny,I was sleeved at 61 years old in Mexico by Dr. Aceves. Love him and his staff, but I digress!I was 3 months out on October 26th and I’ve lost 70 lbs and 33 inches. I feel absolutely wonderful and I’m off all my medications. I walk 2-3 miles a day and I don’t think I’ve felt this well since, well, I can’t remember!Good luck to you and hope all goes well for you.Take care!Patti

Posted by: CCinINdianaDate: August 27, 2012Time: 2:45 pmSite: Verticalsleevetalk.com
Hi There, I used Dr. AcevesJuly 2011- while in the hospital I initially got IV pain medication, shots and then liguid tylenol. I was up walking 3 hours after surgery and really had minimal pain (compared to my c-section). I crushed all my pills the first couple of weeks in liquid..it was so gross, After that I swallowed them just fine. I think I could have earlier, but was afraid. I am at goal now having lost over 100lbs. I am truly a food addict, so for me the head hunger has been the hardest. Wanting to eat when I am bored, happy, sad whenever! Using the sleeve correctly really prevents you from over eating, however as I am sure you’ve read and heard about–if you get in the bad habit of eating slider food then I can see where me or anyone could easily gain the weight back. Good luck with your decision. It has been one of the very best decision of my life!! Cathi
Post by: amykinsPosted: August 26, 2012 Time: 1:07 PMSite: Verticalsleevetalk.com Jesser, I’m in your shoes. I’ve been saving for this since January. I could have had the surgery a few months ago with a cheaper surgeon, and I’m sure everything would have been fine. My heart told me to go with Dr Aceves so I waited a few more months to get the surgeon I wanted. I know this will sound weird, but once I started actively saving, extra money started coming in. And it all went to my savings. I thought it would take a Catch what some of the patients are saying about Dr. AcevesJuly 24, 2012 7:37 PM
Posted by TomDate: July 24, 2012Site: Dr. AcevesThree months ago today I made the call to schedule surgery with Dr. Aceves. Based on my work and travel schedule Nina and I selected June 25th as THE date. On that day I weighed 295 pounds. I’m 5 foot 10 inches.

I decided I’d start a form of the pre-op diet right there. I was mentally prepared and I thought (a) it would be good practice, and (b) the more weight I lost pre-op the better the operation would go.

I targeted 1200 calories per day and no more than 40g carbs so I could get maximum liver shrinkage. I was pretty successful staying within these parameters for the two pre-op months, probably hitting those goals all but 3 or 4 days. I was traveling for several weeks in India where sometimes it was difficult to calculate the nutrients, or to get enough protein or avoid carbs. But in the main, I did very well because I knew help was on the way!

One month ago today I arrived in Mexicali and did my preliminary tests. My pre-op diet had caused me to lose 35 pounds, so I was at 260. All of my blood and urine tests were great. I have been on and off meds for triglycerides over the years, but without meds they were perfect now. As well as cholesterol, glucose, etc. etc.

I had surgery on 6/25. It was one of the easiest things I’ve done. I had never had surgery before, so the closest thing to compare it to would be dental work. I’d much rather have VSG WLS again than have a wisdom tooth out! I believe that my proactive pre-op diet helped me avoid a lot of the pains (mainly gas) that affect some patients. I can honestly say that in the care of Almater and Dr. Aceves and Campos I never felt a moment of discomfort.

Prior to beginning this journey I had too main health concerns. My glucose was getting toward the pre-diabetic range, and my blood pressure was getting to the point where I really needed to get on medication – soon!

As I mentioned, the pre-op diet calmed the glucose. I now take my BP daily and it’s solidly in the middle of the “normal” range.

30 days post surgery I’m down another 28 pounds (total of 63 since beginning pre-op diet), shirt size has shrunk from XXL to XL or L (depending on brand/fit), Pants from 44 to 38 or even 36 in some cases. And I have just started exercising as I’ve hit the four week mark, per the post-surgery instructions.

Needless to say, it has been a dramatic change in my appearance and my health.

I can’t say enough good things about the Aceves team, from Nina, to the support staff at the hospital, to Drs. Campos and Aceves, the surgical nurses, the internist, anesthesiologist, radiologist, and floor nurses at Almater. Every single person exuded care and professionalism at every step of the surgical journey.

Tom

Post Date: 7/19/12 9:40 pm Posted by : rebeckySite: ObesityHelp.comI originally was set up with Dr. Ortiz, impressed by the hype. But I read a couple of mediocre reports on his surgical facility, and changed my mind. Meanwhile EVERYTHING I read about Dr. Aceves was glowing. I had to sacrifice my $500 deposit. But it was all OK, because I just had my gastric sleeve surgery July 9th with Dr. Aceves, and the experience was excellent. He is an experienced, and super careful surgeon; 3 separate leak tests were done to make sure the sleeve was tight. Also, Dr. Aceves, along with his colleague Dr. Campos(who himself had the sleeve surgery!) practice in a real, fully-equipped hospital. It is a very clean, private facility, with the state of the art equipment. Also the environment was so quiet & restful, not like most noisy, stressful hospitals in the States. I was able to really recover quickly. Often thought I was in a hotel! The nursing staff was so attentive, responding to my calls very quickly. They guide you through the whole process smoothly and professionally. I say, hands down, Dr. Aceves is your man!

Post Date: 4/28/12 7:30 pm Site: ObesityHelp comPosted by: sonjakpHi ,
I had Surgery with Dr Acceves on March 31 best decision I ever made…If you want to talk to me let me know I’ll message you my number. I’m in GA by the way lol

Post Date: 6/9/12 6:35 pm Site: ObesityHelp.comPosted by: andersmamaI had surgery with Dr. Aceves in February! I love that man….he changed my life! His whole set up is a well oiled machine! No glitches or complications! Go for it!!!

Posted May 19, 2012 – 2:23 AMSite: VerticalSleeveTalk.comPosted by: Oregondaisy
I don’t know anything about this doctor, but there are plenty of us who have had no followup by our surgeons. Dr. Aceves and his assistant surgeon Dr. Campos come to see his patients 3 x per day for the 3 days we are hospitalized in Mexico. He goes over everything carefully before we go home. They are available by email or telephone, but it’s pretty rare for anyone to go back there for any kind of followup. Dr. Aceves’ patients have an incredible track record getting to goal too though.

The sleeve does stretch on it’s own. At 3 years post op, I can eat quite a bit more than I could at one year. I am still never hungry, so it’s easy to still eat small portions.

We all know what kinds of things make us gain weight. It’s not true that this is a lifestyle change that will last forever if you take it for granted. There are weddings, baby showers, parties, BBQs etc. it takes willpower to stay away from all the snack foods involved in social occations. We are all still living our lives in the world of temptations. I could easily eat an entire bag of chips if that is what I chose to do.

All I am saying is that if you want to keep the weight off after the losing stage, it takes dedication to coninue to follow all the rules and maintain weight loss.

Posted April 13, 2012 – 1:52 PMSite: VerticalSleeveTalk.comPosted by: newlife101I so agree about Dr. Aceves and his staff. From Nina who makes the reservations, to Gabby who will answer any email or question you have about the surgery afterwards to everyone involved. My husband had the surgery the end of April last year and there was no other doctor I would trust than Dr. Aceves to do mine 3 weeks ago.

We wish the American doctors and hospitals were as nice, clean and attenative as Dr. Aceves.
Posted April 13, 2012 – 1:35 PMSite: VerticalSleeveTalk.comPosted by: PonyUp I had my sleeze surgery on the 10th and doing better than imagined. Spent three full days in the hospital Almater located in Mexacali Mexico. The hospital was cleaner and newer than several American hospitals (California) I have seen. The nurses And staff attentive and both dr.campos (which himself had the sleeve and is also a nutritionist) visited twice daily- in the morning and late afternoon. The Canadians I befriended (mom n daughter) felt exactly the same! I am sip sip sipping away. I only had some slight nausea yesterday when. first drank and i have rumbling and gurgling…but my poor tummy has been so good to me considering. !
I am now at a fancy hotel awaiting to get a ride to get my teeth cleaned, chipped tooth repaired and xrays for cavities. ..looking less forward to dental work than the sleeve! Lol!
Posted April 11, 2012 – 6:37 PMSite: VerticalSleeveTalk.comPosted by: FoxbinsDr. Aceves in Mexicali, Mexico. $8750. One pre-op night in a hotel, 3 nights in a hospital. I had no nausea, no complications, and Dr. Aceves has done about 3000 sleeves. He’s the guy other surgeons refer their patients to when they have a tricky case.
Posted February 6, 2012 – 8:38 AMSite: VerticalSleeveTalk.comPosted by: SpaceyCasey I had sugery last Monday with dr aceves in Mexicali. I feel pretty lucky this has been pretty easy for me. I stocked up in gas x and nausea medicine and one week out havnt needed any of them. Maybe all that will come later I dunno. My pain is nearly gone. I have 4 more days of clears then movin up to full liquids. I’m 5’9 and stated this journey at 298 and as of today I’ve lost 16 Pounds!!! I had to step on and off a couple time to believe that. 16 pounds in 1 week is crazy! I had not regrets or buyers remorse I’m so happy I did this.

Posted January 12, 2012 – 8:16 PMSite: VerticalSleeveTalk.comPosted By: Jan12kelI am in Mexicali with Dr. Aceves. I have felt completely at ease since arriving. Have had no complications. I thought for sure i would have felt embarassed or completely exposed but I have not felt either. I was actually shocked at how comfortable I felt. I think one of the reasons I felt so comfortable is because I spent at least an hour a day reading all the wonderful comments, what to expect advice and even the complications so I knew what they were and what signs to look for.

I was told that tomorrow I won’t feel as good but I did my breathing exercises and have walked the hallways several times to try to make it less painful. Thanks to everyone who has told their story on here. It has really helped me. Now- cant wait to start losing weight!!!

All of them had surgery with Dr. AcevesJuly 9, 2012 7:24 PM
Postings from Vertical Sleeve.com
Posted June 12, 2012 – 7:21 PMGastricsleeve4me
I was originally under the impression that I wouldn’t be covered by insurance, so I looked into MX and settled in Aceves. He was the absolute right choice for me…though I firmly believe everyone has to go with their gut and different drs are right for different people. Weeks before surgery I met with another local surgeon in the NJ area and found out I could be covered by insurance. I agonized over it. $2000 in copay or $8750 on my own. I put the money issue aside (which I know not everyone can do!) and the dr in the US had such little experience compared to Aceves that I went anyway…and I haven’t regretted it for a second. My advice? Ask everyone the same questions. Compare. And go with your gut!

The questions I asked are in my blog at gastricsleeve4me.blogspot.com (tab up top)

Good luck!

SylviaMom, on June 7, 2012 – 8:30 PM, said:Hi. I am sitting here in Mexicali. I am a revision too but my band was so badly eroded I will need to come back in a few months for my sleeve. that’s disappointing. But the care here is second to none and the staff here is fantastic. They clean and clean the facilities and they are courteous and warm. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my closest friends or family here. I will of corse be back when I can get the sleeve after my tummy heals.

The majority of the drive is in the U.S. with ten minutes in Mexicali. Mexicali is actually a fine city and feels quite safe. I walked before dinner the day before yesterday with no issues. Since the driver picks you up and drops you off, you are never alone on the streets unless you chose to be. It’s super safe and I feel safer here then in most big cities in the states.

But, mostly I appreciate Dr. Aceves, Dr. Campo (who is a total cutie and sleever too), and the lovely Blanca.

Posted June 4, 2012 – 4:57 PM AliceinwonderI am 7 days post-op. Dr Aceves did my surgery & 2 friends prior. We all had amazing experiences. Also, Dr Campos is his nutritionist and also has a sleeve. He saw me everyday and sometimes more often. It’s not the cheapest in Mexico, but they are very experienced.

Posted May 10, 2012 – 9:47 PM SylviaMom I just want to thank everyone for their posts. I chose Dr. Aceves for revision surgery (lap to VSG) in large part due to the great information from folks on VST. I am scheduled for June 14th. So far, the experience with Nina (my PC) has been fantastic. It’s dramatic how much better even the patient coordination has been compared to my experience with the two U.S. surgeons I’ve worked with.

Thanks again everyone!

Posted July 7, 2012, 8:48 PMGastricsleeve4me
That’s one of the things that drove me to Mexico vs the local surgeon here. The surgeon in NJ had only done 65!! Vs the thousands aceves had done.
Posted July 4, 2012 – 1:29 PM lil leeI just got back yesterday from there. I went alone it was wonderful I wish I could have stayed longer I loved the hospital the staff and dr aceves and campos and another dr came in atleast 3x a day just to make sure I was ok. I would go back in a heartbeat

Posted July 1, 2012 – 9:53 PM DizzleI’m here with dr aceves right now I had surgery yesterday and feel great.

Posted Today, 10:47 AM July 8, 2012 SylviaMom I had the same struggle. Hubby was afraid I would come back with one less kidney, if I came home at all. LOL. My decision to go to Mexico, and particularly with the doctor I chose (dr. Aceves) was about finding the most experienced and well respected revision surgeon. getting bariatric surgery is not an area that i wanted to be penny shy and pound foolish. No pun intended. Dr. Aceves had 100 times more sleeve surgeries than the local “specialist”. This was a no brainer particularly when all the data shows experience is highly corelated with successful, complication free surgeries. We had budgeted and planned for surgery in Washington state but I simply could not find a local doctor with the experience and kind/quality of referrals that Dr. Aceves had. Also, the self-pay rates I was being quoted weren’t inclusive….meaning if I had a leak or some other complication during surgery, I would be out of pocket. That was on top of a 2 or 3x price difference.

The truth is medical care in the U.S. is very expensive for a number of reasons…and quality of care is not the reason. Without getting too political, the medical and insurance lobby are extraordinarily powerful in the states…and we Americans are pretty darn litigious too.

Ultimately, I went to Mexico alone because of a number of reasons but I needed to do what was right for me. I followed my heart and my instinct and luckily it worked out. My Mexicali and hospital experience was far better than any hospital experience in the states. The stay for the sleeve was 4 days (in contrast to the overnight stay typical in the states) and the hostipal was clean and professional. Because my band was eroded, Dr. Aceves was not able to complete the sleeve (just did the removal). I will be heading back in Decembre for my surgery. Good luck in your journey and remember that your heart knows.

Be A Hero!June 4, 2012 9:16 PMThis was posted on www.obesityhelp.com

SuzanneB
Jan 22, 2012

Be a hero! If you’re tired of starting over when it comes to weight loss, stop giving up on yourself. Today is the day that you can change this. If you have been unsuccessful at one diet after another maybe what you are trying to do is just never going to work for you. Believe me I have been there and done this for many years. For so many of us we have an addiction to food. Food is what comforts us in the good and bad times in our lives. Does this sound like what you have been doing for countless years?

Make today the day that you promise to change your life. If you have had WLS and you still struggle with food choices, that is something that so many of us have to deal with on a daily basis—(remember I said food is our habit or addiction.) When I am faced with this I ask myself do I NEED to eat or do I just CRAVE to eat or graze all day. Grazing is pretty normal for a lot of people—make the food something healthy like veggies if you are going to graze. As time goes on it becomes a little easier too. We are making lifestyle changes; we are not on a diet.
I
f you have NOT had weight loss surgery, then it is time to think about making plans to have weight loss surgery.

Never feel that you have failed if you can’t lose weight on your own with a diet—you have an addiction. Please do NOT feel ashamed about having weight loss surgery. You are the hero who is going to come along and save you own life. Care enough about YOURSELF to do just this. If you have questions about weight loss surgery, start asking questions right now. I had Dr. Aceves do my WLS in Mexicali, Mexico. I just love his hospital and staff—yes the do speak exceptional English. This is a first class complete hospital (not a clinic) that Dr. Aceves works at. Dr. Aceves is a brilliant surgeon when it comes to weight loss surgery. When it comes to my health I wanted the very best I could find for myself and this was my choice.
Comments about Dr. Aceves & Dr. ComposJune 4, 2012 1:22 PM This information was found on www.obesityhelp.com
June 4, 2012 ObesityHelp.com
SmilinGal I researched extensively before I chose Dr. Aceves. I could not find one negative thing about him. I went into the surgery confident I’d made the right decision and my experience in Mexicali did not disappoint. Dr. Aceves and his staff were competent and caring. I felt like I received excellent medical care. I had very little pain and have had an easy recovery. My scars are minimal and my weight loss has been good. The hospital was clean and comfortable, and it was important to me to spend the three nights in the hospital. I would highly recommend Dr. Aceves for anyone considering weight loss surgery.May 8, 2012
sonjakp I had my Sleeve with Dr Aceves on march 30th in Mexicali MX at Almater Hostpital ..This has been the best decision I have made for myself…Dr Aceves and Dr Campos are great they made me feel comfortable and Answered all Questions as silly as they might of been..I have to say I have gotten better care there than I have in a Hospital in the States. The nurses are very Tentative and very kind and Sweet…Would I do it all Over YES In A Heartbeat…
You will be in Exultant Hands …
Sonja May 4, 2012 bnorms I was sleeved by Dr. Aceves on 3/30/12. I am extremely happy with the care I received by him and his staff. I read rave reviews of him and have to say they were completely accurate. The equipment used was all very modern and up-to-date. The facility was exceptionally clean and the nurses seemed to anticipate my needs. The doctors were so patient with me and my father, who accompanied me. They provide detailed instructions for every step of the way, so you are never in doubt about what to do or eat in any situation. I was initially a little worried about being in Mexico, but it was completely safe. The trips across the border were uneventful and every person I met in Mexico (i.e. at the hotel/pharmacy/walking on the streets) were friendly and non-threatening.

I was given the option to have a relative pay the difference to have the procedure done in the US but after my exhaustive research, I only wanted to go to Dr. Aceves. I feel he can be considered more qualified than many of the US based surgeons. I experienced minimal pain from the procedure and absolutely no complications to date. I am very very pleased with my treatment and would recommend him to my closest friends and family members. In fact, my father is considering returning to Mexicali to have Dr. Aceves perform the procedure on him! April 26, 2012 moonglo82 I am so happy with the care I received for my entire stay at Hospital Almater under the careful watch of Dr. Aceves and his team. Not only did they do everything they could to calm my preop jitters, and not only did Dr. Aceves stop in personally to check on me several times a day, as did Dr. Campos, one of the other doctors on his staff, but he also took an interest in how my husband is doing… my husband is 15 months post vsg, and Dr. Aceves caught him drinking a diet coke in the hospital. Not only did he discuss this with my husband and remind him of all the reasons why he needs to be making better choices, but he also allowed hubby to get an xray of his stomach for free so that he could see how his sleeve is doing! Where in the US would anyone xray you for free?

Both Aceves and Campos have great personalities and kept me giggling the entire time I was recovering. And I have already heard from Gaby, Dr. Aceves’s follow-up coordinator, twice since I got home two weeks ago. They genuinely do care about their patients over there, and I feel safer knowing I can email her any time and get a prompt response. April 15, 2012 Taipan I am a self pay VSG patient who had surgery with DR Aceves on December 28, so just over 3 months ago. I have lost 80 pounds so far and feel great. Dr Aceves and Campo were both very professional and showed real care for their patients. The nursing staff was great too. I would highly recommend DR Aceves to anyone considering VSG surgery. I chose him over some cheaper doctors because I liked he worked out of an actual hospital and had a long track record of success. There were 4 patients having the procedure the same day and one of them has had issues with vomiting after every meal, but I dont think she was taking her medicine properly and didnt heal her stomach completely. For me I have had no problem eating other than I cannot eat much volume, which was the point. The money spent on this surgery is the best money I have ever spent in my life. I have a new life now. Thank you Dr Aceves! April 4, 2012
mulamishka I was a self pay patient and went to Mexicali by myself. I must say this was the cleanest most professional hospital I have ever been too. Both Dr. Aceves and Dr. Campos were very professional, compassionate, and new their stuff! I have no regrets and they took magnificent care of me from start to finish! I would highly recommend Mexicali Bariatric Center and would go back in a heart beat. They had an excellent nursing staff! April 1, 2012
photobia I have to say I was scared up until the minute I walked into the hospital. I was greeted by smiling faces, and I immediately felt better. I was taken to testing and then I met Dr. Campos. What a nice guy. I wish he and Dr. Aceves were closer to me. I would see them regularly. Dr. Aceves came in while Dr. Campos was talking to us, and I knew then I was in good hands. He is so relaxed,and knowledgable. The next day was surgery, and let me tell you, they dont mess around. If they say you are going to surgery in a few minutes, they mean it. Afrer surgery, I didnt really have any significant pain, and I dont really remember feeling bad. I have to say, it was the smoothest, most uneventful surgery I have ever had, and I credit Dr. Aceves for that. He is a wonderful Physician, and a very nice man. I recommend him highly. March 28, 2012
Lori D. Because I had my surgery in Mexico, I only “met” Dr, Aceves on these message boards. He is everything everyone has said before….he is kind, gentle, compassionate, friendly and so much more. I believe he is a talented surgeon. I’m not quite 3 weeks post op and my incisions are healing nicely. I have very little pain. I went back to work within a week of my surgery. I had surgery late Wed. afternoon and was back to work the next Wed morning. His staff is as wonderful as he is. Nina, preop, answered all my questions. Ernesto, the driver, was very kind. Yolanda and Blanca were with me every step of the way as was Dr. Campos. I wish they were local so I could see them all more. What a great team. I felt safe and secure the whole time. I believe both his surgical competence and bedside manner are both a 10 out of 10! Jan. 28, 2012 Aandasmommy I’m a 26 year old mommy of two who traveled solo to Mexico to have VSG by Dr Aceves. I thought I would be really nervous, but I was at ease the entire trip! I was picked up by the driver at the San Diego airport and driven to Mexicali to the hospital. I hate having my blood drawn, and they were able to get my vein the first try! ( I have very small, deep veins) the hospital was VERY clean and the staff was. So friendly! I felt at home! After testing we were driven to a nice hotel a few minutes away. There was a very nice, inexpensive restaurant that I ate at for dinner. It was really good! The hotel room was nice and big! The next morning we were picked up and brought to the hospital for surgery. Dr Aceves came in as well as the other Drs to let me know what would happen and answer any questions. Dr Aceves put all my nerves to rest and I was excited! After surgery my pain was very little! The nurses took great care of me! The Drs all came to check on me several times during my hospital stay! It’s now been almost three weeks since surgery and I’m feeling great! My tiny incisions Are almost gone! I would HIGHLY recommend Dr Aceves to Anyone and everyone! He’s awesome and his work is impeccable!!!! Nov. 22, 2011
amidwife4u I can not say enough how wonderful Dr. Aceves and his team were. The hospital was outstanding, The staff were wonderful, and the surgeon was top notch! I am so glad I chose to use Dr. Aceves. Oct. 3, 2011
The patient’s above have made these comments about their experience that had while having surgery with Dr. Aveves and Dr. Compos at Almater Hospital. You will also note how well they enjoyed the ENTIRE staff that took excellent care of them.

What they are saying on Vertical Sleeve.com about Dr. Aceves!!!May 22, 2012 9:08 PM
SylviaMom Posted A week ago
I just want to thank everyone for their posts. I chose Dr. Aceves for revision surgery (lap to VSG) in large part due to the great information from folks on VST. I am scheduled for June 14th. So far, the experience with Nina (my PC) has been fantastic. It’s dramatic how much better even the patient coordination has been compared to my experience with the two U.S. surgeons I’ve worked with.

Thanks again everyone!

BlackBerryJuice Posted 3 weeks ago
I just thought I’d share with those who are considering Dr. Aceves for their sleeve – I’m currently doing a rotation in bariatric surgery and the other day, I told my preceptor that I had been sleeved. He (a bariatric surgeon himself) was absolutely blown away by my results and actually called his 2 bariatric fellows to the room just to look at my abs and marvel at the fact that they would’ve never guessed I had any sort of bariatric surgery and that I could get results like this without plastics. My preceptor kept asking how Dr. Aceves managed to remove my stomach through such a tiny incision – he said he would’ve never figured I was sleeved based on how tiny my scars are! He even thought Dr. Aceves must’ve gone through the mouth as opposed to through the abdomen.

So there you go, even other specialists in this area are blown away by his work!

Posted March 1, 2012 – 5:02 PM
gramom123

Hi: I traveled alone from Boston, MA to Mexicali to have my VSG done with the fabulous Dr. Aceves, who has professional credentials that are comparable to anyone local, plus he has done over 1300 VSGs, as compared to my local surgeons who had a couple dozen only.. He was not the least expensive of the Mexican doctors, but I was traveling so far I needed to make sure I would get the best care I could find. His staff was exemplary in how responsive and how compassionate they were. I met with both Dr. Aceves & his surgical assistant Dr. Campos every day during my 4 day stay, except the last one because I left so early to head back to San Diego. The anesthesiologist spent time with me before & after the surgery too. I was very happy to stay at the immaculate, well-run Almater Hospital for 3 nights, with round-the-clock care. I had 3 leak tests prior to being discharged and had not a minute of nausea or pain- just the discomfort from being blown up with gas and I was able to work through that by walking. I had my own private hospital room and bath with a couch and chair. It was very comfortable. I had free wif at the hospital, so I spent lots of time looking at this forum as I recovered. That’s my personal experience. I have had a fabulous recovery in the past 5 weeks and would recommend Dr. Aceves to anyone. After spending umpteen hours on this forum it is clear that many people had great experiences with many different Mexican doctors. Good luck with making this decision.

Posted 2 weeks ago
amytug

Wonderful!!! I have chosen dr. Aceves and I couldn’t be more excited!!! Taking notes.

Posted January 18, 2012 – 6:22 AM nursing38
Thank you for all the wonderful info you have provided. I am barely starting on this journey. I have yet to contact Dr. Aceves, but he has done surgery on 4 people that I know and all has been great. I know I want the surgery but am still scared as I have never been in the hospital or had surgery for anything. trying to get up the courage at this point to call him.

Posted A week ago clk
Not only money. Experience and quality of care! I could have chosen any doctor and did research three from the outset – two stateside and Dr. Aceves in Mexico. After contacting each office and having several interactions with each, Dr. Aceves won HANDS DOWN. Yes, he was cheaper but only by a few thousand – not enough for me to make my decision solely based on money.

I got 4 days in the hospital instead of being sent home 23 hours later with drains in my body. I got to see my doctor and his assistant several times a day every day I was there. I had top notch care from one of the best sleeve surgeons out there. Dr. Aceves has done well over a thousand sleeves by now and still has a record of zero leaks. Oh, and at nearly two years out I still hear from the office occasionally asking how I’m doing!

And to continue on an only loosely related note, I’ve lived overseas for most of the last ten years and I will tell you that in my experience a lot of Americans have this idea that health care is somehow lacking in other countries simply because they aren’t as developed as the US. Now, granted, in some places this is absolutely true (Dushanbe, for instance!) but in other places the care can be superior (at least as far as personable doctors and staff go) and equal to the care in the states – at a FRACTION of the cost. Case in point: I just had twelve tests done to figure out if I have a problem with my hormones. I had my labs sent to Almaty, Kazakhstan and I had my ultrasounds (three of them) performed here in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Total cost for nine blood tests and three ultrasounds, all performed on the same day I made the appointment with results in my hand within 24 hours? Less than 3,000 som…or roughly $65! All in safe, sanitary and totally up to US standard conditions. I also had IVF w/ICSI performed in Kyiv, Ukraine in 2007 for a fifth of what I was quoted stateside and again, great conditions and successful results.

So sometimes people choose to go elsewhere because they can. Because the medical care in the US is completely messed up and it’s almost impossible to get good quality care at a reasonable price.

Okay, I’m done! This is clearly a peeve of mine, sorry to completely go off. I see this same question posted over and over again and it never fails to annoy me that some people think that going anywhere but the US is automatically based upon money and is always going to be a less safe option.

Posted June 1, 2009 – 8:04 PM
Elisabethsew

I’ll start by saying that I am a registered nurse and hold a PhD in education. Given my medical and research background, you can be sure that I did a lot of searching before deciding on who I would allow to operate on me.

Because I was a self-pay for the VSG revision (banding was via insurance), I looked into Mexican surgeons. The three U.S. surgeons I explored wanted $22,000 – $26,000 and that only included the surgery and one night in the hospital.

I wanted a surgeon who was certified in bariatrics, one who had done over 250 revisions, one who operated out of a clean hospital with an intensive care unit in case I needed that level of care, and one who insisted that the people taking care of me post-op were registered nurses. I also looked into complication rates and talked with others who had used the surgeons I was considering. Finally, I wanted to be sure that when I left Mexico, I would be safe to carry on with my life in the U.S. That meant making sure complications were prevented.

Dr. Aceves met my criteria. He did 3 different leak tests to make sure all was fine and kept me in the hospital for 3 nights. I had a chest x-ray, an EKG, a urinalysis, and blood work prior to the surgery and a complete unfill of my band after a barium esophagram. I was seen by Dr. Aceves, his assistant surgeon, the anesthesiologist, and a medical MD all prior to surgery.

My experience was text book and I have no regrets. If you’re considering going to Mexico for surgery I highly recommend Dr. Aceves and his team.

Posted June 4, 2009 – 3:55 PM Rosebud2
He is the most caring doctor I’ve had since I was a little girl.

Posted June 2, 2009 – 6:28 PM
Oregondaisy

Plus he has a great personality and is very caring and concerned that you understand exactly everything he tells you. He’s a great doctor!
What Patients Think About Dr. AcevesMay 15, 2012 2:55 PMRead some things that Dr. Aceves’s patients are saying about him.
These posts are from: www.obesityhelp.com

moonglo82’s Blog Surgery Day!
on April 1, 2012 9:19 pm

We left the hotel at 7:00 am and took the short trip to the hospital, where we were welcomed and lead directly to the rooms that would be our homes for the next three nights.

After weighing in and a last meeting with Dr. Aceves, I learned that I was going to be the first surgery of the day. I was very thankful for this, because I was extremely nervous and weepy and would have needed a substantial amount of anxiety medicine to keep myself sane if I had been made to wait too much longer. I’m pretty sure that Dr. Aceves chose to operate on me first for this very reason, because there was a patient there for a lap band, and Blanca had made a comment yesterday about how generally they do the lap bands first.

As I was being rolled into the OR, I couldn’t stop crying. My husband walked with my bed as far as he could, and then smiled and waved from the doorway.

Once I was in the OR, I remember moving from my bed to the OR table, with the help of the anasthaesiologist, who was very kind and comforting. I remember asking him if he had ever had someone not wake up, and he promised me that he had never ever seen that happen. Then he asked for “two minutes of my time,” during which he explained that he would be “making me feel really good” before having me drift off to sleep. This went pretty much just like he said.

When I woke up in recovery, I itched all over and was bound and determined to move my legs. Then my knees. Then my feet. I must have fought for half an hour or so to wake my body up, and finally I could move my toes again. It was hot in there, and I was still itching, so the minute I could wiggle my toes I asked (in English) to be moved back to my room. Not sure if they understood me or not, but when I woke up again, I was in my room.

Soon after I woke up, Dr. Campos came by. His first words were, “good morning, Sleeping Beauty!” This made me giggle, and I couldn’t help but smile after that, even though I was sore. I was immediately given something for the itching, a fan to help with the heat, and something else for pain. I was offered nausea, medicine, but since I didn’t have any nausea, I declined that one.

The rest of that day is pretty much a blurr, other than a visit from Dr. Aceves, who informed me that everything went well and that I would be able to drink water tomorrow. The rest of that day, I was allowed to swish water in my mouth to keep my tongue wet, but I could not swallow it. I also had to begin using my spirometer to keep my airways strong, which was more of a challenge than I thought it would be!

Once I left recovery, almost all of the nurses understood enough English to make sure that I had what I needed when I needed it. I never once felt insecure, unsafe, or even uncomfortable, beyond pain medicines wearing off. I’m pretty sure that most of my pain, even through today, has been because of the fact that I had a drain, which is Standard for Dr. Aceves. But if my results are as great as the rest of his patients, I can deal with a little soreness to have an Aceves sleeve!

I’ll be posting the rest of my journey in Mexicalli in the next day or two… I’ve just gotten home from the trip and can barely keep my eyes open. 🙂

sam30204’s Blog
7 weeks out!
on August 11, 2010 5:22 pm
This has been a journey! The first few weeks were rough! I thought I was going to starve to death. I stayed so hungry. I was so tired and thirsty. I still at 7 weeks cant get in the 64 oz of fluids that is suggested. I still have a lot of restriction although I can eat more than a few weeks ago. Obviously liquids/mushies I can get in more of those. I can do 2-3oz of meats. I have vomited 4 times due to my new tummy’s dislike of certain foods. Eggs are a no more for me.I hate protein shakes! I try every once awhile but they make me want to vomit. As for loss…. 🙂 I lost 17 lbs in 10 days then stalled for almost 2 weeks, yes I was freaking out, but since then I have been steady. Since surgery I have lost 37lbs and total (preop) of 43. I have went down 2 clothes sizes! I am 5lbs from being half way to goal. If you are thinking about it, research and if you think you are ready go for it!! Its not easy! The food cravings and head hunger can be brutal ( I have actually cried over it) but it is manangable! Good luck, if I can help you please email me!

sam30204’s Blog
My experience with Dr Aceves
on July 13, 2010 4:12 pm

Day 1 was LONG the flight was an experience!
Ernesto picked us up right in time. He is very polite loads your bags for you.
The drive to Mexicali was crazy! They drive a lot different here very wild. The were
so many mountains and high rocks. The drive was about 1.5hrs. When we got to the hospital they drew blood, collected urine did a EKG and Chest Xray. Met with the anesthsiaologist, he is very nice and welcoming. He expalined everyhting very well.Spoke good English he just talked really fast:) Then off to the hotel. It was AMAZING! It was like a little resort.Had 3 nice places to eat, Italian, mexican, coffee shop. The pool was fantastic! Take your suit I didnt know about the pool so I was so disappointed I couldnt get in. We were allowed a last meal and I had mexican of course! YUMMY Dr Aceves came to the hotel to meet with us (Can u believe that:) to go over the process and what he expects from us ect. He spent about an hour there with us. Then off to lay down and we had a 5.9 earthquake!!! It was a little scary but way cool!!! I just cant say enough about the hotel it was SO NICE. So day 1 is an A+++++++

Day2
Picked up at the hotel right on time 0700. Taken right to my private room. Has a nice leather couch for the husband to sleep on. The floors are large beautiful tiles and the bathroom is very nice with a tile shower and it is private so I loved that. They gave me a shot in my abdomen (blood thinner) and my machine for my breathing exercises after surgery.
The wait was long as I ended up being the last of the day. When she finally came in and gave me my “happy” pill I was so excited, I knew it was finally almost my turn! They came to get me. I got on the OR stretcher and they wheeled me to the OR. Every one is the room said hello and told me they would take good care of me. Then out I went. I had a spinal so when I woke up in recovery I couldnt move my legs. It lasted a long time too. I couldnt go back to my room until I could move them so I tried and tried until finally I could. They wheeled me back to my room. At this point I was feeling ok. About an hour or two afterwards I became very nauseous! I was dry heaving badly and the nurses must have heard me because they came in right away with meds. I had another episode of that again that night but then that was it. I slept ok that night. Dr Aceves came in that night to check on me and told me I had a wide hiatel hernia and that he had repaired it for me.
Day 3
I drank the blue dye which wasnt near as bad as I thoguh it would be. Passes that! YAY So then they brought me in some apple juice, it was so good but I had a really hard time getting anything down. I walked some and visited with other patients I had met. It was a very uneventful day.
Day 4
Today I got some chicken broth, it went fown SO much easier that the cold juices. I also had the other leak test, now that was VERY nasty, yuk!! Dr Campos was present and told me I was having some spasms and thats why I had been having a hard time getting stuff down. He said it was probably due to my hernia surgery, BUT I passed the test. No leaks and got to see my tummy. They also took my drain out. It was wierd not really that painful just uncomfortable and strange. I felt so much better when that was out. I took a shower and felt like a new person. We walked over to the pharmacy to get our RX’s for home.
Day 5 HOME! The flight home was brutal! We had a total of 19 hours of travel time from the time we left the hospital to home.

Now extra tidbits and helpful hints…
Dr Aceves/Dr Campos both came in twice daily to check on me and educate me. They were never in a hurry and always very friendly. My only complaint about the hospital was the beds were very uncomfortable but I think that is true of all hospital beds. Dont over pack. You really dont need much. Your phone will work fine at the hospital but not at the hotel. If you can afford it first class on the way home or atleast a non stop flight would be so helpful. Also request a wheelchair when you make your reservations, it will be very helpful. I actually gained a few pounds the first 5 days so dont fret if you do. Dont invest too much money in protein before because you probably wont like it after. Stock up in popsicles, jello, chicken noodle soup (to strain) and diet gatorade before you go. Overall I give my experience with Dr Aceves a 10. He is very professional and runs a tight ship. The staff was great! They do this daily and know what they are doing. When you push that call light they are there right then. I am so happy to be done with the surgery so I can move on to the losing! Good luck to anyone thinking of doing this. If I can help or answer any questions about Dr Aceves or the experience please email me.

jarabacoagirl
Post Date: 4/24/12 8:08 am
Since you messaged me about Dr Aceves. I have talked to 4 ppl on the forum about Dr Aceves by phone and they all had good things to say. You can put a post to talk to different ones about a doctor and most people if they have the time are willing and you can private message them your number or vice versa.

sonjakp
Post Date: 4/28/12 7:30 pm

Hi ,I had Surgery with Dr Aceves on March 31 best decision I ever made…If you want to talk to me let me know I’ll message you my number. I’m in GA by the way lol
sonjakp Post Date: 3/13/12 3:31 pm
I’m having Surgery on March 30th with Dr Alberto Aceves At Almater Hospital in Mexicali Mexico….
Please be Careful on how you choose your surgeon..

ND2BTHN
Post Date: 4/17/12 5:57 pm

I chose Dr. Aceves, because he is not only the president of the Mexican Bariatric society, but he works out of a state of the art private surgical specializing hospital. He has many years of experience, uses the drain, 3 leak tests, 3 full days in hospital, not a hotel. His surgical partner, Dr. Campos who works along side him, as well as his driver trusted him with their surgeries too. That spoke volumes to me. I was so comfortable with my choice, that I wasn’t even afraid to fly from Canada and go through major surgery by myself. I am very happy with my decision and would recommend him to everyone.

ND2BTHN Post Date: 3/23/12 2:23 pm
Last Edit: 3/23/12 2:24 pm

Dr. Aceves works from Almater Hospital in Mexicali. It is a private surgical hospital with all of the state of the art equipment. You can find it on youtube. This video is presented by a medical tourism company, and shows everything the hospital specializes in. The hospital is exactly as you see here, and very clean. I really liked it, and felt completely safe. Also you spend your entire post surgery in the hospital, not in a hotel or recovery house. That gave me peace of mind, and round the clock care.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4I46qknE5M

Kelly L.
Post Date: 12/8/11 9:40 am

There are a lot of Dr Aceves patients on this forum as well as other forums, but they may not come to the Mexico board, I know a lot of them hang out on the VSG board. You may want to ask your question there too if you haven’t already. I think he is in Mexicali? I don’t know his actual website because I didn’t go to Dr Aceves, but I think his coordinator is Nina. Dr Aceves has a really good reputation and low complication rate. Good luck on your research and your weight loss journey.

Sweet_56
Post Date: 12/9/11 2:13 am

I had surgery with Dr. Aceves on Sept. 17, 2011.
He is located in the border town of Mexicali. I had an amazing experience and everything was great from the Hotel to the Hospital to the Staff. Check out my profile for a brief day by day of my experience while I was in Mexicali.
Please feel free to ask me any other questions you may have.
I used this website to contact them when I booked my Surgery.

Home

All the best on your journey!

caspiancat
Post Date: 1/11/12 4:44 pm
I had surgery with Dr. Aceves on Dec, 27, 2011. I had a wonderful experience. The hospital is exceptionally clean and the surgeons are fluent in English, kind, and easy to talk with. The care was much better than anything I received in the US. I would go back there in a second. I had never had surgery before so I was pretty scared. I also went by myself so it was quite a trip. I felt safe, well-cared for, and had no pain other than soreness! In fact I was worried they didn’t actually do it until I saw my small incisions! I also was found to have a hiatal hernia and that was repaired for free. Feel free to PM me if you would like anymore details. I used these boards to decide on my surgeon and Dr. Aceves really does live up to his reputation.

sam30204
Post Date: 9/26/11 11:41 am

I highly recommend Dr Aceves. If you want it done right he is a great choice! I had ZERO complications and have lost over half of my body weight.

catwants2bthin
Post Date: 10/1/11 2:14 pm

Hi, I just had surgery with Dr Aceves in Mexicali on Friday September 30th. Everything has been good. The hospital is exceptionally clean…my surgery was without any complication, and the staff working with Dr. Aceves are very caring and most speak English very well. I would recommend Dr. Aceves to anyone thinking about coming to Mexico to have weight loss surgery.

Suzanne B My Story
Posted Date: 12/15/11 10:15 pm
Suzanne B Weight Loss Story

It is never too late in life to consider having WLS (Weight Loss Surgery). I was 63 years old when I had the surgery. I never had a weight problem until after having two children. And then I seemed to struggle with being overweight for years. I now know all the reason why, I became less active, and ate more than I should have. I have tried most of the diets that you have tried, some with success and most no success. But, I would always manage to gain the weight back because I NEVER changed my lifestyle. My top weight was 235 lbs and I am 5’3” tall. My body hurt, my back ached and I had a pain in my leg that felt like I had a hot poker burning me most of the time.

I worked with a friend and noticed that she had lost weight, so I started asking her questions. Then she told me about going to Dr. Aceves, MD in Mexicali during the summer. She is a nurse and I really trusted what she was telling me. She directed me to his Web Site and then to the Yahoo Support Group site. I researched WLS (Weight Loss Surgery) for about 6 months before I made a choice. I sat and watched the people on the Yahoo Support Group and never said much for quite sometime. I read all their postings and was getting a lot of information. Now I have learned that is pretty normal for newbie’s to sit and watch for awhile. Then I was sure I wanted to have WLS and my choice was VGS –referred to as the “Sleeve.” So that is the start of my Weight loss journey. I just didn’t wake up one morning and say “oh in October 2008 I am going to have WLS.” I went through a process of getting here. I believe you have to have your “head” in the right place for this to be successful. I felt awful, I hated my body, and I wanted to be healthy again. If I walked very long my back and leg would hurt. I knew my head was in the right place, when I put myself ahead of everyone else. So many of us are care takers of everyone else and we come so far down on the list of taking care of ourselves.

Be prepared for the opposition that you may face from your own family and friends when you tell them that you want to go to Mexico and have weight loss surgery. I believe that we really need to educate them so that they know exactly what we are doing and how safe it is. But this is about YOU and NO one else. You have to be willing to stand up for yourself; you have earned the right to do this. Believe in yourself enough and want this enough to be successful. You also can go and not tell them what you are doing. This is entirely up to you. You can bring a family member or a friend with you too if you feel you want someone to come along with you. Your room will be big enough for them to stay in it. They have some nice sofa’s that your family member or friend can sleep on. I went alone and was just fine. I also went back in April 2009 with a friend of mine who had Weight Loss Surgery after seeing how I was doing. She is at her goal now too, and is just as happy and thrilled as I am with the results.

My weight loss journey has been incredible, and I have learned so many things about myself. Food is no longer my driving force. I eat to live not live to eat! When I eat, I actually think about putting good and healthy foods into my (new) 65 yr old body! What a thought. When I am eating I now look for the protein first because I try to make sure I get 70 grams of protein per day and then my veggies and some fruit each day. I started keeping track on line what I was actually putting in my body so I would have some idea of the number of calories I was eating each day. I started an exercise program which was just walking and to this day I do some kind of exercise at least 5 days a week. It is mostly walking. I was the person who HATED to exercise and now I actually look forward to getting up early and go walking with some of my friends. Bob and I are very active people so we are always doing all kinds of walking.

I never imagined what life would be like almost 2 years later. And the new clothes that I have purchased since I am a size 8 or 10 depending on who makes the clothing. I see people who haven’t seen me in sometime almost walk right past me because they don’t recognize me. Then they figure out it is me and want to know how I lost all this weight. I have had them ask me if I have been ill and I always give them a big NO! I am more than happy to educate them about the “Sleeve” weight loss surgery. I am very proud of taking control of my life.

There is NO shame in making the choice to have weight loss surgery; it takes more courage to have the surgery than to keep failing at all the diets you have tried. This is not a miracle cure where the weight just melts off you. It takes effort on your part to take this new tool you have been given (a new small stomach that only holds 6 to 8 oz) and eat healthy and exercise, but it is going to work and you will be able to maintain your weight loss because you have changed your lifestyle. I never consider myself on a diet, but that I have made a lifestyle change that is going to add years to my life. I am healthy now for the first time in many years. I am not afraid anymore that I will regain this weight. I know that it will never happen because of my restriction I have with a smaller stomach and my lifestyle change that is so easy to do day in and day out. I NEVER feel deprived when it comes to food. I listen to my head when it “says no more food I am full.” I know that I need to stop eating and it is OK to not clean your plate and it is OK to toss the food out.

There are so many things to be thankful for. The first thing I am so thankful for is Dr. Aceves; there aren’t not enough adjectives to describe this wonderful gifted doctor. Dr. Aceves genuinely cares about each patient he takes care of. Dr. Aceves will answer all your questions until you are comfortable with what he is telling you. Dr. Aceves is such a talented surgeon, and if I lived closer he would be my Primary Care Physician. Dr. Aceves is down to earth, very kind, intelligent, and honest with you. You will receive the most wonderful care from Dr. Aceves and his team of doctors and nurses. Dr. Aceves comes into your room several times a day and checks on you after your surgery—where in the US will a doctor do this? Most of the staff speaks excellent English. Almater Hospital is the cleanest hospital I have ever been in. They are cleaning 24-7. The hospitals in the US could take some lessons from this private hospital in Mexicali. I would go back to Dr. Aceves in a heartbeat for anything!

I still am shocked when someone calls me skinny—I thought who me skinny—no way? But, it was me they were calling skinny. This is something that you have to learn to get used to hearing. People treat you differently when you are thin. This is so unfair. We are just like everyone else when we are fat and the skinny people just don’t get it. I am so thankful for my great healthy. I only take about ¼ of the medication I used to take when I was fat. That is because I have become so healthy and I make the choice to eat healthy. Now I won’t tell you that I haven’t had and cake, cookies or ice cream since I had Weight Loss Surgery. I have, but in small tiny amounts and not all the time.

Weight Loss Surgery really has changed my entire life and it is all for the better. Weight Loss Surgery is a life changing event. Hold on to your hats because this is going to be the ride of your life. You will NEVER have one regret. You will only wish you would have done this years before. I think it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself. I am extremely impressed with the entire experience. Dr. Aceves’s patient coordinator Nina has always been very prompt, informative, and courteous with her replies. She is there for any question that you may have. I think this lady works 24 hours a day, because I always received an answer back right away. Nina is awesome and gives you so much support and help before you go and after your surgery too. DO NOT have any fears about going to Mexico, It is VERY safe in Mexicali and they ALL take such great care of you along your Weight Loss journey. I think we all have the wrong idea of what Health Care is like in Mexico, until we go there an experience it ourselves. It is far superior over anything that they have in the United States. I feel so much better and I would like to say I feel 20 years younger. Life is fabulous, and I did this for ME and NO one else. I know I will never be fat again in my life. I thanked Dr. Aceves for what he did for me and he said “I only gave you the tool to achieve your Weight Loss, give yourself the credit for making it work.” I still want to say Dr. Aceves you are the BEST!

mulamishka
Post Date: 4/2/12 6:14 am

I had a vertical sleeve done on 3/28/12. Dr. Aceves, Dr. Campos and staff are great! Your in good hands! Best wishes!

kitticat
Post Date: 1/25/11 12:24 pm

Hi Everyone,

I’m new here but glad I found this board.
I posted on the main boards about deciding between VSG & Plication.
I’ve decided on VSG with Dr. Aceves- after much research.

I have a 31 BMI and 36 years old. I’ve tried almost every diet and exercise program out there. I haven’t been at a normal BMI since I was 20 when I did phen-fen…
Obesity runs in my family, my mom had a gastric bypass and everyone in my family is in the obese range otherwise.

I got SOOO flamed about why I would even consider having weight loss surgery at my BMI, but the stats are stacked against me. I did HCG and couldn’t get below 160 (I am 5’5).

I can’t see a life in me starving myself to remain overweight. I eat fairly well, it’s just that I love food! I need that physical tool of a deterrent to correct years of yo yo dieting and being overweight and obese.

Is there anything I should know about or bring with me to my surgery?

Also, would love to know how my fellow Lightweights broke the news to their Primary Care Physician. (I know mine wouldn’t support my surgery, much less in Mexico). How did you go about finding a doctor who was understanding of your condition and aftercare?

Thanks for any words of wisdom you can provide 🙂

FatGuyInALittleCoat
Post Date: 11/9/11 6:56 pm

Dr. Aceves, in my opinion(and many other folks here), is one of the top VSG surgeons in the world. The level of skill, care & professionalism of Dr. A and his staff greatly impressed me. If you decide to go with him, I promise you won’t regret it.


CCinIndiana
Post Date: 11/9/11 7:38 pm

Hi,

I was sleeved by Dr. Aceves July 12, 2011. I initially thought everyone on these boards were paid to say nice things about him, but after talking to several people from the boards and hearing their kids running around in the background like mine, I knew they were real. I took a leap of faith and booked my surgery! It was the best decision of my life. My partner went with me and was even allowed in the OR and got to observe the surgery. She is a RN and said they were as sterile as any American OR she had been in. This was a total coincidence – Dr. Aceves and my partner were talking about her bariatric surgery two years ago and its ends up he is friends with her surgeon, Dr. Allen, here in Kentucky LOL. Dr. Aceves and his entire team are wonderful. When I arrived at the hospital I had a moment of panic, thinking what the heck am I doing here. I busted out in tears, Lucy was so kind and reassuring. I then spent the next hour meeting with the anesthetist, who gave such a good explanation of his role and what he would be doing that I immediately felt reassured. Next I met Dr. Aceves and I knew I was in great hands. He is awesome, he told me he’d take good care of me and he did. The hospital is spotless, every vistor is dressed so nicely when they came to see patients there..I walked non-stop and hads lots of time for people watching. I felt perfectly safe the entire time. Knock on wood my experience has been about perfect. I have lost over 60 lbs and feel great. I would be happy to talk to you by phone if you want to talk. Good luck with your decision. Cathi

Aandasmommy
Post Date: 11/9/11 9:57 pm

Hi! I had surgery Friday 11/4/11 with dr Aceves and he’s amazing! the hospital is very clean, nurses were great, and I’m in no pain only five days after surgery! If you go with dr Aceves tell him Brittany says hi! I’m SO happy with my decision to fo to him, he really is the very best!!

May 11, 2012 3:35 PM Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico with Dr. Alberto Aceves.
South of the Border Surgery: Medical Tourism Market Grows for Cost Conscious Americans May 10, 2012 Posted by Elise Marrion

After losing 120 pounds with lap band surgery only to see his weight rebound, Houston resident Cory Worrell was determined to find a more permanent and affordable solution to his life-long struggle with weight –- even if he had to leave the country to do it.
The self-employed, stay-at-home dad weighed 360 pounds at one time. His lap band surgery six years ago was successful, but he gradually gained most of it back. Worrell’s wife and another family member had experienced significant success with gastric bypass surgery, so he considered going under the knife -– or laparoscopic surgical tools –- for a second time.
But this time, Worrell didn’t have employer-provided insurance like he did for the first surgery. He looked south of the border to explore affordable, yet high-quality medical care in Mexico.
“Since I no longer worked at a big company, I no longer had insurance to pay for a costly elective surgery,” he said. “I started looking into how much it would cost to have gastric bypass done in the United States, and most of the quotes I got were $35,000. That’s quite a bit of money to come up with.”

Worrell is among a growing number of Americans who simply cannot afford the high cost of American healthcare. Instead of choosing to postpone or forego surgical procedures, Americans are increasingly traveling abroad to explore their healthcare options.
“I started looking up doctors in Mexico, and everything I read about Dr. Alberto Aceves, I couldn’t find one negative comment about him,” Worrell said. “They quoted me $12,000 for the revision from lap band to gastric bypass with a six-day stay in the hospital -– at an actual hospital.”

Prevalence of Medical Tourism

According to Patients Beyond Borders, a consumer information resource about international medical and health travel, medical tourism is an expanding market that sees an average of 25-30% growth each year. In 2011, the organization estimated that the market was about $15 billion with about 5 million patients worldwide. Josef Woodman, Patients Beyond Borders CEO, estimates that in 2012, about 600,000 Americans will travel for healthcare outside the United States.
Members of the American medical community have differing opinions about medical tourism, the American Medical Association recognized the prevalence of the industry enough to issue guidelines for health travelers.
Woodman and the American Medical Association say one of the most important factors to research is healthcare facility accreditation. Establishing international standards for healthcare facilities has also contributed to the growth of the medical tourism industry. The U.S.-based Joint Commission launched its international affiliate agency in 1999, the Joint Commission International (JCI) that gives the only American stamp of approval accreditation to international hospitals. In order to be accredited by the JCI, an international hospital must meet the same set of rigorous standards set forth in the U.S. by the Joint Commission, Patients Beyond Borders site says.
“In 2005, there were less than 40 JCI accredited hospitals, now there are almost 500 worldwide, and that number is growing by about 20% per year,” Woodman said. “JCI accreditation gives American health travelers reassurance that they can expect these facilities to meet the benchmark of quality care standards.”

For example, Thailand is home to the JCI accredited Bumrungrad International, that Patients Beyond Borders refers to as the “granddaddy of international hospitals” and Asia’s first American accredited facility, with 225 U.S. board certified physicians and surgeons. The hospital serves 400,000 international patients annually from 120 countries, including 25,000 American patients each year.

Where To, and What For?

Patients Beyond Borders cites the most common procedures for Americans to receive abroad are elective including cosmetic surgery, dentistry, orthopedics, reproductive/fertility treatments and weight loss surgery.
The global healthcare market is expanding, building new hospitals and offering more procedures every year, but the most popular medical tourism destinations include:
Antigua for addiction and recoveryBarbados and Israel for fertility/IVFBrazil for cosmetic surgeryCosta Rica and Hungary for dentistryIndia for orthopedics and cardiologyMalaysia for health screeningsMexico for dentistry and bariatricsSingapore for cancerSouth Africa for cosmetics and cardiologyThailand for nearly all specialtiesTurkey for visionChina, Puerto Rico and United Arab Emirates are also emerging markets, according to the Patients Beyond Borders site.
Who is Seeking Healthcare Abroad?

Woodman says in his many travels to tour international healthcare facilities, the global demographics of health travelers run the gamut. In his book, Patients Beyond Borders: Everybody’s Guide to World-Class Affordable Medical Travel, he wrote that people travel abroad for healthcare to gain access to specialties not found in their own country and to reduce the waiting list in countries with universal healthcare, but the top reason Americans travel abroad for healthcare is cost savings.
“Millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured, and the aging baby boomer population is facing a slew of costly critical and quality of life healthcare expenses including cardiac and orthopedic surgeries,” Woodman said. “We are seeing middle-aged, pre-Medicare Americans between 45-65 seeking treatment for standard aging issues such as orthopedic surgeries, and destructive lifestyle such as bariatric weight loss surgery.”
For example, as of August 2011, a coronary artery bypass graft would cost about $88,000 in the United States, but by going overseas, patients could save up to 80% for the same procedure in an accredited hospital in India for only $9,500. A knee replacement would cost $34,000 in the U.S., but only $10,500 in Mexico. A facelift would cost $14,500 in the U.S., but only $4,800 in Costa Rica.

Experiencing Surgery Abroad

Worrell estimates that he saved nearly $23,000 by getting his gastric bypass surgery done in Mexico. He could buy a car or pay for a portion of his kids’ college education with those savings. The process couldn’t have been simpler, he said. He flew to San Diego and a representative from the doctor’s practice picked him up to drive him over the border to Mexicali. The night before his surgery, he stayed in a nice hotel while he did his pre-op blood work, tests and consultations.

“Having small children, I didn’t want to go overseas, and I didn’t want to have to take a long flight home after surgery. Most people have someone go with them, but I just told my wife to stay here with the kids. I didn’t have any problems,” he said.
Considering the abundance of crime in many Mexico border towns, Worrell was initially concerned about his safety, but he remained close to his hotel and the hospital, and didn’t encounter any difficulties at the border.

“You have to do your homework and be careful,” he said. “You can easily get yourself into some dangerous situations. I read about some recovery houses in Mexico that were just a bunch of patients in bunk beds.”

With a quick and easy recovery, Worrell said he was up and walking the day after surgery, though had six days before heading home. Overall, Worrell said his surgical experience was positive and he would recommend both the doctor and hospital to others.

“One of the best things about the experience was how attentive the doctors and staff were,” he said. “The doctor would come and check on me six to eight times a day. In the U.S., you would never see your doctor that many times.”

He hasn’t been back to Mexicali for follow-up visits in person, but in the months since his surgery, he’s had continuous contact his doctor with nearly weekly e-mails to check up on him.

Finding a Doctor and a Hospita

l
Finding a reputable doctor is a top priority, and Woodman recommends medical tourists to not only rely on the internet for their search. Potential patients can start with a site like MedEGuide for more information on international doctors, but Woodman suggests reaching out to accredited hospitals, interviewing physician candidates on the phone (insist on English-speaking doctors) and seeking word of mouth recommendations. Once patients narrow their search, Patients Beyond Borders suggests these questions to ask physician candidates.
Worrell found his doctor on the Internet and through a family friend’s recommendation, but many health travelers are starting from scratch. The Patients Beyond Borders site features numerous hospital reviews, information on accreditation and different procedures, patient testimonials, and cost comparisons.

Taking the risk

Much like travel agents for vacations, many health travelers depend upon medical travel facilitators to help find doctors and hospitals, and make travel and accommodation arrangements, but Woodman advises buyers to beware.
“You have to be careful about medical travel facilitators, in fact, there are only a handful of them that we recommend,” Woodman said. “They aren’t regulated, so there is a lot of room for predatory practices. They are often founded by well-meaning former medical travel patients who want to help others, but you need to be very careful about checking credentials, and getting patient recommendations, and never seek or accept any kind of diagnosis from them.”

What if something goes wrong during or after the procedure? Woodman says patients frequently want to know if they can seek legal recourse for surgeries gone wrong or post operative complications.

“The U.S. is well known as Earth’s most litigious nation. For better or worse, most countries outside the U.S. do not share our attitude toward personal and institutional liability,” Woodman wrote. “While all countries listed in Patients Beyond Borders have established channels of legal recourse, the intricacies of working with foreign statutes, legal systems, and counsel make such action impractical except in the most egregious cases.”

The Patients Beyond Borders website and book cover many aspects of medical travel, they also offer a concise list of “Do’s and Don’ts”:

Plan ahead: Don’t schedule a surgery and flights during peak tourist seasons because you will be competing for the best airfare, the best doctors and the best accommodations.Be sure about the diagnosis and treatment preferences: Knowing everything about the procedure to find the best doctor for the job.Research the in-country doctor thoroughly.Don’t rely completely on the Internet during the search process.Get everything in writing: Cost estimates, reservations, appointments, recommendations, airfare, and accommodations.Insist on English: This is not the time to brush up on your Spanish.

There are plenty of English speaking doctors who can do the procedure. Don’t schedule the trip too tightly: Make time for scheduling, travel, or weather delays. A rule of thumb, add one more day for every five days you are scheduled to be there.Call banks and credit cards before the trip alerting them to allow foreign transactions. Patients should inform their personal physicians about any major medical decisions.Don’t go cheap on accommodations and don’t stay too far from the treatment center.Comply with doctor’s orders.Don’t go home too soon: Follow doctor’s recommendation on recovery time and allow for a couple extra days. Long flights after complex surgeries can endanger a full recovery.Don’t be too adventurous with local cuisine: Digestive fireworks are not going to help with recovery or preparation for a procedure. Get all the paperwork before returning to the U.S. including all recommendations, files, medical records, x-rays, prescriptions and post-operative treatment plans before leaving.Back Home and On the Mend

Since having bariatric surgery in February, Worrell said he had lost about 55 pounds by early April and has seen his quality of life improve.
“I have more energy, I can play with the kids more, my knees don’t creak like they were, and I’m living a healthier lifestyle right now. It’s been great.”
-Follow Elise Rambaud Marrion, @emarrion_cmn.