Love My Lap Band!

Everything you want to know about life and weight loss with a Lap Band!

Finally! Banded In Mexico!

Posted by Lori on September 13, 2009

This past Wednesday I went to Mexico and had my gastric band procedure performed by the masterful, mystical, magical, hyper-competent and good-humored Dr. Ariel Ortiz. Let me tell you – his patients love him for a reason. My surgery was on Thursday afternoon and I’m on my post-surgical all liquid diet. The good news is that it’s Sunday and I am not yet hungry despite having consumed fewer than 1000 calories total in the past few days.

So, what’s it like? I’ll tell you the whole story. We drove to border crossing where Fernando picked us up and took us across the border. Because I was coming in fairly late in the day, he took us straight to the Marriott. We checked in and went downstairs for my last meal before surgery. I had  chicken in chile sauce served over mashed sweet potatoes. It was divine. Looking around the dining room, I noticed a casually -attired, similarly-sized lady eating alone and went over to introduce myself. Sure enough, she was here from Canada to have surgery with Dr. Ortiz as well. We chatted for a while before each of us headed off to our room.

The next morning at 7 am sharp, the van arrived for us. We went straight to the clinic – which is a five minute drive or so. We pulled into the basement parking and took an elevator to the second floor. We entered the waiting room lobby – a pretty, sunny space with stone tiles – and were greeted by name by the receptionist. First, I was taken off to the dentist to make sure my teeth were in good order for the amount of chewing they are about to embark upon and then off to the cardiologist. Dr. Heurta tested my lungs for capacity and discovered that they only functioned at about 78% – this explains why I can’t walk as far as I used to. They have a little box that you blow into as long and as hard as you can for six seconds – it’s very simple. Then, I was on the table for a quick EKG which required slipping into an open front patient gown over my jeans. Then it was off to meet with the marvelous Dr. Miranda – OCC’s beautiful, brilliant nutritionist. She laid down the law about what I could eat and not eat. For the first week, clear liquids only – preferably diluted fruit juice for seven days. Broth can be added after the third day if essential. Also, Pedialyte, Gatorade, Kellogg’s Protein Water and coffee or herbal tea with non-dairy creamers. At the second week, a half cup serving of liquid yogurt can be added. For the third week, protein drinks and creamy soups. Okay.

Finally, I was taken off to my room –  a charming little space, with a hospital bed, soothing dark colors and a small water fountain by the side. Dr. Ortiz designed the space himself and it is comfortable, cozy and modern. I changed into my hospital gown and a nurse came in to insert my IV and draw blood for a few more tests. It was painless and very quick.  From that point on, it’s kind of a blur. I vaguely remember being helped out of my bed and into a wheelchair. I remember chatting with the anesthesiologist about how everyone loves their anesthesiologist and he said that I was wrong about that. LOL. Next thing I know, I’m being waken up and walked down the hall.

I’ve had major surgery twice in my life and this walk down the hall was easy. After a c-section with a full transverse cut getting out of bed and walking is incredibly painful. This isn’t like that at all. The biggest problem was that I was still woozy and wanted to walk into the wall, but the nurse kept a strong arm on me and I was fine. Then I went back to the room and sat down on the love seat where I promptly fell asleep. After snoozying there for a few hours, I climbed back into bed and slept for some more. My dinner companion from the night before was alert and wandering up and down the hall way but that wasn’t for me. I did get up a couple more times just to walk around and it was easy. They have a station with computer where patients can check their email. I logged in to find out what Obama had proposed in his health care reform speech, thinking all the time how ironic it was that I was checking from Mexico while on a health care vacation.

The next morning, Dr. Ortiz checked in on me but I was so sleepy that I barely remember that.  My husband showed up later on, and Fernando loaded us into the van for the trip across the border.

Since that time, I have not experienced any real pain. I’ve only taken one of the pain pills that they sent me home with. I can sleep in whatever position that I want without problems. The IV was removed easily and did not leave any bruising. I didn’t get taht nurse’s name, but she’s really good at IVs.

I’m not hungry yet.  I’ve been drinking out of a small, antique crystal wine glass. I’ve had maybe four cups total of orange juice since Friday morning. I need to get some protein water in there but we haven’t been to the store yet. Like I said, I’m not hungry yet. The juice is keeping me full. That’s a big relief.

So, that’s what my experience was like. It was as simple, easy and sensible as anything I have ever done. Dr. Ortiz’ facilities are state of the art – elegant but not ostentatious, well designed and sparkling. He has lots of health care professionals from America as patients and one very quickly sees why they come here.

If you have any other questions about what it is like, I’m happy to answer them.

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3 Responses to “Finally! Banded In Mexico!”

  1. Jannilu said

    Congratulations!! Glad to hear about your abventure into bandland! Please keep us posted. I’m still in the researching stage in the process,so I will be eagerly following you progress!!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Jan B

  2. Leane Wheeler said

    Hi Lori – Congratulations you make it sound very stress free!I am getting banded Sept 24th and am glad I have come across your blog.
    What a great informative site.Thankyou for sharing your journey!Cheers Leane

  3. Dawn M. said

    Hi Lori- Like Leane, I am very happy to stumble upon your blog. I’m getting banded on October 7th. Thank you SOOOO much for sharing your journey. Hope you don’t mind, but I bookmarked you =)

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