Mexico Recovery/Airplane Travel After Surgery

on 11/9/17 4:58 am

Let me know if you have any suggestions for hotel recovery and airplane travel after surgery.

I have surgery at the end of the month with Dr. Sauceda in Mexico. I will be traveling alone, so I need to be somewhat self-sufficient for about a week after surgery while I recover before flying back home. I understand the Dr. and his staff will be checking up with me daily at the hotel to make sure there are no complications. I'm sure hotel staff will help with meals/shopping requests until I'm mobile enough to walk a couple of blocks.

I'm thinking I'll want to travel light or possibly not bring everything I take back with me. I certainly will check luggage on the return trip. I'll still want a carryon bag for my lap top and a few other things. Since I'll have a week in a hotel, I need some distractions and snacks. I can bring snacks with me or buy snacks locally before the surgery.

I may ask for wheel chair assistance on the way back. I figured I'd wait and see how mobile I am at the time I need to fly.

Gwen M.
on 11/9/17 10:35 am
VSG on 03/13/14

What surgeries?

VSG with Dr. Salameh - 3/13/2014
Diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder and started Vyvanse - 7/22/2016
Reconstructive Surgeries with Dr. Michaels - 6/5/2017 (LBL & brachioplasty), 8/14/2017 (UBL & mastopexy), 11/6/2017 (medial leg lift)

Age 41 Height 5'4" HW 319 (1/3/2014) SW 293 (3/13/2014) CW 149 (7/16/2017)
Next Goal 145 - normal BMI | Total Weight Lost 170

TrendWeight | Food Blog (sort of functional) | Journal (down for maintenance)

on 11/10/17 6:48 pm - Bay Area/Silicon Valley, CA
Revision on 12/18/13

Hi Brian - How exciting right?? Congratulations!

I can totally help with this since I've had two surgeries with Dr. Sauceda (one every summer!) and one more next June. First one was a LBL, breast lift/aug, and brachi. Second, tummy revision and implants removed/reduction. Third is under armpit/side boob fix and lipo.

Disclaimer: This info is my opinion - others may disagree - so be it. U'merca!

And I apologize this isn't organized too well... I'm tired and lazy but want to get this info posted.

So, first off ---- dear god travel LIGHT. First time I brought way too much stuff. Second time I wised up and brought this list in a small suitcase and small carryon:

  • medications
  • baby wipes cuz I spill stuff all the time - what can I say?
  • toiletries (basic only but I did need antacids occasionally)
  • two sets of clothes only - one that you travel there in and one home - which must be loose
  • two jammies which should open in the front depending on your surgery - but over the head is rough
  • a light robe (nothing heavy - you won't want to carry it or wear it when walking the halls)
  • compression garments (unless he provides)
  • small packs of laundry soap if you have sensitive skin - I do - Paty washes the garments daily
  • a ROKU/FIRE/Apple TV (you will so love me for this one) and Netflix (etc) setup prior to departure - a MUST IMO - saved our asses the second time - first time was hell cuz we didn't have it. NO tv unless you speak Spanish and loooove telenovelas. Grew to hate CNN - LOL
  • HDMI cable for above (I brought two cuz I'm paranoid)
  • laptop and adapters/cables you need to connect to the TV IF you want to do that (I live in Silicon Valley and work in tech so, y'know, gotta be connected)
  • iPad or tablet (boredom is soooo real) if not laptop
  • Kindle maybe?
  • slippers/socks x 3
  • I bring a baby travel pillow and blanket - for physical and psychological comfort - feels like home in a hotel room and plane
  • water bottle - so important! Big mistake learned from first time
  • plastic utensils, paper plates, bowl, napkins - another big mistake learned after first time
  • a real knife to cut fruit etc (this was another learning lump) - pack in suitcase - duh although you can buy a cheap one at HEB - we did the first time
  • depending on your surgery, slip-on shoes are best

I packed the HDMI cords and ROKU + remote in a plastic ziplock with a note to airport security stating exactly what it was and why I had them for fear of confiscation.

On your way home leave whatever you don't want anymore, and otherwise, cram as much as possible in your suitcase. Airport personnel and your driver will handle your luggage so who cares how heavy the damn thing is right? You need your carryon bag to be as light as possible.

Before you depart the US, arrange with your airline for a wheelchair on the return flight and be prepared; my flights have been delayed both times - once for three hours in Mexico and then for two hours in Houston! The pillow and blanket above were great to have then for sure. Oh, and they often wheeled me to the gate then left. So if you need to get something or use the potty do so before they leave you!

Wheelchair people get to board early and you should mention to the flight attendant you've had surgery - they were extra-special nice to me. :)

You'll go through security lickety-split in a wheelchair - bypassing lines and everything - kinda cool! But be prepared - my compression garments set off the metal detectors and so I needed to get a pat down in a private room - we all had a good laugh over my four drain bulbs!

Paty is great - tip her well and bring a gift for her daughter if you want (she's around 6-7 now I think...?). Loves Disney anything. Paty comes every morning after working a full night shift - she's amazing. Love this woman. Her English is great. Please tell her Leslie and Terry from San Francisco say Hi!

Dr. Sauceda comes a few times but not everyday just to say hi - he leaves the wound care and inspection to Paty. Love Dr. S.


  • Shop the day before surgery at HEB (walking distance - easy) - use your rolling suitcase as a cart to get your items back to the hotel, OR, you can take the hotel shuttle. If you take your suitcase be prepared to show it to the security guard in the front (he just wants to ensure it's empty). I found the van more of a pain in the ass and it's a nice little walk. Perfectly safe, everyone is super nice. Bring pesos to tip the grocery bagger - this is how they survive. I've always found English-speaking customers there who're more than willing to help you.. such nice people!
  • BUY WATER - We bought four gallon-size bottles (hence the suitcase) - You'll blow through it and getting more after surgery is a royal pain in the ASS.
  • Leave leftover water/food for the maids - they were so grateful (and tip them too since they're missing out on those tips - unless you let them in your room - I never did - just exchanged towels).
  • Regarding delivery/to-go; yes, you can ask the front desk people to go to HEB, or wherever - don't be in a rush and don't expect to get exactly what you asked for, which is why I highly recommend stocking up on the food, snacks, and water prior. I bought cheese, yogurt, fruit (GREAT selection!), veggies (you can wash all in the hotel sink - water is fine), nuts, lunch meats, etc. The HEB is HUGE.

Restaurants: be prepared to eat off plan - I just found no real way around it and made my peace - perhaps others have some suggestions. I was in pain (although not as much as I expected), crabby, bored, and hungry - so screw it - I ate off plan and guess what? I survived. There's a pretty decent pizza place in the HEB center and they deliver - yay! I'm fine with cold pizza so not having a micro the second time was just fine. Applebee's SUCKS. I mean it's horrible IMO. Tried it twice now and nope - not again - but in desperation got a few salads delivered - hard to f'up a salad you say? Uh huh. Starbucks is super close and awesome but if you're by yourself you might be able to persuade a hotel person to get stuff for you - tip them well - it's cheap for us. Hint: write down exactly what you want on paper or you won't get it. Google Starbucks in Mexico to see the menu in Spanish. I'm not ashamed to say I ate breakfast there a number of times. The Italian restaurant gets a 6 out of 10 IMO - just not that great and waaaaay off plan. Breakfast downstairs is so-so and very carb heavy - pretty sure eggs are powdered but dump salsa on them and you'll choke 'em down. They do have yogurt but I'm picky so bought my own.

Clinic: This one is a little politically sensitive but I don't care - it's my health; The first time I was there I stayed in the clinic for three days and on the second day I was coherent enough to realize many of the nurses not only didn't wash their hands prior to handling my IV etc, they weren't wearing gloves! Not all of them but many, and really it only takes one to spread staff right?? So I mentioned it to Dr. S and as I recall there was some reprimanding and from then on gloves were worn. Next time, I brought extras to the clinic. I take no chances with staff infections (or any other germs). I did mention it to Dr. S that time and he assured me they would wear them - they did. But still... safety first!

Download Google translate for Spanish onto your phone - do not depend on the wifi working anywhere and especially not in the clinic... it does not work - ever. If you d/l it before you'll have no prob. If you've not used it you'll love it! You can speak or write - I used it extensively with the nurses at the clinic as only one spoke some English. Of course if you speak Spanish, well, lucky you.

If you're only at the clinic one day you won't need a tablet - you'll sleep. But of course have your phone - which leads me to WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Both are free and work on wifi so no expensive phone calls, but the other person needs the app too. I prefer WhatsApp but that's cuz I despise FB (those commie *******s. j/k sorta). Won't work in the clinic but if you bought a cell plan and have international cell already it's not an issue.

Re the hotel: Upgrade to a room with better wifi!! Your ROKU sanity depends on it! My first room was horrid but second time was great. WAY worth the small expense. Also, ask for a quiet room. Last time I was there they were remodeling (I think they're wrapping it up)... ugh.

So I'm sure I've forgotten something - I'll answer as best I can any questions you may have.


p.s. no spell checking etc cuz I'm too lazy - so sorry for those. Meh.



Leslie - Band Revision to RNY - best thing ever!   HW: 234   SW: 222  CW: Ticker  GW: 130

on 11/10/17 8:26 pm

Wow. Lots of great specific to me information.

Couple of questions:

1 Where did you keep all the groceries while you were in the hospital? Did you just pack them in your bag and leave it at the hotel? Just need to make sure I have enough extra room in my bag.

2 What is considered a good tip?

on 11/10/17 8:44 pm - Bay Area/Silicon Valley, CA
Revision on 12/18/13


Well you check into the hotel the night before your surgery right? There's a fridge in there. That's what you mean? I checked in a day before surgery, shopped, got marked up that night, then surgery the next day. I just paid for my room that one day I was in the clinic - WAY worth it to have it all set up and waiting for me to come back to.

Do you mean $ for Paty?

Instead of us clogging this all up and boring everyone, how about if you PM me...?



Leslie - Band Revision to RNY - best thing ever!   HW: 234   SW: 222  CW: Ticker  GW: 130

on 11/11/17 12:58 pm

Thanks. Just didn't think of keeping the room during the surgical stay. Agree it is going to be worth it to have everything set up when I go back to the hotel to recuperate on my own.

on 11/18/17 2:47 pm
RNY on 07/23/14

I traveled for my surgery, not to Mexico, but I kept the hotel while I was in the Hospital. Makes it much easier when you get back...

Cynthia 5'11" RNY 7/23/2014

Maintaining a 220lb Weight Loss
Plastic Surgery Dr. Joseph Michaels - LBL and Hernia Repair 2/29/16, Arm Lift, BL, 5/2/16, Leg Lift 7/25/16

Need to get back to Basics? The Five Day Meat Test



on 2/16/18 3:26 pm

You are awesome. Thank you!

on 11/12/17 7:34 pm
DS on 12/13/16

I just returned Thursday from 12 days in Monterrey with my friend, Joni, who had extensive plastic surgery with Dr Sauceda. We are WLS YouTubers and we both made videos from Monterrey. You can find our videos at Smilinsshrinking and Hasta CIELO Y Mas. Uber Eats was a lifesaver! I normally tipped 50 pesos, regularly to the drivers, housekeeper and uber eats driver, which is about $2.50. Best wishes! Such a great experience! I'll be going for my plastics with Dr Sauceda next Fall!

on 11/14/17 5:17 am

Thanks. I'm binge watching your youtube videos.

Most Active
skin removal
zumbawithpatria · 7 replies · 152 views
Atlanta surgeon rec?
TheAlps · 1 replies · 54 views
Aetna approval?!?
Cyndy C. · 0 replies · 36 views
Recent Topics
skin removal
zumbawithpatria · 7 replies · 152 views
Aetna approval?!?
Cyndy C. · 0 replies · 36 views
Atlanta surgeon rec?
TheAlps · 1 replies · 54 views