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I chose to go to Dr. Alvarez because I was a self-pay patient, since my insurance has an exclusion for weight loss surgery. I was never terribly nervous about going to Mexico for the surgery, I guess since I had heard good reviews of the experience from people in my community and also OH members. Of course, I did my research. I didn't want to just go to Mexico to get a "bargain price" surgery. I mean, this is your body....you don't want to choose a doctor simply because he has the cheapest price. The number of successful surgeries Dr. Alvarez has performed made the decision for me. I could have had surgery here in Louisiana for just a couple thousand more, but do those doctors have as much experience as Dr. A?
Everything went smoothly, from the time we were picked up in San Antonio before surgery, to the time we were dropped off after surgery.
Rosy (his driver) is very nice. Taking a 2 hour trip with someone you've just met can be a little uncomfortable, but she is very friendly and I felt at ease right away.
Dr. Alvarez and Dr. Gabe, both, have great "bedside manners". I know that surgical skill is probably more important, but as a patient feeling vulnerable, you want to feel like your doctor(s) understand you and care how you're feeling.
Dr. A's day nurse (Cristina) and night nurse (Jessica) are available to you nearly around the clock. Both are a big help, should you need anything.
While all of Dr. A's staff speak English fluently, the nurses at the hospital do not. This was never a problem, though. They do know the words for the meds they're administering (i.e. pain, acid, nausea, etc.) and were on time, everytime, for all the medications. I NEVER had to call for anything.
The hospital is an older building, but very clean. It appears that the room I was in had been recently remodeled. It had a nice roomy tile shower (with a seat) and huge towels!
You're sent home with a bag that includes the meds you will need (pain & PPI), surgery report, receipt for taxes, his book and a few other goodies.
Last, but certainly not least, his patient coordinator Susan. We've never met, only spoke on the phone once, the rest of the time our correspondence has been by email. I feel like she is an old friend. She has patiently answered every single question I've had. I told her the other day that she is awesome, and she is! :)
Aftercare.....it's certainly not non-existant, although you should follow up with your PCP. BUT, Dr. A and Susan, both, are available should you have any questions. And believe me, I had questions. As an example, I started to develop blisters under the steri-strips that covered my incisions. Susan was very quick to respond to my emails and let me know that I had an allergy to the adhesive.
I honestly don't have any negatives to report. I would gladly recommend Dr. Alvarez and his staff to ANY family members or friends that were interested in weight loss surgery.
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