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Surgeon TestimonialMario Alberto Almanza-ReyesMy first impression of Dr. Almanza was that he must be a very busy man. I only got to see him twice. Once when we were out and about and once because he came in to take a picture with my mom and me and our lapbands. He didn't speak clear English, but there are alot of translators. My impression didn't change until my mom had to come back again due to a hole forming on her stomach tissue. She came back home second time with deadly infections, a hole in her stomach, 5 abscess, and pnemonia in her lungs.. then I didn't like him too much. His office was VERYY small and looked like the rooms looked like rooms in a house. I didn't like that he wasn't very social with anybody. Future patients should know that there has been alot of cases around the United States and Canada of the same thing that happened to my mom. People coming home with deadly infections. The only aftercare info that they really gave us was to be on a clear liquid diet for four weeks. When I got home, I learned alot more about this procedure that I didn't know when I was going there. I didn't know that you have to get this lapband taken out every 5 years. I didn't anything and nobody informed me on anything. Overall, I would rate him high for being nice... but really low when it comes to medical care. |
Letters To Mom. on June 20, 2010 10:35 am
Someone PMed me and told me that I should post what I have written to my mom while she was on the ventilator, to make this as real as I can, so more people will believe. I thought it was a good idea.. so here it is..
Hey momma! I was swimming a few nights ago with Avelia and I was thinking about the time you made me go to camp. You gave me a notebook and got you one and we promised to write eachother everyday to tell eachother what we've been doing. Well, since you're on the ventilator, we can't communicate, so I will write you what's going on until you're well again. Well, Megan, Avelia, me, and Cindy were are the hospital and we left. When everybody got home, dad got a call from a n urse saying that they had to take you to the ICU because you weren't breathing well. I cried... I thought it was a bad thing, but Cindy and dad informed me that it was a good thing, because you would have one nurse who would keep a good eye on you.
When I woke up on Friday, I called dad right away to see how you were doing. He was crying and was worried because the nurse called Cindy and him and told them that ou weren't doing so good. Gerald and Penny came down Friday too! Jimmy G. came to see you. Cindy, dad, Megan, Brandon, Avelia, and me went out to eat to Ixtapa, but we came back up around 8 and visited you.
I had a dream about you Friday night. You were sleeping and woke up and was hurting real bad and I calmed you down and told you that you would be asleep again soon. When we came back Saturday, we had to take turns visiting you. The people who were there: Josh, Peggy, Cindy, Brandon, Usala, Joey, Gerald, Penny, Avelia, me, and Megan. You never know how many people love you until something like this happens.
Cindy wants me to tell you that Ruth, Becky, Janese, Amy, Gloria, Jane, grandma, and more have seen you while you were in the ICU these past few days. Not to mention phone calls from: Sylvia, Benita, Melba, Rosemary, Barbara, Christy P., and all of the brothers. My friends on facebook: Aunt Lynda, cousin Mike, Uncle Steve, Uncle Dave, Stephanie F., Amber (the girl you went offon for me when I was in 9th grade), Chrystal, Avelia's mom, my teacher's: Mrs Love, Mrs. Cooper, Mrs. Giles, and Homer.
I made an account on obesityhelp.com. I put up pics of you after you got back home and pics from when we were actually IN Mexico. I wrote two blogs on it and in 2 days, I've gotten about 5 responses of people who are praying for you, now. Not to mention ********** ***** and a girl named Michelle who are on your side. Cindy also wants me to let you know that Dr. Lopez came in and asked "YOU WANNA MOKE?" HAHA.
Saturday was bad. When we went to visit at 8, Cindy got you to wake up and you started freakin' out and they made us step out of the room. Cindy felt soooo bad. Luckily, the doctor said it was your body getting immune to the "Michael Jackson" drug, so they uppered the dose. Dad notified me that kids aren't allowed to see you right now. Today is Tuesday, June 1, 2010, and I haven't seen you in 3 days now (since Sat.).
I went to church for you Sunday, with Avelia and her mom. I gritted my teeth to keep myself from crying when he told everyone to leave our problems at God's feet. The minister told everyone to turn to your neighbor and pray for eachother, but we sat down. Avelia's mom got up and told us that we needed to stand up and pray for you. When we gathered hands and prayed, we all hugged eachother and all of us were crying for you. Then, we went out for lunch and to Petland to play with the dogs. I held my cross and remembered you saying that whenever I feel alone, I could hold it for comfort to know that you and God are always there with me. Church was nice. I think I'm going to go every Sunday from now on.
Monday I was home all day. One of your friends from work stopped by at 12 and gave us BBQ pork, corn on the cob, baked beans, and lemonade pie and BOY was it good! Tuesday, today, I came home from Cindy's and another friend of yours stopped by and gave us spaghetti and is stopping by this weekend to give us some more food. You have really good friends momma. I hope to be that important to people when I grow up. I'm coming up with Cindy tomorrow to see you. It's been real hard on all of us, not being able to conversate these past few days. I can't wait to show you what I've done on obesityhelp.com! I hope I help prevent many friends and family around the world from going through what we're going through. Who knows? When you get out of the hospital and my words stop somebody from going to this hospital in Mexico, I will be able to cross off "witness a miracle" and "save a life" from my bucket list.
Alot of people on this website say that I'm mature for my age, because of my writings. They say that you should be super proud! :) But I'm super proud of you for staying strong! And my words won't stop flowing about your story until "Dr. Mario Alberto Almanza-Reyes" is ***********. We love you and miss you! I will write back tomorrow.
Amanda ****** *******
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Update on Mommy :) on June 5, 2010 1:01 am
I visited my mommy today. She's looking pretty good, her skin color is back to normal. :) She was running out of her medicine stuff that makes her sleep. I kissed her hand and she started crying :'(.. I said MOMMY... YOU BETTER KEEP STAYING STRONG.. AND YOU BETTER NOT CRY, EVEN THOUGH IT IS OKAY TO... She had her eyes opened for a minute, like a newborn baby who opened his eyes for the first time, and I turned my head and was smiling at her and she started crying again.. I hate seeing my momma cry :'( It's the worst feeling in the WHOLEEE WIDE WORLD. I can't wait until she gets better you guys. My life is slowing tearing apart. I've always been strong... there's been plenty of moments when I've had to be strong. But I'm getting tired. I'm keeping my head up though. But I'm just really depressed. I don't know when my momma's going to be home... my back has been killing me... I feel like I'm lost in a maze. My momma is the only one that understands me.. she's the only person in the world that has my back no matter what I'm going through, good or bad. My sidekick. I feel like it's been years since we last spoke. I think back at any arguments that we've ever been in and I wish that I could just hug her and tell her that I'm sorry and I know I'm wrong, even if I wasn't. I wish that momma would have never learned to use the computer hah. Then neither one of us would have ever even gotten the IDEA to go to get this surgery. I cry everyday, since mom's been in ICU. I wish they would give me and my family something to put us to sleep for awhile, until mom heals. I want to thank everyone who is leaving positive things for me and my family and thank-you everyone who is praying! It means the world to me.
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WHY I have time to write my momma's story. on June 4, 2010 2:52 pm
As most of you know, my mom is in the ICU on a ventilator right now.. Visiting hours are around 9-10 AM, 1-2PM, 4-5PM, and 8-9PM. On the second day that my mom was in the ICU, my aunt, me, my little sister, and my dad were in the room. We were talking to her, even though we didn't know IF she could hear us or anything. My mom woke up and this machine started beeping, her eyes were yellow (her eyes were wide open for brief seconds here and there) because of all the medicine that she's now on.. Her hands are tied down to something and she was trying to lift her hands, she seemed to try to talk to us. A few nurses came in and told us to leave the room for a second because they had to give her more of what was making her stay asleep. They informed my dad that kids aren't allowed around all the time anymore, because we might "excite" her. HOWEVER, I am visiting her, just not every visiting hour, due to not being allowed to see her every visiting hour. When I do go visit her, I visit her at the 4 O'clock and/or the 8 O'clock. In the meantime, I still have time to clean the house, visit with my friends, AND manage to post up these stories so that I can let you guys here a negative story about this hospital / "clinic", to help try to turn your decision onto another doctor, but still be able to make your own decisions. Once again, I support everyone's decisions, whether it be going to this hospital, deciding whether or not to go, already went, etc. I'm here for you guys.
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To People Who Thought The Were NO Negative... on June 4, 2010 11:31 am
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Okay everyone.... brand new here - (so.... HI!!) - well, I've been "stalking" the site for a while now but seeing this post today has prompted me to go ahead and register so I could respond.
Let me apologize right away for the excessively lengthy post, but I got started and just couldn't stop!!
My name is Libby. From all my reading, I feel like I "know" a few of you already!
I had my sleeve surgery on November 21st, 2009 at Dr. Andres Betancourt's Emmanuel Medical Center with Dr. Almanza... and yes, I too, ended up with a pretty nasty staph infection.
Now, admittedly, my experience was one of rushed plans, lacking in any type of research whatsoever with this hospital / doctor, in particular... I had fully researched and prepped for the mini gastric bypass surgery with Dr. Rutledge in Nevada a year prior but when funding fell through, was left to start over from scratch.
Having come into a little money suddenly on November 19th, I half-heartedly did a few internet searches to take a peek into what the self pay procedures were costing these days - - and stumbled upon a coordinator for Dr. Almanza offering an amazingly alluring fee for the gastric sleeve.
I made the call.... checked a few resources.... and my coordinator, Rita - says, "What are you doing on the 21st?".............. TWO DAYS LATER, she meant......... wow!! So it was a bit of a wild ride from there, but I flew out the next day to San Diego - stayed over at the Holiday Inn Bayside - and met the hospital transport back at the airport the following morning, who took us into Mexico and to the hospital.
The experience (while my family was CERTAIN that I would touch down in the middle of a warzone and awake from surgery having had my organs harvested for the black market!!) was quite a pleasant one, for the most part.
Very warm and welcoming, the doctors and staff were quite accommodating every step of the way.
The hospital, while simple, was cleaner than some US hospitals I've seen.
The language barrier was something I wish I'd considered a bit more - - but really caused no major issues.... I had what I needed, when I needed it and never felt the least bit "unaccounted for".
The ONLY "issue" I had while in the hospital (which really did seem like a pretty big issue to me) was that the nurses did not wear gloves when working on my IV. They had a very difficult time due to my small "uncooperative" veins, and there were at least four attempts by different staff before the anesthesiologist finally stated that he would put the IV in himself once I was in the operating room.
Moments before I went in, another nurse made a SUCCESSFUL attempt to get the IV in. *thank GOD!!* (OUCH!!)
But, through all the sticks - - all the blood, trying to get the IV in place.... I noticed that none of them had worn gloves.... *note, that I bled quite a bit!*
I mentioned to my "surgery mate" of my concerns.... and she seemed to shrug it off and have no matching concerns of her own..... by then, I was swooshed off to the operating room and when it was over, was too concerned with my recovery too rehash the thought in my mind, I guess.
Two days in the hospital and then on to the recovery house.
I actually stayed at Dr. Bettancourt's private home (a couple doors down from the recovery house) because they were quite full over there and Doc Andres felt I would be more comfortable at his home with his staff. I agreed.
Every aspect of my care was attended to and despite the normal post op pain and discomfort, I enjoyed a very peaceful stay.
I felt that my recovery was going very well, but since I had made the trip alone, had begun missing my family and requested to go home a day early.
All seemed well and arrangements were made for me to go home the next morning.
I have to say, that once I left the hospital - there were no longer "vitals checks", etc. - which I suppose is the norm - - - but had there been a couple of those throughout my recovery stay, it might have been brought to our attention that I was harboring a low grade fever, even the night before I left Mexico.
I noticed that there was some redness around the largest of my incisions... but Doc Andres had checked prior to my going home - and I wasn't really having anything more than what I thought was "expected post op pain" - so... my drainage tube was removed - (MAJORRRR PAINNNNN!!!) *probably due to the abscess that was already beginning to build* - - - and off I went.
Medical transport across the border (and me with no passport!!) and back to the San Diego airport for my flight home to Fort Worth.
I arrived home around 5pm that evening... (my 4th day out) and was EXHAUSTED, in pain, and light headed........ of course, I was sure that I just overdid it with the flight, walking through the airport, etc. (even though I had to summon a wheel chair transport to get through the airport to my parked vehicle).
Got through the night with my pain meds, cold sponge baths and as much SLEEP as I could get.
The next morning.... more of the same..... but the pain was worsening... my belly was bloating.... redness around the incision was broadening .... I could keep NOTHING down, vomiting and dry heaving.... and in one terrifying moment later that afternoon, my largest incision site burst open, literally FLOWING with an outpour of infectious pus!!
Of course, with no private health insurance - I was another self pay headed to the closest urgent care center for evaluation...
By that time, I had an increase in the fever and the pain was so unbearable, I could barely stand for more than a few seconds at a time.
Seems I was suffering a grapefruit sized abscess at my incision site (which had filled by then, into another of my sites which had also begun to seep)...
The doctor listened to my sleeve experience and surprisingly enough, without judgement, did her best to not only provide excellent care, but to do so while keeping my self pay status in mind.
A culture was done and I received an injection and three prescriptions (after I couldn't tolerate one in particular) to treat staph infection and was warned that I should be hospitalized - and that if ANYTHING worsened or there was not an immediate positive response to the antibiotics, that I would have no choice but to be admitted. I was receiving the highest and most potent treatment available in an outpatient situation.
THANKFULLY...... after three weeks of what I thought must be what hell is like - - I think I am finally on the mend.
While in the urgent care clinic, I did contact one of the coordinators whom I'd never spoken to, but for some reason, had the number for... Shirley..... because the doctor needed to know what antibiotic I had been sent home from Mexico on.
She was cordial.... helpful.... and pleasant. Yet, I never heard from her again.
Yet another coordinator, Michele, (for Patti Lissberger) finally contacted me on 12/10 with a simple "how are you" email.... stating that Patti Lissberger prides herself on her after care contacts and "connections"....
I responded via email to Michele.... (cut and pasted the very email address she had provided).... and received, several days later, a response stating that I must have typed the wrong email address and that I should contact someone directly from the ISA Bariatric website. ::weird::
Again I responded - to three other email addresses, including Patti Lissberger's.... and after a couple more days, received a very generic phone message from Michele.
I didn't bother trying to call her back.
I am making my way...... recovering slowly........ having some issues with tolerating different things.... and I'm sure will have a billion questions throughout the journey....
But for now.... I just wanted to post MY experience and say that while I do believe there are a few things here and there that the Emmanuel Medical Center and staff could improve upon, I can't honestly say that I regret the experience... I may even go back again! (but I will definitely be more aware, more aggressive to state my concerns in the moments that I have them and better versed on what to expect.)
~ Just my 2 cents....
Nice to "meet" you all!!!
Complaints about aftercare issues:
Hi Libby. I remember meeting you there. I can't remember if it was you or your roommate that stated they had the lapband that had tore a 4 inch hole in their stomach and they were getting the sleeve done. The day you all came to the clinic was the day I was checking out to go to the recovery house. I only met you both for a few minutes. I had surgery the same day as Mitzi. Kristina, Tasha and Jesus all had surgery on the 20th. Mitzi also had problems later with a small infection. I haven't heard from any of the others except Jesus and he apparantly didn't have any problems but he had the RNY done.
I also noticed the glove thing and I also mentioned it to my roommate. I also agree about them not checking vitals once you go to the recovery house. I think at the very least they need to check them before they send you home.
I spent one night at Dr. Betancourts house. I enjoyed my stay for the most part aside from being cold most of the time and Dr. Batancourt's spare bed was hard as a rock. I feel everyone treated me good and I have no complaints about that. I worry about the infections going on at the time. That's all I was ever trying to say. I hope they can take care of the problem and people can go home on the mend. Not dealing with more problems, making a bargain surgery cost a lot more in the end.
Future patients are told that those with infections are fake, they never did the surgery. It should be noted that on another board this patient posted emails, an OR report, pre/post op orders, and a detailed description of the hospital and what was in the food pantry:
Sounds like we will be at Emmanuel with Dr. Almanza at the same time. I'm a patient...vsg...What are you having.
For one thing, this story is totally fake as there was no such surgery done on that date...
I have forwarded the info to Dr. A, his staff, and the site admin. Another fake story was posted on ObesityHelp by a Maria S she altered the details, but mostly the same...total BS! These posts are part of a smear campaign by a poster who gets kickbacks from the mx dr she supports. She attemptst to instill fear in anyone who uses Dr. Almanza. I think it was removed as it could in no way be substantiated. Go back and read NJSleever's posts----doesnt ring true....I am a nurse (17 years ICU) and what she said DID NOT ADD UP whatsoever. If you ask njsleever her for info she cannot, will not provide it.
If you'd like to talk please PM me and we can exchange phone numbers. I cannot give all details publicly as this serious case of slander/libel is under investigation. As a man in business, you can certainly understand that all a man or woman has is his or her good name. Bill, I hope to hear from you and it sounds as if we will be meeting in a few weeks.
Patient feels she must prove she is telling the truth to another Almanza patient having surgery in 2 days:
Holly - I knew that there would be a reply like this soon. Please find my email correspondence confirming my deposit payment for surgery. I am not doing this for any reason but to HELP PEOPLE FROM SUFFERING WHAT I AM SUFFERING. Imagine how I feel to read this while I sit here in a hospital still facing the unknown. There have been successes at Emmanuel and I pray you are one! I do! PM me and I can forward you the post op report they gave me and all my emails. If you were lied to by your coordinator - you may want to challenge her with this information in hand. Below I removed the coordinator and my last names and email addresses as a privacy issue. I also removed my address from the PayPal receipt. Good Luck and God Bless!
----- Forwarded Message -----
To: 'Marie '
Sent: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 17:24:13 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: RE: Receipt for Your Payment to JERUSALEM HOSPITAL Got it!!! RESPECTFULLY, Shirley EMMANUEL MEDICAL
CENTER JERUSALEM HOSPITAL PATIENT COORDINATOR www.emmanuelmedical.com www.hospitaljerusalem.com.mx
Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 9:05 AM
Subject: Fwd: Receipt for Your
Payment to JERUSALEM HOSPITAL
----- Forwarded Message -----
Sent: Tue, 17 Nov 2009 17:03:52 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Receipt for Your Payment to JERUSALEM
||Nov. 17, 2009 09:03:51 PST
You sent a payment of $1,000.00 USD to JERUSALEM HOSPITAL (email@example.com)
It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in your account.
You haven't entered any instructions.
The seller hasn’t provided any shipping details yet.
|Charge will appear on your credit card statement as
Payment sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hello Everyone. I was asked to post more proof that I am a patient on some coordinator trying to discredit Emanuel Medical Center, Dr Betancourt an Dr Almanza.When I returned on November 30th, I called and asked for my post op rport to provide my NYC Doctor who would be doing my follow up. I was provided the following. This is a GENERIC report that the Center provide. THEY DO NOT PROVIDE A PERSONALIZED REPORT as I requested it and was told that "They dont do that down there. My surgery was done on Thanksgiving Day. i was the second case because I was more comlicated - a revision. The first case was Mike who is married to a lovely Chinese woman. When they left the recovery house she forgot her translator and Shirley called and asked us to look around for it. Claudia, the 16 year old nurse found it in the end and it was going to be shipped to Shirley for return to mike and his wife. The third case that was scheduled flight was delayed and her surgery was held over to the next day. Since she didnt have surgery on Thanksgiving he was invited to Dr. Betancourts Thanksgiving dinner at his home but said she ate very li8ghtly. She was an African American woman who had braids and did well. her husband stayed at the residence and enjoyed Tijauna with the transporters that work for Dr. Betancourt. They were from Atlanta. I stayed in the room directly accross Dr. Betancourts Home. It was a beautiful room! Mike stayed in the room next to mine but it didnt have its own bathroom and the other upstairs bedroom was vacant the entire time, The husband (or partner) of the woman from atlanta stayed in the downstairs bedroom. The house is impeccably clean. They have a phone downstairs witha 727 area code that is free but they have a note to limit calls to 30 minutes in case another client wants to use it. Inside the cabinet, they have cambell and knorr soups along with teas, and condiments. In the freezer are the long type icees that kids drink and the jello was a spanish brand in four flavors. blue red orange and another i cant recall.
I am not a coordinator - I AM TRYING TO SAVE YOU FROM MY MISERY. But I have to tell you this is getting old - you will need to make your own decisions and I TRULY WISH YOU WELL!!! I dont think they mean it and I think they are shaken enough to be making changes - I PRAY THEY ARE.
ANYWAY - Good NEWS!! (well kinda) They found a leak BUT it appears that it has already been healing since i am fever free now three days YAY. So I AM SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO. However, I had to remove my old PIC line and then do another in the other arm. I will need to be NPO 5 days on something called TPN. I am told that is a thick white mixture that will provide me all my nutrients. I will need to take this nightly via my PIC line and then after the 5 days I will have more testing to verify resolution of the LEAK. After that, they will determine if I need antibitics, (Remember I still have two open incisions that need daily cleaning and packing. Although they look very good at this point - but Gosh the big is slow to heal. I had a total of FOUR incisions infected and the other two are completed clean and healed (WOO HOO AGAIN)
SO YOUR PRAYERS, my PRAYERS, My FAMILY AND FRIENDS PRAYERS AND MY PRIEST BLESSINGS ALL WORKED. THANK YOU!!!! HUGS BAG TO ALL OF YOU AND GOOD LUCK TO THOSE STILL RESEARCHING. I need to recover and will do my best to keep up.
I get to see my babies after soooo many days.......You have no idea how good that feels. Again GOD BLESS!
----- Forwarded Message -----
To: 'Marie '
Sent: Tue, 1 Dec 2009 15:48:51 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Gastric Sleeve OP Report
1. Take VS by nurse.
2. Place IV Hartman solution of 1000cc for permeable vein
3. Administrate the following medication (ask for allergy)
i. Ranitidina 1 amp I.V.
ii. Ceftriaxona 1gr I.V. (in case of allergy change to gentamicina 80mg)
iii. Ondansetron 4mg I.V.
iv. Dexametasona 4mg I.V.
4. Place antiemboli socks
5. In case that is necessary take EKG
6. Pass to OR after the anesthesiology visit.
SURGERY NOTE : GASTRIC SLEEVE
Placing the patient in dorsal decubitus, general anesthesia is administrated, intubation is done, antiseptic wash in abdomen is done too, surgery initiates by placing the trocars through the abdominal wall, inspecting the cavity the stomach is localized and by introducing a catheter to the stomach, we delimit the capacity of the sleeve done by a staple, the sleeve has a virtual capacity approx. 15cc. Resection of the big curvature piece is done and in the sleeve there’s no bleeding or leaking. A drainage is left to measure any exudated. Closure of surgical wounds is done by none dissolving stitches.
Count of surgical material: Complete
POST SURGICAL INDICATIONS
1. Strict uniformed nutritional (only ice chips are allowed).
Mixed: 1000cc I.V. the first 8hrs and continue with
1000cc + 20mEq of KCL for 8hrs
a. Ranitidina I.V. 1 amp every/12 hrs
b. Metoclopramida I.V. 1 amp every/8 hrs
c. Ceftriaxona I.V. 1 gr every 12 hrs or in case of allergy place Gentamicina 80mg e/12hrs
d. Ketorolaco 30mg I.V. e/8hrs
e. Ondansetron 4mg I.V. e/8hrs Only in case necessary
f. Dipirona 1amp I.V. e/6hrs Only in case necessary
4. Place abdominal bandage in case of open surgery.
5. Place oxygen mask at 100% , 10lts per min. for 3hrs and then change to nasal point for 1 hr.
6. Take VS and general nurse care by turn.
a. Inspiratory exercise every 4 hr for 10 min.
b. Nebulize w/Combivent 2cc+ 3cc Saline solution every turn followed by back palmpercution.
c. Urine count each shift
d. Drainage vigilant and count by shift
e. Remove Foley, shower and change of gauze before 7am by night shift.
f. Early walk.
Please note the "standard OR report, copy/paste with each patients name on it.
Sandy Johnston (Betancourt coordinator) claims Board Certification is just something you can get if you pay a fee. this is misleading to patients:
Dr. Almanza does NOT perform the DS, so you will not want to waste any time researching him as one of your choices.
However, I will say that in Mexico the hospital is certified as a hospital. It does have ICU capabilities, but no blood bank on site. There is access to blood that can be received within minutes if necessary.
I have been marketing for over a year for this doctor (off hand, I think it's been about 14 months). Anyone can view his credentials and certification on the website which will answer how long he has been practicing and how long he has been certified (showing lasted certifications) on each procedure.
I sure hope you don't eventually need another procedure. Any surgery is no fun! Best of luck to you!
MacMadame, I'm not going to even respond to you! You are a broken record.
Patient Care Coordinator
Coordinators tell prospective patients on the phone that Almanza has never had a complication, not even a typical surgical complication that is out of the control of any surgeon, I'm assuming this person had a PE?
HOPE4U with the post you mention above something like that did happen to me i had a 15 hour flight. i indeed had some probs when i got home form having surgery. but we all know with any surgery lungs, and all will suffer. it was a ruff start for me. but even in the er when the wls doctor on staff did a ct or whatever of stomach said the surgery it self was fine. i was just one of those people that had probs. but even though i thought i was dying i have not suffer a leak and for that i am thrill. good thing my insurance coverd it all. if you had some health probs.then i would not go. But i do know if they don't feel comfortable doing the surgery on you they will decline too so. i'm on week 4 now and i'm doing well pain free and i'm down 30 pounds. only a 142 more to go
Patient complains about the OR not being clean and a hair in her incision. Maids doing wound care:
Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I used Dr. Reyes for a Lapband on Sept 14. To be honest, the facilities and surgical procedure is not like here in the US. While, the "medical" facility was clean, the operating room and the procedure was by no means "sterile", as surgeries here in the US are Sterile procedures, they are not down there. I walked from my "room" to the operating room and walked out of the operating room back to my "room". There is no prepping for a sterile procedure. I spent about an hour or two after surgery in the room, then a driver came and took me back to the recovery house, which is an apartment. Post operative care is nonexistent. There is a maid who dressed another patient's surgical site after she took a shower. I found cotton balls and alcohol in the apt. and cleaned mine and left them open to air. If I had known, I would have brought ABT spray, sterile swabs and hydrogen perioxide to care for the incisions. Needless to say when I returned back to the apt after surgery, I found a long hair, in my incision which I pulled out. And basically I stayed at the apt by myself for the next two nights. On the day I was leaving, 3 days post operative, Dr. Betancourt had one of the employees take me to his apt across the street where he gave me post op instructions and med instructions/dosages for the meds he gave me three days eariler after surgery. Am I glad I had the surgery? yes...Would I return to the same place? that i'd have to think about, although Dr. Reyes didn't do any bodily harm in placing the band and is probably more than qualified. I tried to research before I went but couldn't really find a site that gives credential info like the Boards here in the US. Hope that helps.
Coordinator (still posing as "just a patient") attempts to discredit the above patient complaint by implying she was not really there for her surgery:
Unless you have been there, why make comments that you know nothing about???
Patient complains about aftercare at the clinic, states the only "doctor" she saw after surgery was "Doctor" Betancourt, she believes he is an MD:
OK, this may be unpopular, but here goes..........
I had VSG with Dr Almanza in mid July. I paid the fabulous price of $5000 which for me was alot. I did alot of research and although it was clear that there were people who didn't think much of him, I could find NOTHING negative as to his skills as a surgeon.
My entire experience however is a mixed bag. Unlike some of the others who rave about the aftercare, mine was terrible. I met Dr. Almanza for about 5 minutes before my surgery and NEVER saw him again. I had surgery on a Thursday and on Saturday Dr Betencourt came to the house to see me. My vitals had not been taken for 16 hours and I found that lacking at best.
I did find the nurses basically qualified (I am not a nurse, but an EMT) but their inability to really speak english became a problem when I refused a shot with pain medication. The nurse was very upset with me and when I explained that I had NO pain, she couldn't understand a word.
Am I glad I had the surgery? Yes! Complications of any kind? NO Would I do it again at Emanuel Medical? Probably not.
That is not to say someone else shouldn't. I just felt that there were some basic things missing from the aftercare. Not seeing any doctor until 48 hours after my surgery to me was unacceptable, albeit perhaps questionably unsafe as I had other issues that brought me to this surgery in the first place.
Each of us must decide if this place is right for us, and with a budget like I and others undoubtedly have, it was the best decision I could make at the time.
I have lost 30 pound in the 10 weeks since and the sleeve is the best thing I've done for myself in a long time.
Good luck to each of you!
Coordinator claims clinic is inspected by a MX health department monthly in an attempt to refute the complaints of an RN-Patient:
No War here, I just know that the sterilization takes place after every surgery. The OR is also checked by the Health Department once a month. It is swabbed down, and if anything comes back, it is locked up until it has come back clean, and sterile. There is an actual small crew that does that job. That is why I questioned you about why you thought it was not sterile. Your statement inply's alot. I want to make it clear. I also want to know why you felt it was not sterile? Maybe someone was lacking in their job. Maybe it needs to be looked into. That is why I wanted to know. I do know the 3 people at the guest house, and they are very happy. This is their 2nd surgery. They had their bands removed, a the sleeve done. No infection, no complications. Again, No war.
Patients feel dog-piled if they dare to mention a negative experience with Betancourt's clinic:
"that Ryansgirl talks about so favorably"
Norm, please don't even put my name in
to this dumb crap ok. don't even i'm really at a point where i just going to stop posting because every time you say something nobody agrees with they are all on you like you did something wrong. did i say i had a stress free surgery no i did not so please don't even. every since i've be researching this place all i heard was this and that. do you here me call anybody a lie here.......um no everybody entitle to thier opinion. am i'm pushing a doctor no! i'm a 24 yr old average student with a six year old son to raise. i got better things to do and i agree with some of the aftercare is not the best and not to what i'm use to but i'm one of those peple who also knows you get what you pay for so. i mention shirely once so don't even. so unreal...............that is why i never went into deep about my experince because i'm not trying to get attack for my opinion. What next i work for them huh? huh? or madly in love or some other bulls*** whatever ya people accuse people of????????????????????? no i'm a social worker working on her masters ok just don't.................. i really think ya don't want anyones opinion if it not to code with ya. (yes i said ya i'm southern)
Another patient refers to "Doctor" Betancourt:
Hello all, I was sleeved Oct 6 by Dr. Alamanza and I must say I had a great experience. The entire staff at the hospital and guest house were phenomenal. 2 days post op, the doctor, escorts, another patient, my hubby and I all headed to Ensenada, where we had a blast. Im still here, my flight leaves tonight, but I just wanted to brag about my experience. Once I'm home this weekend, I will post pics and more info!! I would do it all over with him and Dr. Bentacourt, and will recommend to everyone!
Patient complains about a coordinator being dishonest with her about a serious complication of another patient named Medina (misdiagnosed bowel perf)
rere50, phone call from Tj to Sacramento or san diego or texas did not do Medina any good. Do not be flip with your Good Gravy comments. You are implying you could have done something that the Doctors on scene could not. Medina was making phone calls. After I got home, I personally called Shirley and was told Medina was with her parents. That was false, She was in the hospital in Calgary and still is.
I still had a great experience with Dr. Alamanza. Please re-read my notes. It was only Medina that was so sick and could not get anyone to recognise she was in serious trouble until Monday the 4th day post surgery.
So, please no more flip comments.
Patient with an infection (Gingin33)
Dont be scared. Dr. Almanza is very skilled and you will have an uneventful surgery. I had surgery with him 2 weeks ago and everything went perfect. I came home with an infection in one of my incisions but it's since cleared up and I'm doing great.
Patients are told that Betancourt buys staples for half the price of others and resells to others:
You are most welcome.
As an RN, in your experience, does a few instances of antibiotic resistant bacterial infections mean that the doctors or hospital are negligent in any way or that it is a bad (not recommended) place to go?
I saw a Dr Oz show not too long ago where even the cleanest kitchens were tested for dangerous bacterial problems and they were shocked as to how many lurked in each. Does it not behoove us to be as cautious as possible with the care of incisions wherever we go and to strengthen our own immune systems as much as possible these days? I am going back to Mexico in a month's time with my daughter and sister and we will be dilligent with washing of hands, sanitizers and incision maintenance while there, but in no way do we think that Dr Almanza is not a fine skilled surgeon or that safe sterile procedures are not performed, in spite of people reading into any of that that it isn't.
Their low prices do not reflect any inferior practices whatsoever, rather that the owner, Dr Betancourt, is able to purchace the VERY expensive staples for less than half of what the others pay for them. So the term you get what you pay for when slammed against this facility is meaningless, the titanium staples are exactly the same as other Mexican surgeons use, but Dr. Betancourt buys in extremely large quantities and resells them to hospitals everywhere there. He will explain all that while you are down there. He is also very passionate about making this life-changing procedure more available to the average person and I commend him for that.
Next month there will be the new Jerusalem hospital that will be used instead of Emmanuel Medical and it will be more modern and patient friendly. I am excited that it will likely be ready when we go!
By the way, I am not paid to promote this place or doctor at all, just feel that the negatives here have been quite unfairly interpreted. I hope my experiences there help the average person in their research of affordable wieght loss.
Patient complaining that posts are being deleted (Message board owner is also a Betancourt Coordinator)
I saw that post on OH and she is also a member here njsleever is her member name.
It saddens me to see all of these posts recently, and to hear of the one lady who had a perforated bowel (not found by Almanza's staff or whoever does his post-op care) from Canada that is supposedly still recovering after being sent home.
The post on here was edited to remove all that information and that is why I've started quoting all the complications regardless of who the doctor/facility is. I think it's important that all the information gets out to potential future patients for any of the surgeons.
This is the original post she is complaining about that was first edited and then finally deleted:
Donna,(Stoongal) I know you went alone and many do. It is just from my personal experience having my Husband there to speak for me and the girl in the bed next to me HELPED. It did not help her eventually. She was sent home with a punctured bowel. She tried to get Dr. B to listen to her, but she was not coherent enough. She was in extreme pain and vomiting everything she tried to swallow. Dr. B did send her back to the hospital but no one looked at her Xrays to see the damage. The fact of a perforated bowel being a posiblity of surgery is acceptable. The fact that the Dr.s did not catch it and do something about it on Sat is unacceptable. On monday when we were going home is when they noticed something wrong. She would not accept their help at that point. She got on the plane to Calgary and is still in the hospital there to this day. The airline had an ambulance waiting she was rushed to surgery. She may live. I believe if she had someone with her they would have raised a huge stink until a Dr. came in and reviewed her xrays. I saw her Xray on Monday when we were leaving and I could see something was really wrong and I am NOT medical at all. We compaired Xrays and it was really scarey. My husband would not have allowed them to leave me in that much pain and vomiting constantly for even 2 days much less 4. That is why I think you should have someone with you that knows you, you are not a whiny baby, or, cannot take any pain. They will know when to insist on further medical help. I
I know you did not have any trouble. Neither did I. Probably neither will many more that go. It is the one case that I happened to witness that makes me write about caution. I have nothing bad to say about Dr. Almanza, and the surgery he performs. The Dr's are looking for leaks. not perforated bowles. I am not saying they did anything wrong in surgery. I am saying they did not listen and snap too that something extrodinary was wrong. That poor girl almost died and is not out of the woods yet.
I could not speak clearly/concisly the day after surgery and even the second day after I was not funtioning back on par, so I do not know if I would have been able to tell Dr. B that something was reallly wrong. If he would have listened. I do not know how she slipped through the cracks but she did. I believe if she would have had an advocate there, that would not have happened. I was/am very thankful I had my husband with me. I am really glad to know you are going with your daughter and sister in Jan when they go. You know what to expect. You know your people, and you will know if something is wrong. It is just the odd case where if something goes wrong.
Patient complains about board owner/aka Betancourt coordinator deleting/editing posts
For MidWesternGirl on June 3, 2010 10:36 pm
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To: people who are trying to put down midwesterngirl or any other people that actually give a dang about you people who are posting stuff telling us to GO AWAY!!!!!!
Hey, your talking to lady who knows her stuff. She's not trying to scare people. She's trying to help people from going through what my mother is going through AS I TYPE THIS. Trying to scare people? PSH, I wish she would've scared me and my momma from going to this hospital/clinic.. whatever they want it to be for a day.. then we would not have to be going through HELL right now!!!!!!! You people think that our stories are fake? Go look at my pictures, read my blogs... these stories are not fake people. I'm sixteen years old, my mom's... scratch that, my best friend is on a ventilator. I haven't talked to her in 9 days because she can't talk back. I haven't seen her smile, laugh, talk, walk, BREATH ON HER OWN in 9 days! My family and I didn't blame Dr. almanza for this. We didn't , until my mom got back home and had to be rushed to the hospital THREE HOURS AFTER ARRIVING HOME, HAD EMERGENCY SURGERY, and the doctor found 5 abscess. Abscess DO NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. SOOOO, Dr. Almanza HAD TO HAVE SEEN THIS WHEN HE WAS OPERATING and just sent her on her way like she would never ever find out. I will speak about this until the day that I die, regardless of people like you telling us to GO AWAY.