Day 1: Arriving in Mexicali

Jul 14, 2017

I'll try to keep this one short, as I need to get some sleep before I go under the knife tomorrow...but can't make too many promises! :) lol 

I live in Arizona, so my sister and I drove to Yuma. Mexicali Bariatric Center agreed to pick us up from the Yuma International Airport. Ernesto is the Mexicali Bariatric Center driver.  He was wearing an official polo shirt with the Mexicali Bariatric Center's logo and had a sign with my full name. He politely asked us to wait in front of the terminal while he picked up the vehicle. Once he brought up the van, he helped us with our luggage and we proceeded to drive to Mexicali. As soon as we left the airport, he called the Almater Hospital to let them know we were on our way. 

Upon arrival, we kept our luggage in the van, only carrying with us our passports, money, and phones. My sister brought her laptop, but due to the heat, Ernesto advised she carry it inside with her. As soon as we stepped through the doors of Almater Hospital, Ernesto showed us a reception area where we could sit and brought me my urine cup. I went to the restroom, while my sister waited in reception. There she met Rosales, one of the Patient Coordinators, who took my urine cup, escorted me through blood work, x-ray, and an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Once the electrocardiogram was completed, I met with the anesthesiologist, Dr. Andres Gutierrez. He walked me through the process (disclaimer: this plan is tailored for me, only. This does not mean he uses the same anesthetics with every patient). I will try to break down my plan:

  1. The anesthetics will be administered intravenously (IV), so no mask. I was explained that this would help minimize the nausea after the surgery. Since the anesthetics will be given intravenously, it can take between 25-35 minutes for me to go under.
  2. The anesthetics to be used are propofol (the sedative) and fentanyl (the painkiller). 
  3. A respiratory tube will be inserted through my mouth, into my throat, after I've gone under (so glad don't have to be awake for this part!). 
  4. He will monitor my blood pressure, my heart rate, and temperature during the surgery (typical for all anesthesiologists).
  5. After surgery, he will shut the valves that pump the anesthetics through the IV so that I can slowly wake up. He said it takes about 5 minutes for me to wake up from the drugs and another two hours for me to resume full consciousness. During that time, he will continue to monitor nausea. 
  6. After surgery, pain will be monitored two ways: 1. Opioids (Morphine) and 2. Other nonopioid pain relievers (Tylenol/Ketamine). There is no painkiller pump, so these will be administered based on my own needs. 

After going through the process, Dr. Andres Gutierrez asked if I had any additional questions. Right after he left the room, Yolanda, the Hospital Coordinator, brought in a folder with all the paperwork needed for me to review, sign, and initial. I really enjoyed the fact that I was allowed to bring all the paperwork back to the hotel, which gave me time to review everything before signing and initializing. Here is what to expect in your packet:

  1. Surgery Consent (Mine: Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Consent)
    1. They will use a laparoscopic technique
  2. Hospital Liability Form
  3. Patient Referral Form 
  4. Case History Form (a more in depth form than the one filled online)
  5. Post-Surgery Diet
  6. Food after Surgery
  7. Post-Surgery Instruction (VSG) which goes over your incision care and other post op tips (i.e. not lifting weight, taking walks, etc.). 
  8. Useful Phrases while in Mexico - used to point out to nurses who won't necessarily speak English. Yolanda said that they usually provide nurses that do speak English, but in case one of them is on vacation. They also indicated that non-English speaking nurses know the drill and if there is something they can't quite understand, they immediately pick up the phone an call Yolanda or one of the Patient Coordinators. 
  9. Recommended 3, 6, and 12th month tests, labs, and check-ups to get done with your local doctor. 

Along with the forms, Yolanda also gave me two pills to take that evening: 1. An antibiotic to prep my body; 2. Ativan (an anti-anxiety) to calm my nerves and help me sleep. Once I finished meeting with Yolanda, Rosales accompanied us to the hospital lobby to wait for Ernesto, who took us back to the hotel. 

Back at the hotel, I was allowed to have one last BIG supper, so my sister and I splurged at one of the hotel's three restaurants. I was told I could eat anything I wanted before 5 P.M. and then could continue to have liquids from 5 P.M. to 10 P.M. At 9:45 P.M. I took my antibiotics and skipped the Ativan. Now, I can have no water or food. 

Almater Hospital put us up in the Lucerna Hotel ( It is a really quaint, well maintained hotel. I guess there are a set of rooms just reserved for the hospital and all the employees know the drill and helped us get settled and food in our bellies before 5 P.M. As far as restaurants are concerned, there are three: an Italian, Mexican, and International. We picked the international because I wanted Steak and Lobster for dinner. My sister had their Ahi tuna, which she loved. The food was absolutely delicious! We also had dessert! I had their Apple Strudel with the tiniest scoop of vanilla ice cream and my sister had the Crème brûlée. After early dinner, we headed to the grocery store across the street from the hotel, called Soriana Super, where we picked up drinks and treats. 

Another note, the hotel has a really nice pool. I would recommend not forgetting to bring your swimwear. I really wanted to go for a dip, but I was not able to, because I forgot the proper attire. After all, you want to enjoy as you embark in this new journey! 

Off I go to bed! Day 1 was a jammed packed day, but tomorrow is going to be crucial...wish me luck! 


About Me
Surgery Date
Aug 23, 2012
Member Since

Latest Blog 4