I had been in touch with Nina prior to the surgery I had on July 30/04...Nina is a wonderful help,..she's quick at getting back to you and very helpful and just the nicest woman you'd happen to meet. She picked me up at the San dIego airport and we drove 2 hrs to Mexicali,...we talked and had so much fun, her english is fantastic. We got to the hospital at about 3:30pm and Nina got me registered and into my room,...I got one of the nicest rooms in the newer part of the hosiptal. It was very nice. Nina took me around to all the different areas of the hospital I had to go to to have tests done before surgery and she was my translator. I met Dr Aceves for the first time then,..he explained the surgery,..showed me the lap band and he was awesome. Bedside manner is wonderful. He's a gentle warm lovely man. I had all tests done and results back and in the operating room by 5pm and in recovery by 8:15pm. From then on it was just recovery,...you don't have to ask for pain meds,..they cme regularily,..I was never in pain in the hospital. The Altamer Hospital in Mexicali is clean as a whip,..they are constantly cleaning there. The people are so kind,..if Nina is there with you you will never not know what's being said. She left Sat some time...to go back to her family,..after that I didn't know so much about what was being said beause I don't know Spanish,..but Dr Aceves came in now and then,...and in fact,...I couldn't dial out on my cell phone, so I couildn't call home..on Sat night and I instantly began to feel like I was REALLY FAR FROM HOME when I couldn't call. He came in and said how are you,..and I said I can't call home. He just pulled his phone out and told me to go ahead and use his. Can you believe that? No dr would do that here in Canada. It's just unheard of.
I had a wonderful experience with them. I am so grateful to them for the care that I was given. They continue to follow up with me, and they are only a phone call or e-mail away.
I seem to have some sort of sensitivity to anesthesia, and I told Dr Aceves that. They made sure that I had a different cocktail of sleeping drugs so I would not vomit after surgery. I am also prone to infection afterwards...so he had me on anti biotics prior to my surgery and after. I am recovering just fine. I have lost 13 lbs in just over 4 weeks. I have gone from 210 to 193 on my scale. There scale seemed to be different then mine so I have only really lost about 13 lbs,..BUT...I am happy..I have not been hungry at all since my surgery. They gave me a list of what foods I could have and I started out following that but to be honest with you,...all liquids just made me feel hungry all the time. I did go to cream soups a couple of weeks before I was supposed to but I went slow and I just listened to my own body. I am eating fish and liver now,..I found a book that I have studied that tells what foods give you the absolute most vitamins and minerals and I am eating those while my body continues to heal.
If you have anymore questions don't hestitate to write me at [email protected] If anyone out there is going to have lap band surgery with Dr Aceves and you're nervous?..I just want you to know that you really are wasting your time with fear. I feel so lucky because for some reason I felt so comfortable writing with Nina before,..and when I met them both,..seen the hospital,..I felt so at peace with everything,...knowing in my heart they were going to do everything they could to make sure I was content and safe,...I was not nervous. I was so peaceful. You should go into it like that too. It's so much nicer then fear. There is no need to fear this surgery or them...it's the start of a new life for you..and I think you've made the right decision in dr's. He is wonderful and I am proud to be a Dr. Aceves Lap Band Doll *giggles*!
He looks so much better in person. On the website he looks like Saddam...in person he's handsome and kind and real. He's a very nice man. Stick close to Nina,..she's a fantastic help. I just love them! Can't say enough good stuff about them.
Very friendly, very competent. Excellent bedside manner.
I became even more impressed with his credentials as time went on, he is very qualified, and is also I believe the director of his dept. as well.
The staff is ok, Silvia came on strong initially, but kinda fades towards the end, and her driving is wild!!!!
I cannot think of anything I truly dislike about him. He is very accomplished in his field.
Aftercare is a little difficult, as the distance between us is great, but he has emailed me quickly with any questions, and I have the surgeons report from him for my PCP.
He did not address the risks, I didn't want to know, I had gone over the risks a thousand times on my own prior to the surgery, the benefits outweighed the risks for me.
Both were great, if I had to chose one it would be his surgical competence as best. Which is what I'd prefer anyway.
i am doing great, and feeling fine. an update:
my diabetes is under control without any medicine;
my lab tests are all within normal range;
my heart is good, but still a-fibbing;
my weight is down to 300, down from a high of 377;
i am losing about a pound and one half a week;
i can eat anything i want, but the portions are very small
i am adjusting all my meds downward because of the weight loss;
my blood pressure is much improved.
all is great and i am still glad i did the surgery and got a band instead of the bypass.
thanks for your concern. i am fine.
Luckily I received an email from Dr. Alberto Aceves' assistant Nina. In the email, Nina ! was very nice and very personal. She told me that I could have a lap band placed on my stomach for $8200. This was about a third of the cost in the United States. What was even better is that the lap band could be placed laproscopically. Another advantage is that it can be removed if it had to be so even though it is meant to permanent-if it had to be removed-it could be. It was the second we! ek of October and I knew I was going to have to go back to work soon. I was running out of time and I had to get this done!!! I spoke to my father and told him how bad I wanted to do it. At first he had some reservations with me going to Mexico. I admit I did too-but chances make champions and I have always adopted the mentality that if it is my time to go then it is my time to go. I emailed Nina and asked her when she could schedule my surgery. She emailed me back that same day informing me that my surgery was scheduled for Monday October 20, 2003. At this point, I could hardly believe! that in 2 short weeks my life would be forever changed. For the next 2 weeks I received some positive insight as well as plenty of negativity. here were comments like "Mexico is a dirty third world country." Then this comment-"You can't even drink the water in Mexico but you are going to go have surgery." My sister who is very close to me and whom I love very held the most opposition to me going. She actually got very upset with me a begged me not to go. It wa! s then that I let everybody know that there was absolutely nothing anyone could do to stop me. My mind was made up. On Friday October 17, 2003-California here I come. We landed in San Diego in the morning and did a tour of Pacific Cost Highway to enjoy one last weekend of "food freedom." At 6AM on Monday we departed for Mexico. I was not as nervous ad I thought I would be. I kept thinking if I could just get down to Mexico I know I will be okay. Nina was waiting for me at the McDonalds right on the border. Mind you, at this point I had not spoken to Nina and I did not know what she looke! d like either. She greeted me and then I followed her through the border into Mexicali. surprisingly, Almater Hospital is literally 2 miles from the border-so I did not even really feel like I was in another country. When we arrived at the hospital Dr. Aceves was waiting for us. For some reason, I immediately felt very comfortable around both Nina and Dr. Aceves. . The great thing is that ! everything was done in the same day. They started pre-op around 9 am. I met with the cardiologist, a counselor, and an anastheseologist. The did the blood work and an EKG that same morning. The last thing I did before they started was speak to a counselor by the name of Edith Salazar. I just want to say that I think she is a wonderful person and a wonderful counselor. She completely calmed me and was very soothing to me shortly before I went into the OR. The surgery lasted about 1-2 hours, and I stayed in the recovery room for a few hours . I was back in my hospital room in the early eveni! ng hours. Within an hour of returning to my room-I was up and down goi ng to the bathroom with little or no pain. This continued throughout the night and into the next day. One thing that was very odd is the amount of time spent and attention put on you. I felt like I was the First Lady or somebody very special. I am 27 years old and I can say that as long as I have been alive-no group of medical professional have ever been this kind and caring. I left the ! hospital in the early afternoon of Tuesday 10/21/03 and I returned back to San Diego and caught a flight back to Atlanta the next day. The plane trip back was the worst part because I felt very nauseated and was experiencing a lot of hunger pains. Honestly the first 2 weeks were pretty difficult. It is difficult learning to eat to live instead of living to eat!!!! You are on a very strict diet of liquids and broths. For someone who loves food so much this was the hardest part to go through. You really have to understand that food can no longer be a source of comfort, instead it will become st! rictly a source of nourishment. You cannot be concerned with eating something that tastes good-you can give that up. You will have to eat what you are told to eat because nourishment is one of the basic essentials for life to continue. You must come around to this way of thinking. After about 2 weeks of this you get used to it. Then it is not so bad. Today is 11/29/03, it has been a l! ittle over a month since my surgery. I have lost almost 30 lbs. At Tha nksgiving I was able to eat about 1 bite of everything. But I was okay with that. I did not feel bad at all. In fact, it felt great to still be able to have a little good food and continue to loose the weight. The best part of Thanksgiving this year was the chair I sat in. Oddly enough, every chair in my parents home has arm rests on them. I sat down and something did not feel right. I got up and sat back down again. It was then I realized just after 30lbs of weight loss I can fir in those chairs and they don't hurt me anymor! e. I had to get up and sit down several times to get the full affect. My clothes fit very loosely on me lately and they are feeling much more comfortable. I feel like my life is slowly changing drastically. Friday July 2, 2004 Well I started this way back in November and never finished. I am now up 85lbs total loss in just 8 months. Words cannot express the difference it has made in my life. I am no longer a prisoner to obesity!!! What is even better i! s that my 2 older sisters are both getting their surgery done. I feel that I have motivated and inspired many people-at least that is what they say!!!!! I won't say that I have not been faced with a little "haterism" from some people-but that comes along with it. I am free to do whatever I want to do and know that my weight will not stop me anymore. In April of this year-a few short months ago I went to Six Flags amusement park. It felt great to sit confidently in the seats knowing that I will fit!!! Often times people ask me if I could go back would I still do and tell them "most definitely" the! only thing I would do differently is I would have went to see Dr. Aceves much sooner. It has definitely been an experience for me. If anyone ever needs to talk to someone who has had the surgery please tell them to call me. I would love to help anyone considering taking this journey.July 15, 2004
My first impression was great. He is so kind and sweet. I interviewed him over the internet with many emails. He was always prompt and knowledgable.
My impression only grew better as I got to know him and meet him in person.
His staff is wonderful and helpful.`
If I had to say anything bad it would be the language barrier, although minimal with him.
Dr. Ungson really takes good care of his patients, he is knowledgable and kind. Very attentive.
He isn't doesn't talk a lot about nutrition except what to eat the first 3 weeks. He advised me to try new things slowly after the first 3 weeks and go from there. He strongly advised me to keep up on my lab work, and gave me a list of the vitamins to take and to take them forever.
No structured aftercare. I see my on PCP on regular basis.
He stated that all surgeries have risk and that this surgery is the same. He has had no mortalities at this post.
I rate him very highly....he saved my life as far as I'm concerned. My insurance here in America wounld help me to be healthy, but he would. I can't thank him enough.
He has excellent bedside manner. I couldn't believe how good. And his competence is off the charts.
He seemed to be very careing the longer I talked to him the more I realized how well informed he was even of all the aspects of recovery and with teaching me how to live and succeed with Lap band surgery His Staff was excellant he even had a staff that stayed in the room and talked to us for hours before and after the surgery making sure we were able to ajust My sister had surgery with me on the same day at the same hospital and Dr He emphasized the the success of the surgery was mostly do to that after care and my follow ups with him or a doctor he would refer us too He wrote out a complete list and directions of all the diets and things I needed to do He told me all about the risks of the surgery and pro's and cons I rate him overrall as excellent and would refer him to anyone wanting this surgery to me the most important thing is surgical competence bedside manner is nice but never as important as surgical competence Only Negative I can think of was that the directions he gave me after surgery due to his spanish being his first language they were not really clear I found even better information thur support groups on line who had the surgery I have called him many times since the surgery with questions routine about different things and He always got back to me in a very short timeJuly 7, 2004
It has now been nine weeks since I came to Mexicalli to have my Lap – Band surgery.
I want to Thank you and your wonderful staff for the excellent care that I received while in the Hospital
.I want you to know what a wonderful decision it was for me to have chosen you for my Doctor!
Especially since I found you online! My experience was such a positive one, that I have openly shared it with
any one that showed interest. The entire trip from Seattle to Mexicalli was the best decision that I have made in
my life ,thus far.
I have lost 30 lbs so far and am down from a size 18 pant to a 14. When all is done I think I will be a 6.
You can’t imagine how that thrills me!
You were accommodating beyond measure, by assisting me to find a plastic surgeon and dentist as well when I
was there. You even helped me to stay within my budget constraints!
Please feel free to have any one interested in the surgery call me. I will be delighted to share my personal
journey with them.
I had surgery with Dr. Aceves in Oct in 2003 I found Dr. Aceves through ObesityHelp.com and found a lot of info about him on here.
It listed his Medical and Clinical Exp and I found that so helpful. I am a disabled vet, so I decided to go to Dr. Aceves. His price is very reasonable, where as I found that all other surgeons in Mexico were above 20K.
Dr. Aceves was very detailed in my preop care. I am 69 yrs old and he did a thorough consultation with me. We scheduled surgery for the 13th of Oct.
The hospital was beautiful. Very clean and very private. They are very friendly and so caring there. I have to say that the surgeon and Hospital are A1. Very well kept and up to date, modern. It was like walking into one of the biggest hospital in the US, although it is a small hospital.
I keep in contact with Dr. Aceves every few days about my weight loss. Nina is a very nice person and I would highly recommend Dr. Aceves to anyone. I go for my follow up visit with Dr. Aceves in March.
I had lap band surgery on Jan 8th of 2004 with Dr. Alberto Aceves.
I went to Mexicali, BC for the surgery and I thought that Dr. Aceves was wonderful. He came to my hotel room the night before surgery and showed me around the hospital. I was admitted the next day to the hospital. I had a cardiologist and anestiologist come and talk to me. I then had a CT scan and several other tests performed. The hospital was very clean and everyone has their own private rooms.
The hospital staff was very friendly and accomodating during my hospital stay. I was a little scared, but I was fine. I had a small complication after surgery, since I had quit smoking, I was taking Welbutrin and after surgery I had spasms in my esphogaus. Once the Dr. took me off the medicine and I was fine.
I was so impressed with Dr. Aceves attentive nature. He came to the hospital at least 2-3 times a day to check on me. Nina was wonderful as well. She helped to translate things, when I was unable to understand something Dr. Aceves said. He speaks english very well, but Nina is there just in case.
I searched for a surgeon to perform my surgery, but found that the cost was so high and my insurance would not cover it. Dr. Aceves price includes everything except airfare. I would highly recommend Dr. Aceves to anyone who is interested in having the lap band surgery. His bedside manner and follow up care are excellent.