Coming to the Endohospital for bariatric surgery in Mexico has never been so amazing—for both the patient and the companion. The old hospital was great, but the new one? Well, it’s essentially a cutting-edge medical resort. Unless you’ve been a patient and are returning as a travel companion for a new VSG patient, it’s typical to have a lot of questions about a companion’s experience at the Endohospital. So this blog is for the unsung hero: the spouse, friend, or family member who takes part in the journey.
What will my companion eat?
This is one of the top questions. It makes sense, because the trip is about vertical sleeve gastrectomy, and patients will be on clear liquids afterward (though our concierge, Roman, takes patients out for non-alcoholic margaritas the day after surgery if they so desire, and there’s an Icee machine in the cafeteria that patients rave about). But your companion will still need to eat real food! The answer is that there are food options galore for the non-patient, including our cafeteria with truly delicious fare. I’m talking breakfast tacos, steak tacos, spaghetti, chicken tenders, burgers, and much more. And if the cafeteria doesn’t sound good, we stock menus from local restaurants that deliver to the hospital. As Taysia recalls, “My husband ordered out each day…he got pizza, a burger and fries, authentic Mexican food, cookies and a gallon of milk, and who knows what else (he has a fast metabolism).”
And if you’re concerned about water quality, rest assured that there’s plenty of bottled water at the nurses’ station. They’ll even put a companions’ cold items (like protein shakes) in the station’s mini fridge.
What will my companion do while I’m recovering?
Considering that many patients arrive for their gastric sleeve in Mexico without a companion and rave about the care they receive, you might rightfully wonder if your companion will be bored to death. The truth is that travel pals can be as active or idle as they (and you) prefer. Some companions prefer to simply hang out with patients, play cards, or even binge watch a Netflix show (we have internet service and English channels on the television). And, of course, patients aren’t actually in bed all day; they’re up and walking pretty much right away, and many companions like to accompany them.
But there are so many things to do outside of the hospital room that companions may not want the stay to end! In addition to our Endo Spa (available for both patients and companions), Roman is basically on call to shuttle people wherever they want to go. Among the many things to see and do in the area, we have an outdoor market in town where visitors can pick up souvenirs. Nicole’s advice for companions is to prepare for a great time. “Roman will take them to the market, sightseeing, and to restaurants,” she says. “My husband and the other companions were kept entertained. They had a whole day of fun while we were recuperating.”
How much money should we bring?
A lot of people overestimate the amount of money they’ll need, though the exact amount depends on what your travel plans look like. Because most patients fly into San Antonio, they often decide to spend a little time either before or after VSG exploring the city—especially the Riverwalk. And a facial or massage at the Endo Spa is a great way to squeeze in some relaxation. But if you’re only planning to stay in the area for a couple of days and don’t plan to indulge in the spa or shopping, I’ve heard that $100 to $150 in cash is all you’ll need. Credit cards will be handy at the airport and in some shops, but cash is king most places. Patti says, “I took $200, and that served me for both playing in San Antonio and Piedras Negras. I did use my Visa for some things, but the market only takes cash. Every place I went took U.S. dollars.”
It’s true that U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere; we’re just five minutes over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, after all. Small bills are best, both for tipping people like shuttle drivers and for making nearly any purchase in a country where things simply cost a little less. Sometimes you’ll get change back in pesos, but you can exchange those coins after your trip or hang onto them as a reminder of a great experience. And if you need pesos for the vending machine at the Endohospital, the nurses are happy to exchange U.S. bills for pesos.
I invite you to follow us on all our social networks, we are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, we also have our YouTube channel where I’m the host of the #AskDrA Show, where I (Dr. Alvarez) answer frequently asked questions that are sent to me with the Hashtag #AskDrA, subscribe to it! we talk about very interesting subjects.
If you want a more personalized experience and you have Instagram, follow me (Dr. Alvarez) to see my day both in my daily routine and in the operating room, add me! We will have a great time! My username is: gmoalvarez.
“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.