The Covid pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives, and that may include your gastric sleeve in Mexico. Many of our VSG patients prefer to travel with a companion, but that option may not be available these days. What should you know if you plan to travel by yourself for bariatric surgery in Mexico? Read on for tips from our staff and other sleevers.
Tip #1: You’ll never be alone.
Worried that you’ll receive sub-par care if no one is there to advocate for you? Then you clearly haven’t experienced the kind of care Endohospital offers! This isn’t your typical medical center. You may be used to overworked nurses at understaffed hospitals, but that’s simply not what you’ll find here. Although our hospital is state of the art, with standards that surpass even those in the U.S., our staff is dedicated solely to the few patients we serve at any one time. And everyone here speaks English, so there’s no communication barrier. Says Jennifer, “I don’t think any family member could have cared for me as well as the staff did.”
Don’t forget that the handful of folks whose surgeries are on the same day as yours will become family—your sleeve brothers and sisters. So even if you’re “alone,” you’ll have plenty of company. “I had a blast going alone,” says Keenan. “I made friends with my three surgery sisters. It was a pretty relaxing trip.”
Tip #2: Get comfortable asking for help.
During your stay with the Endohospital family, we’ll take care of everything—from helping you get back on your feet and walking the halls, to loading and unloading your luggage. But while we wish we could, we can’t help once you’re at the airport on your way home. You’ll likely need a wheelchair to get to your gate (especially if it’s a bit of a hike from the entrance), which airport staff can assist you with. Keep in mind, too, that you won’t be able to lift more than about five pounds when you’re released from the Endohospital and flight attendants aren’t allowed to help passengers with baggage. So you’ll need to ask fellow passengers for a hand with overhead storage. With that in mind, pack very lightly! “Carry a backpack,” Rose advises. Adds Jen, “Make sure your carryon has wheels.”
Tip #3: Prepare well.
This goes for everyone, whether you’re bringing a companion or not, but it’s a crucial reminder: We can’t perform vertical sleeve gastrectomy if you test positive for Covid at our hospital. In the weeks leading up to your travel date, quarantine as much as you can so you don’t expose yourself more than necessary. And, if possible, get a Covid test a few days before you travel. If you test positive, you can reschedule your surgery. It’s better to know before you get on the airplane, rather than when you arrive at the Endohospital (where everyone is tested for the virus).
Tip #4: It may feel like a vacation.
How can surgery feel like a vacation? We think it has to do with a combination of pampering, personalized care and nothing to do but unwind for a few days. One of the hidden benefits of traveling by yourself for VSG is that you don’t have to worry about your companion being bored. Lisa says, “I went alone and actually enjoyed the relaxation! Nobody to worry about but myself!” “I loved it,” says Alysia of her solo journey. “I got to sleep all I wanted (and) had the entire room to myself.” And Ryan, a busy stay-at-home mom, knows exactly why her solo trip felt so nice: “I took the time to relax and sleep mostly, so it was like a mini vacation.”
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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”.