tomincolorado

Please consider the risks of 'travel surgery"!

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Eleven days ago I traveled to Juarez, Mexico to get a gastric bypass performed. The training, courtesy, and cleanliness of the facility and staff were wonderful.  But during the operation, my bowel was punctured and went unnoticed.  After 18 hours I was not getting better, so I underwent a second operation to look for problems-they found and resected another foot of small intestine.  I got better and came home.  But I quickly developed a post-op infection.  My regular doctor would no see me because he did not perform the procedure, no new doctor would take me on because of liability, my health insurance was cancelled, and my only option would have been ti go to an ER and bankrupt myself.

 

PLEASE think about the risks of surgery overseas and the fact that when you get back to the US, you will have NO MEDICAL AFTERCARE OPTIONS except the ER, which you will self-pay.

 

FYI: 11 days post-op I am still gushing blood/pus.  I have an ex-student in vet school who is going to try to sneak me out some horse antibiotic from her vet school, but I told her not to get caught and ruin her career.

 

-Tom in Colorado

 

IMG_0718o.jpg

Edited by cinwa

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That's looking bad .I hope it resolves.its so unfortunate that you are going thru this to make your self healthier.

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Oh my. That looks awful. Thank you for sharing your cautionary tale, but I really think you need medical attention!!

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Good luck on your journey. That picture is terrifying. I hope others learn from your tale and work out their own back up, back up plan if they choose to go outside the U.S. for surgery.

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I am so sorry that happened to you Tom - it's a pretty terrifying tale and thank you for posting about what can happen if things go wrong when having bariatric (or other) surgery out of the country.

 

I have posted several times to members who are going over the border for their bariatric surgery to make sure they line up cover for when they get back home.

 

Have you contacted anyone at Star Medico?

 

You know, in your shoes, if you're not getting any help from Star Medico, I'd go on a rampage and plaster your story all over the internet to see if that forces their hand in offering you some help.

 

Start a Facebook page to get your message out.  Contact some of the weight loss surgery publications/websites with your story and see if they can either offer some suggestions and/or publish your story:

 

http://bariatrictimes.com/

http://www.wlslifestyles.com/

http://www.bariatricpal.com/forum/285-weight-loss-surgery-magazine/

http://www.changesmagazine.org/diet/weight-loss-surgery/

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Wow, thanks, everyone for the support.  I am not on a crusade against Star Medico or their staff.  Star Medico is a fine facility.  Their staff is caring and well-trained.  Their equipment is good. I was the victim of a millimeter-off surgical instrument manipulated from a distance and viewable only by camera.  Imagine trying to tie someone's shoes using a pair of 18" tweezers through a 1/2 inch hole while watching by camera.  I am in awe of their skill and bravado.

 

As for care, at least five of their doctors and one of their admissions clerks have called me many many times to find out how I am.  My doctors in Mexico have shown more humanity and caring than 90% of the doctors I have dealt with in the US.  In Mexico, they consider the patient and his/her health first.  In the US, it is about insurance first, liability second, copays third, and patient health is WAY down the list.

 

One of my doctors in Mexico even said if I could get down to Juarez, he would treat me for free and keep me in his house if the hospital would not let me stay.  Where would you ever find that kind of care from a person who was a total stranger just a few days ago.  His kindness makes me choke up.

 

No, do not blame Mexican medicine.  Just make SURE you have a plan for follow-up care in your hometown for when you get back!

Edited by tomincolorado

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I am new here--in fact, I'm posting to this thread before introducing myself. How much would it cost to get you back to Juarez?

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Wow, thanks, everyone for the support.  I am not on a crusade against Star Medico or their staff.  Star Medico is a fine facility.  Their staff is caring and well-trained.  Their equipment is good. I was the victim of a millimeter-off surgical instrument manipulated from a distance and viewable only by camera.  Imagine trying to tie someone's shoes using a pair of 18" tweezers through a 1/2 inch hole while watching by camera.  I am in awe of their skill and bravado.

 

As for care, at least five of their doctors and one of their admissions clerks have called me many many times to find out how I am.  My doctors in Mexico have shown more humanity and caring than 90% of the doctors I have dealt with in the US.  In Mexico, they consider the patient and his/her health first.  In the US, it is about insurance first, liability second, copays third, and patient health is WAY down the list.

 

One of my doctors in Mexico even said if I could get down to Juarez, he would treat me for free and keep me in his house if the hospital would not let me stay.  Where would you ever find that kind of care from a person who was a total stranger just a few days ago.  His kindness makes me choke up.

 

No, do not blame Mexican medicine.  Just make SURE you have a plan for follow-up care in your hometown for when you get back!

I am sorry to hear of your troubles.

Please seek medical attention somewhere.

An infection like you have can kill you.

Please do not take any horse antibiotics.

If the docs in Mexico will help you, please go back to Mexico and get treatment.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

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Please please please go ahead and go to the ER. Bankrupt is better than dead. If the hospital gets federal funding then they also likely have other sources to get paid if you don't have the money to pay. Don't rule out going to the emergency room solely because of the costs.

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The problem isn't with horse antibiotics. Antibiotics are antibiotics ... cephalexin is cephalexin if it's given to a dog, bird, horse or person. The problem is that you are wayyyyyy beyond anything an oral antibiotic will fix. A shot of penicillin isn't going to fix your problem, my friend. Please consider any resource available to get yourself some medical attention. I'm impressed by your ability to not be bitter, but I really hope that you do what needs to be done to save your life now. Good luck.

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Tom in Colorado

How are you doing?

Please keep us posted .

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Thanks all for the good vibes and interest.  I am doing better. I may even be out of the woods now, as the drainage is slowing, my temp is normal, and I can sit up without screaming.

 

Remember if you are having ANY kind of surgery, make aftercare arrangements FIRST!

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Good to hear you are doing better.

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Very good to hear you are doing better.

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Wow. Thanks for sharing. I think most of us have considered this route. Glad you are on the mend.

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I'm getting stronger now.  Sorry if I came off whiny in earlier posts.  But my message is still "consider everything, not just money."  Make sure you research the doctors and facilities.  Talk completely openly to your primary physician.  And line up a solid plan for aftercare, because you WILL need it, even if you don't have complications.

 

Cheers, everyone!

Edited by tomincolorado

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There is an amazing Bariatric Surgery Center right here in the US. No need to go overseas or out of country. The care and doctors are Top Notch!!!! Highland Hospital Bariatric Surgery Center in Rochester New York is wonderful. I would highly suggest researching it before going out of country.

Edited by ABaker

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