I began my research at that point using my medical connections (I am a Marketing Executive specializing in clinical trial patient recruitment for medical devices) and came to the conclusion that Dr. Corvala was the real deal. Not only had he performed more laparoscopic Lap-Band procedures than any doctor in the US, but was also highly acclaimed internationally, specializing in Bariatric procedures. I was confident that I would not find a doctor in the US that I would trust more than him…he is a true expert – and I wanted him to do my surgery. At this point I would have chosen him over a US physician. I was confident in my decision to travel to Mexico and have Dr. Corvala perform my procedure Hide…
When I was exploring my options for weight loss surgery (seminars, doctor opinions, internet information etc.), I became quickly discouraged when I found out what the requirements were for insurance coverage in the United States. I was told that I was “not fat enough”, “did not have co-morbidities such as sleep apnea or diabetes” and therefore did not qualify for weight loss surgery and would have to pay for it out-of pocket (over $20K!) – or else jump through a lot of hoops (writing letters pleading my case – disputing the insurance company positioning)…I was told it would take up to two years to get a favorable decision…with no guarantee that I would. I weighed 250 pounds….and I was ready now…not two years from now…to change my life. I heard about Hospital Angeles and Dr. Juan Lopez Corvala from a family friend. The husband of a woman (in a similar situation to mine) who had Lap-Band Surgery at your facility and had a very favorable experience (she lives in San Diego). I contacted Hospital Angeles and from the first email (and many after that!), my questions were answered clearly, professionally, honestly, and promptly. I traveled with my husband to San Diego where we were picked up by a hospital representative at the airport (he was there, on time, with a sign with our name) and he transported us safely to a hotel right across the street from the hospital.
I’ll be honest, we weren’t sure what to expect from the accommodations (which were included in the fee), but the hotel was lovely. At 8:00 am in the morning, we were picked up again and transported to Hospital Angeles. We were really surprised at how nice it was…how new……my room was fabulous……private…large…tv…dvd player…a fabulous bathroom (marble and glass), a place for my husband to sleep if he wanted to stay with me…we had never seen a hospital like this – like a 5 star hotel! I’ll admit I was a bit nervous (I’ve never had surgery, never broken a bone, never had a baby – really, I’ve never been in the hospital for anything except visiting other people!), but the hospital staff put me at ease. I was taken to my room to where I spent the morning undergoing tests (blood work, EKG, psychological etc.) and after being cleared for surgery, was taken to pre-op…it was 11:30 am. I met Dr. Corvallis for the first time and was again reassured that I was doing the right thing – which I had chosen the right doctor.
I fell asleep and I woke up an hour or so later….surrounded by staff waiting to take care of me. Groggy I admit, but they were medically attentive, putting pressure stockings on my legs and checking my vitals…making me as comfortable as they could. I spent 2 days and 2 nights in Hospital Angeles where I had (English-speaking!) nurses around the clock. I was well cared for during my recovery and medically – they did everything right – they got me up to walk – checked vitals regularly – ensured I had appropriate medications and was comfortable – and when it was time to eat something – they went out of their way to find me something I would like (red jell – not green!). We flew into Mexico on Friday and on Monday we flew home (transported once again by a very nice hospital representative to the airport). A week later I was back to work. I had my follow up care at the University of Minnesota (Dr. Ikramuddin) and they x-rayed me and told me that Dr. Corvala had done a “beautiful job”. My surgery was June 9, 2007. Two years later I have lost over 50% of my excess weight. Park Nicollet (the clinic I have used for the past year and a half for my Lap-Band adjustments) is thrilled with my progress…they call me a success story and I am now on maintenance – from their prospective I have no more weight I need to lose.
I have dropped from a size 20 to a size 12 (My goal is to be wearing a size 10 by spring). Had I not made the decision to travel to Dr. Corvala at Hospital Angeles in Mexico, I would still be waiting on an unguaranteed decision from my insurance company…and still weighing an unhealthy 250 (or more) pounds. This was the best decision I have ever made for myself…and the best $8K I have ever spent.