Last night I only got a couple of hours of sleep. Between our boys sleeping with us because of Sawyer’s bad dream and my hyperactive and stressed-out brain thinking about my hernia surgery in Mexico today… A good night’s sleep was futile!
I had an umbilical hernia and a half-inch of diastasis recti, which is when the abdominal muscles separate. This damage was from one of my pregnancies and although it was minor I elected to have it repaired for a couple of reasons:
- When exercising I notice a slight pain under my belly button.
- I also experience weird moments of nausea before bed.
- Besides the first two reasons, I am also hoping it will help me in my quest for a flatter tummy.
The first step in this process was to find a surgeon. Doctor Gerardo Barrera was recommended to me by our family doctor. We went to Dr. Barrera’s office at Hospital Imperial in Uruapan late last year. The cost of the consultation was 500 pesos, (about 25 USD). I was happy to learn that the surgery would be out-patient and the cost was affordable at 18000 pesos, (about 900 USD). We decided to postpone the surgery until this Spring after our tax refund.
The second step in this process was getting lab work done to make sure that I was healthy. I did this last week and these tests cost me 400 pesos, (about 20 USD). I sent the doctor the results via Whatsapp and we scheduled my surgery for Thursday, March 18th.
So here we are, back to the day of my hernia surgery in Mexico. First, we signed in to the hospital at 7 am. Then they prepped me for surgery complete with a hospital gown, hair netting, an IV, compression wraps around my calves, and hospital booties. Oh, and a COVID-19 test was required. It came back negative. The cost of the test was 900 pesos, (about 45 USD), and the most annoying part of that was the nasal swipe.
Everything was clean and sterile. My room smelled faintly of bleach. Although the hospital is a little worn, the equipment seemed to be modern and up-to-date to my untrained eye. I even had a private room with a loveseat and a huge TV that we did not turn on.
Before the COVID-19 test, I was given some nausea medicine through my IV that made me hyper and super panicky for about 15 minutes. Then it knocked me out and I was very calm when they took me back for surgery in my wheelchair later this morning.
The anesthesiologist was excellent! Doctor Pavel Bernabe gave me spinal anesthesia and got it right on the first try despite my scoliosis! I was a little nervous about this because of a negative experience with an epidural during one of my births. But as Doctor Barrera said, “He’s the best anesthesiologist on the block.”
So I was awake but groggy during my surgery and I felt no pain. The surgical staff was excellent and before I realized it they were done and I was being wheeled back to my room on a gurney.
I could not leave the hospital for a few hours after surgery. So my husband and I took advantage of the wait and had ourselves a nap. We finally made it home after 6 pm. It was a long day as days in the hospital usually are.
My checkup is on March 29th. The doctor will be removing the sutures. I am sure they will be nice and itchy by then and I will be glad to have them out! The incision was very small and placed right beside my navel. Scarring should be minimum.
I was sent home with a prescription for inflammation and pain, one to prevent gas and regulate my intestines, and an antibiotic. Three medications in total. My instructions include no strenuous activity or heavy lifting for four weeks. I can’t resume my exercise routine, especially any ab work, for a couple of weeks. And then I can slowly resume normal activities provided everything heals as it should.
I am very impressed with the care I received at the small yet competent Hospital Imperial in Uruapan. All the nurses were great and I highly recommend Doctor Gerardo Barrera for general surgery or hernia surgery in Mexico. He even speaks some English which is nice for expats.
This isn’t our first rodeo with hospital care in Uruapan, Michoacan. Fortunately, all of our experiences have been pleasant thus far. I am sure you guys have had both good and bad experiences with medical care in Mexico. If you have a good story, drop it in the comments and share it with us.
Signing off in Mexico, Tina
Originally published March 19, 2021
A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of creating this project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going ;-) Gracias!