It may seem dramatic to thank your bariatri surgeon for saving your life, but in my own case it is certainly warranted. When I chose Dr. Almanza, I had done my home work, was aware that he is highly regarded in this field, and in fact, has a distinguished reputation world-wide, ranking in the top 5 among bariatric surgeons. I chose him because I knew my surgery would be a diffiult one, anothing but typical. In fact, I wasn't even sure he would be able to do the sleeve on me because of the extensive scar tissue from a failed lap-band surgery which very nearly cost me my life. My lapband had been removed in an emergency surgery situation 2 years earlier when it perforated my stomach. I had been having GERD, severe acid-reflux, various other issues since then, but the worst, most debilitating issue was severe depression that was brought on by having re-gained 50 lbs.
Needless to say, my anxiety level was peaking by the time I arrived at Jerusalem Hospital. I have to admit that one look at the exterior did little to relieve my fear! However, once inside, all that began to change, and quickly. From the reception through surgial prep, this little operation's incredibly competent and caring medical professionals met and exceeded every expectation. I have never been treated as well in a hospital, including UCLA. These people really get it here. Everything they do is geared to making the patient feel relaxed, informed and comfortable. English is spoken fluently, no translation barrier whatsoever, anywhere.
As for my physician, Dr. Almanza...what a wonderful, caring, sensitive, and brilliant surgeon. Since my ex is a heart surgeon, I am seldom impressed by these "super-star" types, usually observing that they are full of themselves, over-confident, too busy believing their own hype. Wow, what a total misconception. Dr. Almanza, despite his super-star, surgical skills, is one of the most humble, genuinely likeable surgeons I've ever met. All surgeons should take a page from this man's book. He is in high demand and performs brilliantly in a high pressure environment, but no single patient ever feels that. Dr. Almanza makes you feel like you are the only patient he has all day and he will spend every minute with you if that is what it takes. In my case, he even came in on his day off just to check on me and to make sure I was feeling as good as he could help me feel. He made me feel like he would sit there all day if I wanted him to. You can't buy this kind of caring, it comes from within.
This type of exceptional caring behavior permeates the whole operation, from the top down, all the way through the hospital, their staff, and the recovery house and staff, as well. These people really know how to pamper patients and what is more, they love doing it, that is obvious! This type of patient are no longer exists in the US...thank God for Jerusalem Hospital, the Bettancourts, Dr. Almanza and their staff.