A Successful Hip Replacement Patient Testimonial in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This is a great story! My friend, Gloria, came down to Cabo last November as she has done for the past 3 years. In September prior to her coming here, she had an x-ray of her lower back and hip in Canada (Victoria, BC). The results came back saying that she had some rheumatism in her lower back and hip.
A little bit of history: when she came down here the previous year (2008) she had a very bad spill on her bicycle while she was riding in the estuary. We went to Blue Medical Net and x-rays revealed that she had broken 3 ribs. They treated her for the pain and did follow-up visits with her. At that time she did not complain about her hip at all. Her attention was probably focused on her ribs. When she returned to Victoria her lower back started to bother her and got proceedingly worse throughout the next 6 months, hence the x-rays in September of '09.
While down here she kept getting worse. She tried chiropractic sessions to no avail. She finally went to Blue Medical Net at the end of November '09 and the doctor suggested another x-ray. The results of this one were that she needed a hip replacement. There was no cartilage present in her right hip. This does not happen in a 2 month period from mid-September to mid-October, so her diagnosis in Canada was wrong.
She called her Canadian doctor and was told it would be 6 months before she could see a specialist and then another 6 - 12 month wait before an operation. She mulled this over and consulted with Blue Medical Net. Their hip specialist was returning in December, so she decided to wait for him. They said they could do the operation very soon after his return. In the meantime she had all the work-up tests done and when he returned he wanted another set of x-rays with different angles and more blood work done.
His name is Dr. Gerardo Mangino Pariente and he is a wonderful doctor. He is 36 years old and was trained in Indiana at a hospital that does over 2,000 hip and knee replacements every year. I know he continues his education through online courses and research because of the extensive interviews we had with him and because we did extensive research on the web through the Mayo clinic and other reliable sources given to us through a friend of mine who is a doctor. So we knew he was at the top of his game.
I have an extensive medical background so I went with her each time we met with him. He answered all our questions in detail and gave her his cell number if we wanted to contact him. He had her give her own blood at the blood bank in Cabo because he knew he would need it for the operation. The folks at Blue Medical Net were wonderful. Mario Trejo Beceril who is the Manager of Patients came with us to the blood bank to show us where it was and to interpret for us. While there he found out that he was the same type as Gloria and offered to donate a pint of his blood as a backup for her in case Dr. Mangino needed it!
Mario saw Gloria from the start of our relationship with Blue Medical Net to the end. We had his cell phone number and called him numerous times for information and he was always available to talk or call us back if he was busy.
They scheduled the operation for late January and Dr. Mangino had further tests done a week before the operation. He found a slight infection and decided to treat it before he would operate so he postponed the operation until the antibiotics kicked in and cleared the infection. He was very thorough and conservative in his decisions all the way through this ordeal and explained everything that he was doing even to the point of telling her what to eat to enhance the iron in her blood!
She had the operation on February 3rd, 2010 at Amerimed in San Jose. The care that Blue Medical Net ensured was excellent. Dr. Mangino was there the evening of her operation and didn't like the room she was in, so he made them change her room and helped her walk to the next room with the walker he got for her and put together by himself.
He told her she would be in the hospital for 2 or 3 days and visited her twice each day at least. He also told her she would be on the walker for about 4 weeks, but he said that she was in such good shape that it would probably be shorter than that.
She was on the walker for 4 days! Even at that I took a video of her walking on our balcony using the walker one way and lifting it over her shoulders when she turned around to come back! Needless to say, Gerardo was smiling ear-to-ear when he saw her 2 days later.
His follow-up care was excellent. He saw her every week for 3 weeks and then every other week throughout March and once more before she left for Canada. He will also see her upon her return this November.
Is it safe? In the right hands I would say definitely. I have never seen better care than Gloria got down here. The doctors were thorough, respectful and had a great sense of humor (which helps when you are sick). Canadian and US hospitals are notorious for having 2infectious diseases: MRSA and C-dificile. If you catch either or both you have them for life. It is a huge problem based on cleanliness of the hospitals. It doesn't have to be this way, for instance Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto does not have either one because their hospital is immaculate and they keep it that way. Amerimed was immaculate as well, and, being a new hospital, I was hopeful that it didn't have these diseases.
The cost of this surgery including operation and hospital stay was $18,000 USD. On top of that there were extra costs for x-rays and blood work, so the total cost was about $20,000 USD. It would have been lower if Gloria had chosen a lesser expensive prosthesis, but she went for the best one on the market (and why not?), which pushed the cost up by about $5,000 USD.
We looked into the costs for Canada and the USA and found that, in Canada it would have been free except for the cost of the prosthesis, but she would have to had waited for a year to a year and a half. By that time she probably would have ruined her left hip and knee because of compensating for the increasing immobility of her right hip.
The USA costs ranged between $60,000 to $120,000. I'm not sure why the difference. I think the $120,000 was closer to the truth since I just talked to someone a couple of weeks ago who had a gall bladder operation in the US and it cost $200,00 USD!
The prospective patients need to know who is good down here and check to see the cost differences and waiting time differences. They need to know if the doctors and support staff speak English (all of them do at Blue Medical Net) and need to know how they can contact the people they need to talk to for information and questions. They also need to know if they make house calls (Blue Medical Net does make house calls - they even brought the x-ray technician with his portable machine to the house one time).
I should mention, by the way, that Blue Medical Net has just finished an extensive expansion of their services. They have a brand new facility that includes emergency services with their own ambulance service, an operating room that is the largest in Los Cabos, an ICU unit, 5 private patient rooms, consulting rooms on the main floor and 2nd floor, hand-picked specialists, extensive dental services with 3 specialists and are hoping to open a cancer ward on the 2nd floor as well. I asked about their air conditioning systems and was told that not only are they air conditioners, but they have extensive filters in them to keep the rooms sterile, even the patient rooms. This is located in Plaza del Rey across from Home Depot on the sea side of the road.
They also have a satellite office in San Jose in the plaza where Mi Enselada, HSBC, Habaneros and Local Eight are.
Gloria is well and very happy that she had the operation done down here. She was also telling me that in Canada and the US they often use staples to close the wound since it is faster. Gerardo used sutures that came out with 2 snips (I watched him do it - it was quite fascinating). This means that the patient has just the incision scar afterward, not a series of staple scars. Again, great service.
By the way I was just talking to Gloria and she wanted to mention that she is doing all the activities she did before and walks better than ever! She says it has been a life giver!
I hope this helps for your article, Sandra. Of course feel free to use what you want.
For more information about the procedures performed by Dr. Gerardo Mangino at Cabo Orthopaedics Joint Replacement Clinic, click the button below.