Andy Graham has Outpatient Surgery at Hospitalito Atitlan in Guatemala

I had outpatient surgery to remove a lipoma at a Guatemala Hospital here on Lake Atitlan.


This Lipoma was removed by outpatient surgery from my back Monday, September 5, 2011 at the Hospitalito Atitlan located in the city of Santiago, Atitlan. 

Map to Hosptial in Guatemala

I am presently staying in Panajachel, Guatemala located on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. There are two Hospitals within 30 minutes of Pana, the public one is free, and the private one is cheap.

In August of 2009 I went to the Lorma Hospital in the Philippines and had a MRI done on my spinal column for 150 USD. They determined I had sciatica, at the same time the looked at my Lipoma or Cyst and told me it was not cancer.
MRI in Philippines.

Who to trust?
I go round and round in my head on trust issues, who am I to trust? Are there reasons to trust American Hospitals more than Guatemalan or Philippine Hospitals. I discussed with a surgeon many times in the Philippines on how to remove this growth on my back. In the end, they wanted me to pay about 1000 USD in the Philippines to remove this, I did not trust the Doctor.

Sitting in front of a Guatemala doctor this time he said in Spanish.
"I can give you pills, or we can cut it out."
I asked,
"Can you cut it out now?"

I then requested he go get the American nurse to double check my Spanish, I wanted to make sure I understood. I trusted him, I was not totally sure about my knowledge of medical terms in Spanish.

Isobel Harvey

On the left is Jackie Candido from New York volunteering for three weeks.
On the right is Isobel Harvey from Philadelphia, Penn volunteering for six month or more...? The spelling of Isobel was different, and I was lucky to find an Atitlan Hospital Blog.
Hospitalito Atitlán Blog

There is a page on the Hospitalito Atitlan page explaining how to volunteer:
Volunteer Guatemala

Well, Isobel assisted while a Guatemala Doctor cut on my back for about 15-30 minutes, as I laid on the bench quite nauseous. It went well, I am not sure yet whether my pain is ending or not, it still hurts. The total cost with pain medicine and antibiotics was 375 Quetzals or 47.79 USD.

That was the best 47 dollars I think I have ever spent, there is no great feeling than to believe you got a truly great deal for money spent.

I suppose the million dollar question when doing medical tourism is where? Where to have medical work done overseas. Personally, I do not choose countries, I choose a doctor, in this situation I trusted a Guatemalan Doctor more than a Philippines Doctor. This Doctor just was frank and said pills or I cut it out, while the Philippine Doctor was not transparent.

Guatemalan culture is full of thieves, but not full of scammers, while the Philippine is full of con men. I suppose I trust a Guatemala person much more than a Philippines person. But all in all, the Philippines people are generally a lot smarter culture.

When coming to trust issues, I do not rate all culture as having the same intelligence. If money was not an issue, I would go to Germany to be operated on, or maybe Japan, I think they make American appear rather stupid.

Getting a Lipoma cut out of my back is not a big deal, and Guatemala is fine, and I trust them more than Mexicans.

I think people are not generally savvy, and generally the general population is not capable of making wise decision.

To be savvy here, I did look at Isobel and asked,
"Do you trust the doctor?"
I then stared intently into her eye and looked for bullshit, I saw none and proceeded.

I think everyone needs to try to look into peoples eyes and search for authentic emotions. I am brave enough to look at people, to try to find truth in peoples eyes. I think this is where bravery is found, in the ability to see and feel.

Ok, somebody spell check and check for grammar, I am going to go to the Parada and meet James for breakfast here in Pana.

Can you be real? Can you be brave? Can you accept you will for sure die? Maybe people are too afraid of dying to live...

Wed, 7 Sep 2011 04:42:16

Jackie Candido from New York on the left and Isobel Harvey in Guatemala Hospital. Isobel assisted the Doctor to cut out my Lipoma.
Map to Hospitals on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala
Lipoma removed from my lower back, it was located just above the hip joint. - Andy Graham

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