My Hospital Experience

I’ve had ongoing issues with the mesh that I had implanted many years ago.  My US doctor ignored my complaints for years and denied that the pain was from the mesh he implanted.  For over 4 years the pain got worse and he continued to deny that it was from the mesh that, by now, was getting a lot of media attention.  He gave me lots of drugs and finally left me with Vicodin, which I am allergic to.

I gave up running and most activities at the gym.  The pain on some days prevented me from even walking more than a few blocks.  That’s when I went to our local Boquete internist, Dra. Digna.  A quick exam confirmed what I had thought for years.  Parts of the mesh had rippled and others were pulling on my internal tissue.  No wonder it hurt.  She recommended a specialist, Dra. Roxana in David.  Dr. Roxana advised me to visit Dra. Hernandez in PC.  This is so unusual to me.  In the US, doctors seldom refer patients to other doctors.  Not true here.  They really want you to have all the information you need to make a good decision.

My surgery was the past Monday.  All of my pre-op tests were done last week, including a visit to a cardiologist.  The total cost was less than $100.  I asked for a private room at Hospital Chiriquí.  Dra. Roxana asked to have a plastic surgeon to assist since the tissue she was dealing with is so delicate.  I was told to get to admitting at 10 AM.  By 10:30, I was in my room with IV attached.  Amazing!

At 2 PM I was wheeled into the operating room, got my jugo de felicidad (Happy Juice) and I woke up back in my room.  Dra. Roxana was right behind me explaining everything she did and handed me a vile of the nasty mesh that caused me so much grief.  I need the contents to help in my lawsuit against the manufacturer.

For the rest of my stay I was given great care.  The nurses came in for their usual blood pressure, temperature, etc. I am really glad that I have a working knowledge of Spanish however.

The next morning I was released.  My total bill for everything including the surgery and specialists?  $2600.

People ask about health care in Panama.  I tell them I have never had better care.  Better than that, it’s affordable.  I have my doctor’s cell phone number and she answers my texts almost immediately. I can see a doctor, even a specialist, usually within 24 hours if I need it.  None of my doctors have ever rushed me through an appointment.   I am very comfortable with all of them.  I feel that I am getting more competent care here than in Florida.

Anyone who is considering moving here should do their own research to make sure they have doctors here that meet their individual needs.  Our needs have been rather simple and we have been very happy.



I recommend that future expats visit the links below.





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9 thoughts on “My Hospital Experience

  1. Congratulations! That must be a relief. Thank you for the detail report on your experience.Did you see the cardiologist in David or PC?

  2. I’m so glad you got the help you needed! It sounds like everything went great, and I hope your pain is gone. I am also really glad to be here in case I need something. Things in the US scare me and costs our totally out of reach. One more reason to love Panama.

  3. I’ve been following your blog, as well as Kris’ and a few others. Must not leave out Boquete Ning even if it appears to go off the rails quite frequently LOL. My retired Air Force husband and I are planning a move to Panama, Boquete specifically for the cool weather, sometime in the not so distant future. He lived there during the mid to late 70s and has always had a love of the Spanish people and culture. He went on to Madrid from there and was exposed to quite a different Spanish culture for another 11 yrs. I must confess our first choice was the southern coast of Spain but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for many reasons at this time. It will have to remain a fantastic vacation destination instead. I would love to be able to correspond with you privately if you would allow me to pick your brain a little about your home purchase/renovation. THAT is the one thing I am so hesitant about but fear it may be the only way to get the home we want. Hope you are well on your way to a complete recovery,

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year~

    • I don’t do much on Ning so I don’t think about it since it gets so snarky so quickly. I’d love to talk to you and you can call once you get into town. We’ve met some pretty neat people this way – some stay ad others do not.
      My personal email is below my pictures (yahoo). My husband is retired Navy so the guys can relive their military years. There’s actually quite a few retired military and some VA assistance in David. Talk to you soon
      Prospero Nuevo Ano

  4. As a 30+ year RN from a high acuity heart hospital, I can say without a shadow of a doubt the US health care system is broken in so many ways. It saddens me to see how derailed health care in the US has become. If you haven’t seen it, the movie Escape Fire (available on Netflix— can you get it there?) is worth watching. Thanks for another great post.

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