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insight on getting sleeved in US v Mexico



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I live in DC metro area. I have insurance, and it seems to cover a portion of the gastric sleeve surgery...but I would still have to pay several thousand plus 220 every time I would see the doctor. It also seems like in order for the procedure to be covered, I would need to see the doctor regularly for at least 6 months, which starts to add up. I am seriously considering going to Mexico.

My family is actually pretty supportive. My mom is hispanic (and a lawyer) and would like to accompany me in case something happens and my lack of language proficiency is problematic. My husband typically gets all his medical and dental work done when he goes home to the middle east, so this doesn't phase me as much as it probably would 10 years ago.

I am going to an information session tonight for bariatric surgery here in the US and will obviously find out more from that, so here I will focus my questions on Mexico.

Is it advisable to take a family member with you? If so, how does that factor into the price?

What kind of after care will I need once I am home? Will I need to go to doctors for follow ups?

Do the doctors cooperate with things such as work notes, etc?

Finally, any recommendations?

I intend to do my research for several months. I am not looking to be sleeved until at least this summer.

PS female, mom, married, 5 foot 4 and 280

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Hi;

I had surgery in Mexico a 2 years ago Feb 19. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went to the OCC. Dr. Ortiz, no I don't work for him and have no vested interested in referring anyone to him. I did tons of research about a year and even conducted a background check on him even before I decided to go to the OCC. I was 242 and now am 140 and I've dropped down to 135 a couple times but like myself at 140. I traveled to California by myself and met a friend there who fly in from Florida. We both went over the border together. The hotel they set you up with is great - kind very kind staff. Dr. Ortiz staff are the best, the nutritionist is wonderful and still helps me at times if I feel as if I am falling off the wagon. The surgery for me was not painful, never took my pain medication (I do have a high tolerance for pain) but never felt uncomfortable. Nurses were great - follow up has been wonderful. I have not had any problems since returning to the states with the EXCEPTION of finding a doctor that wanted to treat me since I had the procedure in Mexico. Took a couple months to find once and she is great and I see her once a year. My yearly is coming up and the only thing that is different is I have been experience so reflux which is "normal" for all intent and purposes. You can not even see where he went in and did the procedure. This is just a brief summary of my experience. So if you want further details or to talk my personal email is bas1029@aol.com. I don't have a problem giving more information if you want it! Again, in my personal opinion Dr. Ortiz at the OCC rocked and if I go back for some skin surgery I will be going there!!!!

Good luck and please any other questions feel free to ask.

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I'm still pre-op, but I'm going to Mexico. There isn't a self-pay option anywhere near me. If there was, I would have gone that route depending on the price. I would be willing to pay a bit more for convenience.

I am bringing someone along, but many people don't. I'm going to the OCC in Tijuana. Included in the price is a shuttle to and from the airport, surgery, and post-op stay at an affiliated hotel. I think we might have to pay for an extra hotel night for my companion while I'm in the hospital overnight.

From what I understand, there is minimal care needed once your home (assuming not problems). My surgeon recommends a gastroscopy one year post-op. I have spoken to my family doctor. She is on board and has already given me a note for time off work. I will be seeing her once I'm home regardless, just to keep her in the loop.

Hope that helps!

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Thank you guys. I went to the info session and was quoted fourteen thousand dollars which is not anything I can conceivably come up with unless I sell some internal organs! However, the surgeon gave me another doctor's number in case they are willing to work with my insurance. I intend to call them and get a break down of what they need from me and then I have something more practical to be comparing to what is available in Mexico.

For those that went ahead and did it in Mexico, was it at all strange to mention this to your physicians in the states? Did you get things like sleep apnea tests and ekg's here in the states before you went to mexico? I obviously want to be safe...but this is not anywhere near my first time having surgery...even abdominal (I had a c-section) and I never had to do that but I see most doctors require it?

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I didn't bring a family member with me, but it is very common to do so. With the specific surgeon I used, bringing someone would have cost me airfare and food and that's it. They would have covered my companion's stay in the hotel the night I was still in the clinic. I know some programs do charge for that extra night in the hotel for your companion.

I would highly recommend discussing the surgery with your PCP ahead of time and making arrangements for them to order regular blood work post-op. My PCP saw me at 2 months, 4 months, 8 months, and 1 year post-op for check-ups and blood work.

Most surgeons in TJ will provide work note or complete FMLA paperwork for you. Just be sure to ask when you are researching surgeons.

As for recommendations, I had my surgery with Ariel Ortiz at OCC and definitely would recommend him. I have also heard many many good things about Dr. Illan lately. He is directly affiliated with BariatricPal and I know they fully vetted him before partnering with him.

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Hi, I am from the NOVA area as well and just had my sleeve done with Dr. Illan through BariatricPal on Feb 8th.

I spoke with my PCP prior to surgery and she was fine with it and has no problem doing my follow-up care. I did confirm that she has worked with bariatric patients before and she let me know that she has several in her practice and is very comfortable doing the follow-up. She ran all of my bloodwork and gave me an EKG prior to surgery so she could determine if she thought I was fit for surgery, this is redundant as you will get bloodwork, EKG and chest xray prior to surgery but it helped me sleep better (and my mother sleep better) having an independent opinion.

My wife went with me to my surgery, there was no additional cost other than airfare and food for her which frankly wasn't much. Language was a non-issue, everyone at the hospital spoke fluent English and I clearly understood everyone. Bariatric Pal also has valets at both the hospital and hotel that were there to help with anything you need. They took my wife to get things to eat, ran errands for us, took us sightseeing and basically just provided moral support when you needed it.

My surgeon sent me home with all of my post op med, copy of my chest xray, blood test results, leak test, video of my surgery, etc.

I was very satisfied with my experience. If you want more info or have more questions PM me and I will send you my contact info if you would like.

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