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My new PCP is not too keen on surgery in Mexico



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It is a little annoying to not have her support. I am considering getting the gastric sleeve. Has anyone had any problems re to their surgery post op and if so who do you go to when your surgeon is in Mexico?

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I had my surgery by Dr Almanza on January 23rd. Everything went great. No issues at all.



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I think most US Drs aren't keen on us going elsewhere in the world for surgery. That said I believe I had far better care in Mexico than I would have in the US. If it is the only way you can get it done research your Dr well or put yourself in Bariatric Pal Mexico's hands. They will take good care of you.

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My insurance might pay for it but I have to jump through a lot of hoops before being approved. I don't want to wait over a year. I need this tool this summer so that I can start my life. I am not in denial, I get that it is just a tool and that I need to b committed and make life long changes and I can do this. Is that nuts not waiting?

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There are so many boards that discuss this topic on this site, you might try looking them up for some good advice. The doctors name doesn't sound familiar to me, but if you have researched him and feel comfortable then good luck with surgery. There are absolute horror stories from surgery done in Mexico which is why many US doctors will not be on board with the decision. I'm not opposed to surgery in Mexico but I had so many problems after surgery that I'm glad I had it done in the US. I've also heard stories of people's insurance not covering the cost of medical treatments related to a surgery done in Mexico so you might want to call and make sure you would be covered if anything should happen. That's not to say a hospital wouldn't help in an emergency situation, but just that the insurance wouldn't cover the bill. Best to know exactly what you are getting into before making the leap. I've read many successful stories from people though, so I truly hope it works out for you.

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Thank you so much! Ugh I know. Again, I know my insurance would probably eventually cover it but it could take up to a year plus of jumping through hoops and I would have to wait next summer. I want it done THIS summer. I

5 minutes ago, Mandybb said:

There are so many boards that discuss this topic on this site, you might try looking them up for some good advice. The doctors name doesn't sound familiar to me, but if you have researched him and feel comfortable then good luck with surgery. There are absolute horror stories from surgery done in Mexico which is why many US doctors will not be on board with the decision. I'm not opposed to surgery in Mexico but I had so many problems after surgery that I'm glad I had it done in the US. I've also heard stories of people's insurance not covering the cost of medical treatments related to a surgery done in Mexico so you might want to call and make sure you would be covered if anything should happen. That's not to say a hospital wouldn't help in an emergency situation, but just that the insurance wouldn't cover the bill. Best to know exactly what you are getting into before making the leap. I've read many successful stories from people though, so I truly hope it works out for you.

Thank you! I know that my insurance would probably eventually cover it but I would have to jump through a lot of hoops and wait over a year. I don't want to wait over a year to lose a massive amount of weight. Ugh. I am very surprised that you haven't heard of Dr. Corvala. He is one of the top 10 bariatric surgeons in the world. And not just one of those people who puts that on a website for patients. His reputation speaks for itself. He has trained over 200 US surgeons and many surgeons in Mexico. He is supposed to be excellent. What to do???? Ugh lol

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Well it seems like you have really researched the doctor so that's wonderful. I feel your pain! I waited 2 years for the surgery because I gave up on doing the weigh ins the first time and decided I wasn't ready to give up food. This time around I did my 6 months weigh ins and I was ready. I'm 8 weeks out and not losing as fast as others. I'm probably going to be a slower loser but the doctor still says I'm on track to be down 100 pounds in a year. It's a lot to think about for sure, just prepare as much as possible. Some great boards to look up as well are "things I wish I knew before surgery" because there were so many things I wasn't prepared for and I wish I would have known. Keep us updated on your decision. Good luck again

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Find a new PCP. Life is too short to deal with ignorant, small minded people. My daughter is a gastroenterologist and she's the one who actually set up my surgery with Dr. Ortiz in Tijuana. VSG was still considered experimental in the US when I had mine done, so she got recommendations from her colleagues in the international bariatric community. And as an RN myself, I certainly recognize quality medical care. It's just too bad so many US trained doctors think they are better than everyone else (believe me, I worked for several of them). But there are also many out there that aren't bigots and care about their patients. Find one of them.

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My insurance covers surgery also, however my portion (after all the hoops) will likely be more than going to Mexico. I'm scheduled for VSG in Mexico on May 18th. While yes there are a ton of "doctors" in Mexico that do horrible things to people there are some amazing, talented doctors there as well. There are doctors who do horrible things to patients in the US as well as other countries. If you do your research (which you should be doing regardless of where you're getting surgery) and make sure the doctor has proper credentials, training, and experience the likely hood of being a horror story is slim to none. If this is a PCP you really want to keep do what you can to get him/her on board but if you won't miss the care then look for a PCP that will support you. They will mainly be doing blood work for you to monitor that and if you have any other health issues which are things they should be doing before the surgery anyway. I am going to a practice who has a doctor who does fills on banded patients even if they had surgery out of the country so I know they are open to sleeved patients who had surgery out of the US. The only person who knows whether going to Mexico is right for you or doing it here through insurance is you and you'll eventually make the best decision with a lot of support from this forum, research, and discussions with your PCP.

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I don't judge nor fault you for not wanting to wait. I started the process in December of 2015, I met the BMI requirement, but I didn't have any co-morbidities aside from possible undiagnosed sleep apnea (my bf would tell me about certain things that led me and my PCP to believe this). So they referred me to a sleep center to do the test. It took two months for the referral and appointment to get situated. It was scheduled for February. Then something came up that caused them to have to re-schedule, and it was another month out. Right before a trip I had had planned for months prior. I got fed up with it and just cancelled and started looking into Mexico. I went with Dr. Illan, and I have absolutely no regrets about doing so. His team is fantastic, he's so nice and caring. I also just loved that he was partnered with BP themselves, and Alex being a long standing person in the Bariatric community backing him as well just spoke volumes in my eyes.

So I said to hell with proving the sleep apnea. Because even after that, then I had to do the 6 month weigh ins, psych eval, etc. etc. My weight gain was a culmination of my PCOS, bad eating habits, and severe depression from the PCOS. I could lose 30-40lbs, but I couldn't keep it off or get under that. I got fed up and booked with Dr. Illan the moment I got back from my trip. Now I'm 9 months post-op, 48lbs away from goal, and life is fantastic. Some don't have the means to take the self-pay option, and technically I didn't either (I took out money against my car, and my bf of 9 years took money from stocks he had and paid a portion of it too). But I'll say, it was the best $4400 I ever spent, and I wish I had done it sooner. To think that if I hadn't I would just NOW be getting my surgery? The thought makes me cringe and so happy that my impatience did me a favor for once.

I did get lucky, my PCP had 2 other patients who'd gone to Mexico to get the VSG and had done great, and so that even eased my mind. She wasn't a stranger to it, and that was even better. She's been very supportive. If yours won't get on board, I'd definitely think about changing to a new one.

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5 minutes ago, MissKay said:

I don't judge nor fault you for not wanting to wait. I started the process in December of 2015, I met the BMI requirement, but I didn't have any co-morbidities aside from possible undiagnosed sleep apnea (my bf would tell me about certain things that led me and my PCP to believe this). So they referred me to a sleep center to do the test. It took two months for the referral and appointment to get situated. It was scheduled for February. Then something came up that caused them to have to re-schedule, and it was another month out. Right before a trip I had had planned for months prior. I got fed up with it and just cancelled and started looking into Mexico. I went with Dr. Illan, and I have absolutely no regrets about doing so. His team is fantastic, he's so nice and caring. I also just loved that he was partnered with BP themselves, and Alex being a long standing person in the Bariatric community backing him as well just spoke volumes in my eyes.

So I said to hell with proving the sleep apnea. Because even after that, then I had to do the 6 month weigh ins, psych eval, etc. etc. My weight gain was a culmination of my PCOS, bad eating habits, and severe depression from the PCOS. I could lose 30-40lbs, but I couldn't keep it off or get under that. I got fed up and booked with Dr. Illan the moment I got back from my trip. Now I'm 9 months post-op, 48lbs away from goal, and life is fantastic. Some don't have the means to take the self-pay option, and technically I didn't either (I took out money against my car, and my bf of 9 years took money from stocks he had and paid a portion of it too). But I'll say, it was the best $4400 I ever spent, and I wish I had done it sooner. To think that if I hadn't I would just NOW be getting my surgery? The thought makes me cringe and so happy that my impatience did me a favor for once.

I did get lucky, my PCP had 2 other patients who'd gone to Mexico to get the VSG and had done great, and so that even eased my mind. She wasn't a stranger to it, and that was even better. She's been very supportive. If yours won't get on board, I'd definitely think about changing to a new one.

Thank you for replying. I hope to be where you are at within 9 months of the surgery. How exciting! The funny thing is that I just changed PCP's because my last one could of cared less about me. I love this one so far but she said she didn't agree with me going to Mexico because they didn't have the same standards of care as they do here and what if something were to happen because they would not know what was used or what to do. However, she said of course she would treat me and not turn me away because she took an oath. It would take minimum of 6 months of hoop jumping. I'm ready to change my life eve though there are no guarantees what my experience with the sleeve would be.

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Ahhh okay, so that's good at least. So it just sounds like she's super skeptical, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. There ARE horror stories, but as long as you do your research, and know the surgeon you're working with, you should be just fine. I know mine actually sent me home with a lot of medical info and scans of everything to give to my PCP so they could see results and everything. As long as she's willing to still treat you after, you can have that satisfaction of getting it done and showing her that she was wrong. The one thing I've learned is that some doctors think they know everything, but the reality is they don't. I've heard of some docs ending up just really impressed with the work from the surgeons in Mexico. Good luck!

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My endocrinologist was the one who first suggested the VSG to me because it's benefitted women with PCOS, and she said that other patients had it done in Mexico. I live in Los Angeles, and the surgeons I consulted with charged between $29,000 to $35,000. Since my BMI was under 35, there was no hope of insurance covering any of the cost. I had the surgery in August of 2015 in Tijuana, and the total cost including two nights at the Marriott was $4200. It was also a far simpler process than going through insurance. I didn't have any hoops to jump through, and was able to schedule surgery for the exact date I needed. I had no complications, very minimal discomfort, and felt taken care of and safe. I'm confident the results would have been the same if I'd stayed in LA and shelled out a fortune. I surpassed my goal.

Medical Tourism is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many excellent facilities in Mexico. I would look for another physician who is more open-minded. You can also find out the blood work you need from online resources for bariatric centers, and ask for it to be completed. Good luck!

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2 minutes ago, Clementine Sky said:

My endocrinologist was the one who first suggested the VSG to me because it's benefitted women with PCOS, and she said that other patients had it done in Mexico. I live in Los Angeles, and the surgeons I consulted with charged between $29,000 to $35,000. Since my BMI was under 35, there was no hope of insurance covering any of the cost. I had the surgery in August of 2015 in Tijuana, and the total cost including two nights at the Marriott was $4200. It was also a far simpler process than going through insurance. I didn't have any hoops to jump through, and was able to schedule surgery for the exact date I needed. I had no complications, very minimal discomfort, and felt taken care of and safe. I'm confident the results would have been the same if I'd stayed in LA and shelled out a fortune. I surpassed my goal.

Medical Tourism is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many excellent facilities in Mexico. I would look for another physician who is more open-minded. You can also find out the blood work you need from online resources for bariatric centers, and ask for it to be completed. Good luck!

Thanka for replyig. You have a lot o good points. It is a small world. I live in Encino CA.

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