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My weight is an extremely sensitive subject for me and it’s something I’ve struggled with severely over the last 5+ years. Being overweight is the number one cause of my shyness, anxiety, and depression. I’ve been going through the motions of life with no end goal and no ambition or motivation. I’m not sure what I’m looking forward to.

I’ve always know about weight loss surgery but it’s not something that I ever thought I would be considering. A couple years ago, I met a friend who got her gastric sleeve done in Mexico, and the difference when seeing her before pictures, is astounding. She’s unrecognizable and wears a real, genuine smile.

2-3 months ago, I started doing heavy research on WLS. That led me to find articles on how difficult it is to get a doctor to refer you to a Bariatric surgeon in the United States and I got completely discouraged. I’m scared to go see a doctor just for them to tell me no and recommend something else. I’ve tried dieting/exercising and I always gain the weight back.

Recently, I’ve been reading more and more about people who have gone to Tijuana, Mexico to have their procedure done. I’ve read some amazing stories and it gave me hope again.

I have the money available to cover the cost of the procedure in Mexico, except my concern is that I will have to go alone. My mom passed away a few years ago, my dad can’t take a week off work and I don’t have a significant other or any friends that could go with. Not looking for pity, that’s just my reality.

So my question is, have any of you travelled out of the country to have WLS, and what was your experience like? Should I take a chance and see a doctor in my area with the hopes of them agreeing with me having surgery? Or should I just travel alone to have this done? I’d definitely be scared/nervous but I really don’t have another option besides having WLS. Any advice is very much appreciated!

Also, I’m new to this site, so please let me know if I’m missing anything. Thank you!

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Have you considered doing WLS in Vegas. The place where I had mine done has a program for people coming in from out of town. https://blossombariatrics.com/fasttrack/ The don't require a referral. It might not hurt to call them for a consultation. It might be easier than going to Tijuana.

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Curious why you think you’d be denied? My experience was pretty uneventful and “ easy”... 6 months from referral to surgery

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I’ve heard that it’s difficult to get a referral from your primary. I also heard they require doctor monitored weight loss programs and I’m hoping to save time by avoiding that. Did it take a lot of convincing your doctor on your end?

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14 minutes ago, nicole2592 said:

I’ve heard that it’s difficult to get a referral from your primary. I also heard they require doctor monitored weight loss programs and I’m hoping to save time by avoiding that. Did it take a lot of convincing your doctor on your end?

My doctor was not a part of my decision making. I wasn't required to have a referral. I did tell my doctor after the fact. I did not have to wait 6 months either b/c I had a hernia repair.

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I discussed my intent to have surgery with my primary doctor and he was supportive as I was morbidly obese with a BMI of 55. I have struggled with my weight my entire life.

If your insurance covers the surgery, but your primary doctor is against weight loss surgery, then that doctor is forcing his or her personal opinion on the patient, not a professional one that is in the patient’s best interest. It would be time for a new doctor in my opinion.

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My process started because of a navel hernia. Surgeon suggested WLS first in order to repair it because my belly was so big and stretched out. Said that I could tear it or get another if I did not lose weight. My PCP did not even know right away I was having it done. Look into your insurance and what the requirements are. Best of luck to you either way you decide to go though!!!

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Definitely look at your insurance. I know two major carriers changed their supervised diet requirements a few months ago. For example, Cigna no longer requires a supervised diet, when just 5 months ago, they did.

Sent from my SM-G960U using BariatricPal mobile app

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My primary was supportive from day 1. If yours isn’t, find one that is!

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I sought out the surgery locally before discussing it with my primary. I went to appointments and support meetings for two months before talking to my Dr. One of my insurance requirements is a letter of support from my primary doctor, which is not as much of a hassle as a referral. I went in to my primary, explained what I was doing and they reviewed my medical and weight history and signed off on the letter (it was a one page form from the surgery team).

You may not need to go out of country, you may just need to start looking at surgery groups locally and your insurance coverage to see what is needed. You can do Mexico if it fits your needs, but if a closer option is available if you just ask, that might be the way to go :)

Sent from my SM-G950U using BariatricPal mobile app

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It was actually my doctor who suggested the surgery in the first place, based on my health conditions. I had no trouble getting a referral, though I didn't really need one.

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On 9/23/2018 at 6:57 PM, nicole2592 said:

I’ve heard that it’s difficult to get a referral from your primary. I also heard they require doctor monitored weight loss programs and I’m hoping to save time by avoiding that. Did it take a lot of convincing your doctor on your end?

Most primary Dr's are supportive. You can always shop for a primary Dr that is pro bariatrics. A pre surgery supervised diet may be required by your insurance company or surgeons office. Call them to find out.

My experience:

My Dr was supportive. There is a process and hoops to jump through. It was all worth it. I had a six month weight loss requirement from my insurance company and a psych evaluation. The psych eval was straight forward not difficult to get through.

Seems like an eternity waiting. But honestly, I look back and all of this has been in a timely manner.

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My original PCP signed off on the paperwork, but both of my PCPs actually approved based on my medical history and failure to consistently lose weight.

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Start a chart for yourself and them by extension. Make a note of each diet ateempt, exercise, your body's reaction to each. Show,you have,been trying and it is,not working. My PCP started me,on a diet drug and I gained 30 pounds instead of loosing. THAT I noted on mine.

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