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Avoided the Red Tape and went to MEXICO. Now what?



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I was looking into weight loss surgery a couple years ago and that is when I discovered that at 38-39 BMI I wasn’t fat enough and I didn’t have any co-morbidities. So they set me up on a diet program through my health insurance and told me I had to do that program for 6 months. I can’t remember the name of the program, but it was a diet similar to the food guide pyramid but eating a lot less. I was hungry all the time. Seriously, who do they think we are? We have a quart to gallon sized stomach and they want us to eat as if it is pint sized or even smaller. A set up for failure. I didn’t last but a couple months, barely lost any weight and was even more depressed. Ended up getting divorced and then looking into the surgery again. That’s when I saw an ad for a VGS in Mexico. I was like WHAT!?! I was shocked that people did this but it intrigued me. Then I started doing research, tons of it. YouTube, internet... Found some really good Youtubers who talked about their experience, one of them a nurse. Discovered what to look for in the hospital, what to look for in a doctor. Found out that Medical Tourism is a big thing and it’s not just for VGS. I got paranoid I would send them a $4,500 cashiers check and it would vanish. The whole thing was scary. But..... what an amazing experience. Everything went very smooth. No psychiatrist appointment, no 6 months of dieting, no pre-labs. Made the call and had an appointment a month later. The only requirement was based on BMI and I had to start a diet 1 week before surgery to reduce fat on my liver and then the typical 2 days of clear liquid diet. Flew in to San Diego, they picked me up and took me to the hospital, did some blood work. Next day surgery, stayed two nights and then they dropped me off at the airport. No problems. I did this all alone, no companion. I was very nervous.

My only hick up is finding a doctor here in the US who will do follow up. I scheduled an appointment with a internal medicine doctor and went to that and discovered their first appointment is a “get to know you” appointment. What is this? I have never heard of it. Seems like a way just to collect an extra appointments worth of money? So I walked out since no one told me in advance. Sorry, I work and don’t have time for doctors who require multiple appointments so they can collect as much money as possible. Nor do I want to pay a doctor $150 to get to know me. I feel like this was a scam. I’m simple, no health problems only surgery ever was my c-section and this VGS. Other than being Obese I am perfectly healthy. I need to get on this today. I have not done any follow up appointments but feel I am doing just fine.

Anyone know which kind of doctor I should do follow up care with? I feel like a bariatric doctor would be annoyed I went to Mexico. I was thinking of going to an internal medicine doctor since I have no complications and just need some labs to make sure things are good? Anyone else go to Mexico and then follow up in the state?

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My x wife did and she had no complications but she put her OB and Primary and had the files sent to him

I did it here was only a few thousand more when you take into account the air and spending of two people

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If you’re having no complications, you and your PCP may be able to monitor your journey. You can order your own labs through www.requestatest.com. I have used them past few years and very simple. Go to their website, order the labs you want, choose the lab nearest you to go for blood draw.

My WLS was 3/11/20, Covid took over right then, so my follow up appointments have just been brief and over the phone with surgeon/nurse. As long as I’m not having issues, all that matters to them are the labs. You can also seek out a nutritionist if you feel you need one.

So glad all is going well for you!

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They gave me a copy of my medical records to I will take that when I go. As fort cost, since I didn’t qualify here in the US with a BMI of 39, I would have to pay it myself. The cheapest I found In the US was $14,000 paying it myself. I paid less than $5,000 total for Mexico. Even if I had qualified for my insurance, my deductible would have been $1500, then 20% of every bill after. They make you go to lots of appointments, labs, psychiatrists etc... so it would have been at least the same........ if I had qualified.

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27 minutes ago, Lily66 said:

If you’re having no complications, you and your PCP may be able to monitor your journey. You can order your own labs through www.requestatest.com. I have used them past few years and very simple. Go to their website, order the labs you want, choose the lab nearest you to go for blood draw.

My WLS was 3/11/20, Covid took over right then, so my follow up appointments have just been brief and over the phone with surgeon/nurse. As long as I’m not having issues, all that matters to them are the labs. You can also seek out a nutritionist if you feel you need one.

So glad all is going well for you!

Holy Cow, I had no idea I could order my own labs! Thank you very much... Wonder if insurance will pay for it if I order my own? I will definitely check into it.

Congratulations on your surgery and your weight loss of 51 pounds... How much weight loss were you at 3 months post op? How many calories are you eating per day... are you exercising? How much Protein per day?

Maybe I do need a nutritionist because I know what I’m suppose to be doing more protein but I only get in around 40 per day without shakes. I find that to keep my calories under 800 I eat less protein.

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Congrats on your surgery !! I myself would just go to my PCP.

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I'm glad it worked out for you! I'm plenty fat for my insurance to cover the surgery, but I still paid $4500 out of pocket, and I spent a lot of time going to all the various pre-op appointments. On the upside, all my followups, labs, and prescriptions are free for the rest of the year (since I met my out of pocket maximum).

I'm not sure if you need to go to a bariatric surgeon for followups, but I would guess that a local surgeon would accept you as a patient. Even people who don't go out of the country for surgery move and have to change doctors. I know my surgeon takes patients who have had surgery with other programs. It wouldn't hurt to ask.

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Congrats on your surgery!! I had mine in December, had 1 post-op visit in Feb, then Covid hit and haven't been back since! LOL!! I'm not having any problems otherwise I might try to go back now. I did get labs done last month just to make sure all is well. I also haven't seen my PCP since prior to surgery, again just b/c I'm not having any problems.

I get so much advice on these forums that it makes up for everything else. If you are having problems getting in your Protein, I would look at what you are eating and get rid of the low protein foods that might be giving you calories but not the good stuff that you need. I still do a Protein Shake for Breakfast for an easy 26 grams, plus I just really like shakes! My calorie range is 600-750 but I try to stick closer to the 600 range for now.

Like others have said, definitely get the labs to make sure all is well, but other than that you are probably on the right track by doing your own research here!

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3 hours ago, JustGrace49 said:

I was looking into weight loss surgery a couple years ago and that is when I discovered that at 38-39 BMI I wasn’t fat enough and I didn’t have any co-morbidities. So they set me up on a diet program through my health insurance and told me I had to do that program for 6 months. I can’t remember the name of the program, but it was a diet similar to the food guide pyramid but eating a lot less. I was hungry all the time. Seriously, who do they think we are? We have a quart to gallon sized stomach and they want us to eat as if it is pint sized or even smaller. A set up for failure. I didn’t last but a couple months, barely lost any weight and was even more depressed. Ended up getting divorced and then looking into the surgery again. That’s when I saw an ad for a VGS in Mexico. I was like WHAT!?! I was shocked that people did this but it intrigued me. Then I started doing research, tons of it. YouTube, internet... Found some really good Youtubers who talked about their experience, one of them a nurse. Discovered what to look for in the hospital, what to look for in a doctor. Found out that Medical Tourism is a big thing and it’s not just for VGS. I got paranoid I would send them a $4,500 cashiers check and it would vanish. The whole thing was scary. But..... what an amazing experience. Everything went very smooth. No psychiatrist appointment, no 6 months of dieting, no pre-labs. Made the call and had an appointment a month later. The only requirement was based on BMI and I had to start a diet 1 week before surgery to reduce fat on my liver and then the typical 2 days of clear liquid diet. Flew in to San Diego, they picked me up and took me to the hospital, did some blood work. Next day surgery, stayed two nights and then they dropped me off at the airport. No problems. I did this all alone, no companion. I was very nervous.

My only hick up is finding a doctor here in the US who will do follow up. I scheduled an appointment with a internal medicine doctor and went to that and discovered their first appointment is a “get to know you” appointment. What is this? I have never heard of it. Seems like a way just to collect an extra appointments worth of money? So I walked out since no one told me in advance. Sorry, I work and don’t have time for doctors who require multiple appointments so they can collect as much money as possible. Nor do I want to pay a doctor $150 to get to know me. I feel like this was a scam. I’m simple, no health problems only surgery ever was my c-section and this VGS. Other than being Obese I am perfectly healthy. I need to get on this today. I have not done any follow up appointments but feel I am doing just fine.

Anyone know which kind of doctor I should do follow up care with? I feel like a bariatric doctor would be annoyed I went to Mexico. I was thinking of going to an internal medicine doctor since I have no complications and just need some labs to make sure things are good? Anyone else go to Mexico and then follow up in the state?

You need a primary that is willing to run testing/labs

I went through my records and the following are the labs that my Bariatric Surgeon continuously orders to monitor my levels. Hopefully others can add to the list.

✓CBC W/ AUTO DIFF.

✓VITAMIN B12, SERUM

✓FOLATE, SERUM

✓FERRITIN, SERUM OR PLASMA

✓PREALBUMIN, SERUM

✓IRON/TRANSFERRIN, RATIO, SERUM

✓MAGNESIUM, SERUM OR PLASMA

✓LIPID PANEL, BLOOD

✓CMP, SERUM OR PLASMA

✓PTH (PARATHYROID HORMONE), INTACT, SERUM OR PLASMA

✓VITAMIN D3, 25-HYDROXY, SERUM

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BTW.... the "get to know you" or "meet and greet" appointment is required by a lot of insurances. The doc isn't just doing it to get more $. They have no choice.

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