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Has anyone else compared VSG in the US with a long wait due to insurance (Tricare Prime) and Mexico? I am considering EOC (Elias Ortiz & Company) in Tijuana because you set the date, you go, and you simply work hard. I have watched all the videos from Sage Bariatric on YouTube (which is where I am attempting to go with insurance), but having military insurance with so many rules, I just don't know what is feasible. What have I not considered? My husband can accompany me to Tijuana so I won't be alone and he can provide support. The all around care they provide seems to be top notch. I have searched these forums and read, and read, and read some more. I thought I would seek other's advice. Thanks!

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I did not have a long weight with Tricare Prime. I was 3-4 months from first consultation to surgery. The thing that takes the time is getting appointments for all the preliminary stuff from other doctors. If you stay on top of it and are flexible for appointment times and which doctors you use, you can get it done pretty quickly. Tricare Prime picked up all but 153 dollars of my surgery. It is worth the extra leg work to get it done.

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any insurance you typically have that wait. Usually its 6 months or so. but if you have the cash and want to do it sooner, go for it. but i would wait for insurance. I personally would have rathered gone to the Endohospital in mexico for the sleeve if i didnt get it done in the usa.

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I had VSG in Tijuana, Mx. I did about 200 hours of research before my surgery and based on that research, finances, and other personal considerations, decided to go the Medical Tourism route and have been very happy with that decision. I had my surgery at HospitalBC with Dr. Illan.

The insurance piece was definitely a factor for me. I have consulted 3x with US surgeons in the past. And all the appointments and hoop jumping eventually caused me to lose hope and I bailed. The months and months of appointments and paperwork is exhausting and extremely frustrating! That being said, I have employer sponsored healthcare, not Tricare, so I can't speak to the experience with them, only my own. From first contact to surgery, was almost exactly 3 months. It would have been shorter, but I had some schedule considerations I had to work around. With my insurance it would have been 9+ months.

These hospitals ONLY do bariatric surgeries and are geared towards medical tourists. They run a VERY well oiled machine from intake to discharge. The process was so smooth, I was completely confident going alone. The surgeon I chose is highly accredited, has done thousands of WLS procedures, has relationships and mentorships with some of the most well known US bariatric surgeons for continuing ed, is board certified, etc. He is just as qualified, if not more so, than many of the bariatric surgeons in my area.

The reality is, there are amazing surgeons in the US and just as many in Mexico and other places. Conversely, there are terrible surgeons here and everywhere else. There are pros and cons to each, and every person has different needs. Ultimately it boils down to doing your research, finding a surgeon you trust, and a program that fits your needs.

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I have both Medicare and Tricare. Yes, it took 6 months, but I have not been billed a penny.

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12 hours ago, Tony B - NJ said:

I did not have a long weight with Tricare Prime. I was 3-4 months from first consultation to surgery. The thing that takes the time is getting appointments for all the preliminary stuff from other doctors. If you stay on top of it and are flexible for appointment times and which doctors you use, you can get it done pretty quickly. Tricare Prime picked up all but 153 dollars of my surgery. It is worth the extra leg work to get it done.

That isn't bad at all. I appreciate your insight. I know everyone's experience is different, but would rather see from other patients than just the coordinators at the bariatric center.

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12 hours ago, liveaboard15 said:

any insurance you typically have that wait. Usually its 6 months or so. but if you have the cash and want to do it sooner, go for it. but i would wait for insurance. I personally would have rathered gone to the Endohospital in mexico for the sleeve if i didnt get it done in the usa.

I have the cash for Mexico, but not that cash for US without feeling guilty taking from my family especially if I have insurance. I also didn't want to wait a year+. I appreciate the input!

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12 hours ago, Sleeve_Me_Alone said:

I had VSG in Tijuana, Mx. I did about 200 hours of research before my surgery and based on that research, finances, and other personal considerations, decided to go the Medical Tourism route and have been very happy with that decision. I had my surgery at HospitalBC with Dr. Illan.

The insurance piece was definitely a factor for me. I have consulted 3x with US surgeons in the past. And all the appointments and hoop jumping eventually caused me to lose hope and I bailed. The months and months of appointments and paperwork is exhausting and extremely frustrating! That being said, I have employer sponsored healthcare, not Tricare, so I can't speak to the experience with them, only my own. From first contact to surgery, was almost exactly 3 months. It would have been shorter, but I had some schedule considerations I had to work around. With my insurance it would have been 9+ months.

These hospitals ONLY do bariatric surgeries and are geared towards medical tourists. They run a VERY well oiled machine from intake to discharge. The process was so smooth, I was completely confident going alone. The surgeon I chose is highly accredited, has done thousands of WLS procedures, has relationships and mentorships with some of the most well known US bariatric surgeons for continuing ed, is board certified, etc. He is just as qualified, if not more so, than many of the bariatric surgeons in my area.

The reality is, there are amazing surgeons in the US and just as many in Mexico and other places. Conversely, there are terrible surgeons here and everywhere else. There are pros and cons to each, and every person has different needs. Ultimately it boils down to doing your research, finding a surgeon you trust, and a program that fits your needs.

Thank you so much. I appreciate such a thorough response and was able to share it with my husband. Ultimately it is my choice, but I feel my husband needs to feel comfortable with it. I agree with the points you mention and appreciate the confirmation.

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9 hours ago, oldandtired said:

I have both Medicare and Tricare. Yes, it took 6 months, but I have not been billed a penny.

Thanks! My husband would be using Medicare and Tricare so this answered the very question he asked me regarding his own plan/path forward.

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I was a self pay as well. I stayed in the states though. I flew to Vegas on a Monday, had preop stuff done Tuesday and Wednesday. My surgery was Thursday and I left Saturday. I looked at services in Mexico, but decided on staying in the states. It was my own fears. I trust the US restrictions, rules, procedures are in place for my safety. However, there are a lot of people on here who have had wonderful experiences traveling out of the country for surgery. I believe there is a group page dedicated to Mexican sleeve patients. I would check out some of their reviews and experiences.

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I had the VSG done in the US and it wasn't much more than Mexico. I felt the additional cost was worth it to stay in the states with better healthcare. I paid $8995 out of pocket and it was done by Dr. Suggs in Huntsville, AL. Those I was looking at in MX were around $7k so I didn't feel I was saving enough to risk the subpar medical care in Mexico. Also, it was less than 2 months from my first consult to my surgery date and it could have been sooner but I had to choose a further date so I could arrange for childcare while I was gone.

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On 5/18/2022 at 8:58 PM, SlimmingLanie said:

Thanks! My husband would be using Medicare and Tricare so this answered the very question he asked me regarding his own plan/path forward.

But there are hoops to jump through. Dietician appointments, a psych appointment (which is pretty useless, as you would have to be an idiot to not see where they are going with their questions.) 6 visits with your primary, one a month. If the place he is going is anything like mine, they give you step by step instructions, and the forms, etc.

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