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Concerns about surgery in Mexico


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I'm looking to have the sleeve procedure done but my insurance denied me. So I have decided that I am going to go the self-pay route. I have been checking prices all over the US and the best I found was $10,400 in Vegas. But the pricing in Mexico blows that away. So I have been reading and researching A LOT for several days now. I have not been able to find one bad experience. My doctor tells me that if I have surgery in Mexico, that no doctor in my area ( St. Louis) will touch me for any follow up or complications.

My concern is, what if any follow ups are needed?

I'm looking at a late Jan 2013 date.

I'm going on a cruise the 1st weekend of Jan and think it would be best to wait until after that.

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I'm looking to have the sleeve procedure done but my insurance denied me. So I have decided that I am going to go the self-pay route. I have been checking prices all over the US and the best I found was $10,400 in Vegas. But the pricing in Mexico blows that away. So I have been reading and researching A LOT for several days now. I have not been able to find one bad experience. My doctor tells me that if I have surgery in Mexico, that no doctor in my area ( St. Louis) will touch me for any follow up or complications.

My concern is, what if any follow ups are needed?

I'm looking at a late Jan 2013 date.

I'm going on a cruise the 1st weekend of Jan and think it would be best to wait until after that.

I'd wait till after the cruise too. For any WLS, you have to go on a presurgery diet. I'd contact Lori, the OCC surgery coordinator, at least 6 months ago she had the sleeve surgery done and has been very successful. She could give you the info your looking for. Call her at 1-866-376-7849 ext 81

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If you contact the occ they will tell you what you need for followups. I was told in March that I needed blood work done post op to check levels.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm looking to have the sleeve procedure done but my insurance denied me. So I have decided that I am going to go the self-pay route. I have been checking prices all over the US and the best I found was $10,400 in Vegas. But the pricing in Mexico blows that away. So I have been reading and researching A LOT for several days now. I have not been able to find one bad experience. My doctor tells me that if I have surgery in Mexico, that no doctor in my area ( St. Louis) will touch me for any follow up or complications.

My concern is, what if any follow ups are needed?

I'm looking at a late Jan 2013 date.

I'm going on a cruise the 1st weekend of Jan and think it would be best to wait until after that.

Like you, my biggest concern is having complications once I get home. So I am trying to pro-actively address that concern by: 1 - having enough money set aside for an airline ticket and hotel room so I can get back to the Obesity Control Center if I have a complication that requires surgical intervention. 2 - planning to extend my stay in Tijuana for a day or two to try to ensure I am not going to have complications 3 - from what I have researched, complications seem to occur if you don't follow the post-op diet exactly. Hope to have my surgery at the end of February 2013...would love to hear about your experience in January. All the best to you!

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Hi! I had the plication on July 2, 2012 and we stayed in Rosarita Beach for several days afterwards just to be near the center if there were any complications - and thankfully they're were no complications. FOLLOW THE POST OP DIET! The only problems I have had in these last few months is when I consume too many sweets or carbs - hard lesson to learn but every time it happens (the discomfort) I realize no food/candy/bite is worth the inconvenience and discomfort.

When I explained to my primary care physician back home what I was doing, she said she would follow up with me and scheduled all sorts of lab tests three months post surgery. I sent those results to OCC and everything was fine.

If you run into serious problems, you are going to end up at ER and they will treat you, even though you had the WLS out of the country. I think that is a scare tactic. I've lost about 50 pounds since July 2nd and it was the best thing I could have done for myself and my family.

Hope this is helpful!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I decided to go ahead and do it. Here is the story of my journey to The Obesity Control Center in Tijuana Mexico with Dr Ortiz for my sleeve procedure.

I arrived in San Diego on Tuesday, Nov 20th about 3:00pm, the driver text me to let me know he was held up at the border. He did arrive and drove me to the hotel. I got to the hotel (Marriott), and it is a very nice hotel. I checked in and got to my room and ordered chicken broth and water. OCC guest are given 3 bowls of chicken broth and 2 bottles of water per day. They did not have any popsicles the whole time I was there, but I was told that I didn’t miss anything. I was told to be in the lobby at 6:40 the next morning to be picked up and taken to the clinic. They don’t tell you, but you have to go to the front desk and tell them you need a ride to OCC.

Got to the clinic and was the second person on the schedule for the day. I didn’t have to wait very long before they called me back and took blood and started my IV. The nurse was very good and was as painless as an IV can be. Then back to the waiting room. I was then called back to talk to Dr. Maranda the nutritionist, very nice. Then back to the waiting room and then called back to have my EKG done. Shortly after that I was escorted to my room. It was a small private room with a nice couch and comfortable chair. They ask me to strip down and put on a gown and some paper underwear. (One size does NOT fit all). The nurse started a drip in my IV and injected several syringes of medications into it. All painless. Then she administered a shot to my thigh which was also painless. Dr Ortiz came in to see me. He was not what I had expected. He is very young and not a trace of Spanish accent. He was like an old friend stopping by to visit me in the hospital. Very personable and down to earth. Ask if I had any questions and just visited for a few minutes like we were old friends. After a few minutes the nurses came back and ask if I was ready. She walked me into the OR. I walked in and there were 4 men in the room in scrubs all speaking Spanish. They ask me to lie down on the table and one of them put a mask on me. The next thing I knew I woke up back in my room. I didn’t have any pain, just felt bloated. I slept off and on throughout the day and night. I did get up once and set up my CPAP so I could sleep more comfortably and a couple of other times just to walk around a bit to help get rid of the gas causing the bloated feeling. (do this, it really does help) The nurse came in the next morning (Thursday) and gave me a small bottle of water and a couple of pills. You will learn VERY quickly to take small sips. The nurse checked my drain said that anytime I was ready I could get dressed and return to the hotel. I got dressed and was taken to the waiting room.

I was given my prescriptions, 1 bottle of an antibiotic, 1 box of pain pills, 2 boxes of anti nausea tablets and 1 box of anitacid. “Given” is a misnomer here, they charge you $125.00 for these medications that you have to pay for right then. I was then taken back to the hotel. You have to check in again at the hotel. They told me to come back to the clinic at 10:00 the next day.

I pretty much stayed in my room napping off and on and reading. Took a couple of walks around the halls but mostly stayed in my room. I thought I was hungry so I ordered 2 bowls of chicken broth. I could only eat about 5 or 6 spoonfuls and was full. A first in my life! Again, you learn very quickly to take small sips, If you try to eat the broth or drink like your used to it hurts, it feels like a large gas bubble in the gut, very uncomfortable. When you go down to the lobby the next morning, remember to let them know at the desk that you need a ride to OCC.

I was taken back to OCC and the drain was checked and bandage changed. Still feeling bloated. Very short stay at the clinic and then taken back to the hotel. I was told to return at 8:00 the next morning to have the drain removed. Returned the next morning and they did the barium check and all was good. You only have to take a couple of small sips of the barium so it’s not bad. You will see your “new “stomach on the screen. The doctor took me into the prep room and removed the drain, which was also painless.

I was then taken to the airport and flew home.

All in all it went pretty much as everyone said it would. I had the bloated feeling for a couple of days after returning home but it did pass. I still have trouble remembering to take small sips but am quickly reminded. But I do not have any pain. I did feel hungry though the first 5 days or so and I wasn’t expecting to. So now that its all done and over, I’m very pleased with everything.

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  • 3 months later...

swtgamelissa I am scheduled for June 10th and am planning to go by myself. I have seen so many people say that going by yourself is no big deal. I have 2 very good friends that have had gastric sleeve and band to sleeve revision with Dr. Ortiz and they both have said it's the BEST thing they have ever done and the care is better than what you get in the US.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I went with a friend but there was a gal in my group that went by herself from Canada and didn't tell anyone. NO on even knew she was in Mexico.

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