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05/09/2011 11:57 PM

Worried About Husband's Surgery

Posts: 5
New Member

My husband is 50 and 60 pounds overweight and is going to Tijuana at the end of this month for gastric sleeve plication (new procedure not FDA approved in US). We are both overweight but I am trying to lose with diet and exercise. He states he has "tried everything" but doesn't stay on a diet long enough and doesn't want to have any accountability (weighing in). He tried to get a lap band in the US but my current insurance wouldn't cover. When I learned 10 days ago that we could switch plans and by January 2012 it was possible that we could get it covered and pay less than $1000 out of pocket, he said "I was afraid you would say that and I've made up my mind and I want it NOW." He pushed his date up by several weeks to the end of this month. He doesn't want me to come to Tijuana because he said it will cost $600 more and we would be flying stand-by on buddy passes. He wants to save money The medical travel guides people have "all the answers" and he's bought in totally. Told him this weekend I support the surgery but asked him to have it in the US and I would find extra money. Want him to have good follow-up care in US as nurses here tell me lots of MD's in US do not want to work on someone else's patient. He does NOT want me to tell his family or his kids (adult). So I'm supposed to put up and shut up. Told him instead of constantly telling me why he's having surgery (like justifying it and pushing me to have it), why doesn't he use the time to learn and adopt the post-op diet and find a doctor in the US who will take care of him if he has any problems or needs routine follow-up care. Nope, he says that after the surgery he will have no choice but to make the changes. They told him that the day after he gets out of hospital he'll be walking around and shopping in Tijuana. Having fights about this. I agree with him about the benefits of weight loss but feel there are a lot of red flags here and I'm not ready to make the commitment to the post-op lifestyle. I have about 55 pounds to lose and am dieting and exercising. He told me that since I have my doubts about his choice, he has doubts about mine and that this time next year I will only have lost 10 pounds at that and that within 6 months of seeing his results I'll want to fly to Mexico but probably won't because I would have to admit he's right. I'm feeling sick to my stomach about this and crying a lot. Seeing a counselor about this in a couple of days.Sad

05/10/2011 09:03 AM
Posts: 3
New Member

I just had the plication surgery last week in Juarez Mexico. I am 39 years old and have over a hundred pounds to lose. So far I can not say a single bad thing about my experience. I have not had any pain, other then the incisions, and I had no nausea. Now I will say that the doctors were pleasantly surprised when I told them that I had no problems, so I don't know if it is normal or not, I can just state how my experience was. My doctor was Dr. Jose Rodriguez and he and the hospital were very professional and I received just as good of care as I would have received here in the US. I chose the plication surgery so that I would not have to have follow up appointments or fills and adjustments. I also discussed this with my regular doctor here in the US before I went and he agreed that it was a good idea. He stated the reasons why you pay so much here in the US is because of liability insurance for the doctors and that there are good surgeons and bad surgeons everywhere, even in the US. I did alot of research before I made my decision and the doctors that I used and decided on seemed to have alot of experience with this surgery. In my situation, my doctors gave me surgical reports and post-op X-rays to take home. I assume that this would be helpful incase something did go wrong once you got home, but I really think that with this surgery, if something was going to go wrong it would happen while you were still in Mexico. I wish you the best of luck and if you have any specific questions I will be happy to try to answer them.


05/10/2011 10:51 AM

Wow, I'm sorry to hear about your struggle. It sounds like your husband's mind is made up. There isn't anything that can be said to change his mind at this point. I'm glad that you will go see a counselor to help you deal with the emotions. Thanks to jimples72 for the positive feedback. I would not have thought anything good could come out of getting surgery in Mexico. Sounds like if he did his research, it could be okay.

As far as your weight goes, 55 lbs isn't such a huge amount that you can't overcome that with diet and exercise. Most docs won't even advise weight loss surgery if you have less than 100 lbs to lose. Perhaps the changes in your husband's eating habits after his surgery will help with your diet also.

Many of us choose not to tell anyone about our surgery. Some of tell anyone who asks. Smile It just depends on what kind of support you feel you will get from them. That's normal.

Talk to your therapist about how to deal with your husband's attitude about you not having the surgery. If you think that is something he will continue to nag you about, or if he's going to belittle your progress, you really need to be prepared for dealing with that. He may become jealous if you're successful without the surgery. And, he may be an "I told you so" if you aren't successful.

Bottom line: Come to terms with your husband's decision. Deal with your own issues through a therapist, diet, and exercise. Hopefully positive changes in both of your lives will make for a happy home.

Good luck and keep us posted! Smile

05/10/2011 12:57 PM

Hey, welcome to the group.

The Gastric Sleeve isn't a bypass, it's a sort of 1/2 way surgery. They usually use it when the patient has other complications and isn't a good, safe candiate for bypass, or some patients favour it as it's a little cheaper than the bypass but gives similar effects.

JB is right, it's not a lot of weight to lose at all, and I don't think you'd get surgery in the UK for that level of weight loss. However, I know if you pay privately, you can.

It's a shame but he does seem to have made his mind up. And once someone has done that, they won't usually listen to anyone else. You're totally right, it's a risk. Tourism Surgery, it's called, and it's quite an issue in the UK as well, when patients will fly to India or Russia or Belgium and get cheap surgery. It's usually about 1/4 of the price, but as you say, the aftercare doesn't really exist and lots of these places don't have the same controls.

Find out the name of the dr and hospital, go online and see if anyone else has talked about the place. Usually, no matter which dr or hospital, there will be some information out there. Try and find out if anyone else has had it done, if they had any complications or if it was fine. That should give you some information to convince him, or to reassure you that he will be fine.

It doesn't look like he will listen to reason, so you need to try a different way

05/10/2011 03:48 PM
Posts: 5
New Member

He is going to Angeles Health. All of the research on Gastric Sleeve Plication comes from them which is a red flag. They did a study of 66 people but doesn't give a dry factual detail. This may be all good but the who scenario is full of red flags. He is 6' or 6'1" and weighs about 250 and wants to be 190

05/10/2011 03:52 PM
Posts: 5
New Member

I'm sure that there is a highly likely chance that it will go well but the way he is approaching it gives me reason for concern. I understand the choice not to go with lap band due to the fills it sounds logical but since it is still experimental in the US with no long term studies (they've only researched from June 2010 and they can't say one way or the other if it is reversible (if you have a medical condition that warrants it, I would want to know if it is reversible). I'm happy for you and wish you all the success you hoped that your procedure would bring to you Smile

05/10/2011 03:58 PM
Posts: 5
New Member

I know that it is highly likely that it would go well but what if there are complications. It's a burden to have to hold this in. I'm his second wife... If something goes wrong I'll be blamed...I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that there is a component of anxiety of being abandoned for a newer and skinnier model as well if I don't have the surgery and THAT is not a good reason to do the surgery. I almost signed up to do the lap band on the same day as his so we could go through this together since he'll have a dramatically different diet. I couldn't go through with it because I felt I wasn't ready for the permanent changes. I lost 40 pounds painlessly in 7 months on weight watchers in 2006 after he kept nagging me to have a bypass. I was hurt by that remark. I felt great with the weight off but stress with work, his business and relationship issues allowed me to get off focus. I'm crying daily and feel broken up in many pieces. Only two days to go before my first counselling appointment.

05/10/2011 05:31 PM
Posts: 49

Hello, I have been reading the previous posts and for what its worth, here is some food for thought. When I read your first post I thought of the traveling out of the country for surgery. I thought of all the people that have traveled for breast enhancements, lipo and other plastic surgeries. There are many confirmed cases of people going out of country for these procedures and coming home needing total reconstruction, to fix what they paid "a fraction" of the cost to have it done. And in the end they pay far more then what they would have to have done the surgery here, at home and in a safe enviroment. Now, that beeing said there may be good Drs that could do the surgery and do it well, but why chance it.

Secondly, it sounds like your husband really wants you to have the surgery too. I think its great that you are going to go talk to someone. Remember you are your own person and it is YOUR body. YOU and only YOU get to make this choice. It kinda sounds like your husband thinks that after he has the surgery that he has nothing to worry about. As if its cure all. I can only stress that he understand that this is ONLY a TOOL! Unless he is mentally ready for the change BEFORE the surgery, it will be a very difficult to do well and keep it off.

In my case, I am 5'3 and weighed 234. I was 100#'s over weight. My insurance would not even have concidered me to be covered unless I met ALL the requirments. Now I know they (insurance comp) dont like to spend money if they dont have to, but they also have these rule in place for our safety. And the Drs here wont touch you unless you meet all requirements for our safety aswell. Anyhoo, I had to undergo a lot of test prior to my insurance company giving the go ahead. a physch eval, 6 months dietary counceling,several visits with my surgeon and my primary, not to mention all the blood draws and weigh ins. I had my sugery on Dec 16,2010 and have lost 73#'s. It is hard, I have to work at it everyday, I have to be VERY aware of what I eat and do at all times. It was just a tool.

I comend you for trying to achive your goals without jumping into something you are unsure of. You have joined a great group and we are all here for you no matter what you do, even if you choose to go out of the counrty for the surgery, we will ALL be here for you. It sounds like you are being very cautious and dont want to make the wrong choice, be proud of yourself for doing yourself a great service by looking into all the help and advice that you can get. If you choose to you will have a better mind set going into it!

Keep us posted on how things are going or if you ever need to talk. We will be here for you. I hope that things will start looking up for you and that you will find some form of comfort here.

05/10/2011 06:03 PM
Posts: 5
New Member


Thank you for your response. I agree with your approach and I think because you took the time to ensure that it was right for you. I am not saying that I'm not open, I just need to know in my heart that I've tried everything and that it is for all of the right reasons. I'm happy for your excellent results and hope that you will keep in touch. Thank you for being YOU!

05/14/2011 06:08 PM
Posts: 152

I had gastric bypass surgery on 3/24/2011. I had my surgery at hospital angeles, by Dr.Lopez-Corvalla! I researched for over three years, I looked into many different hospitals and surgeons, in america and in mexico! Hospital Angeles had the most reassuring information and when I contacted them they where very helpful and not pushy! Once I arrived at the hospital, any doubts I had about them vanished, this is not a 3rd world hospital, yes it is smaller than most american hospitals, but it is modern, clean, and very sanitary! The rooms are like a very nice hotel room, and they are private! The worst part is that not many people speak english! Bypass was a hard surgery for me, but I don't regret choosing Hospital Angeles at all! I know a lot of people are concerned and have certain ideals about having surgery in mexico, but I think that as long as you choose wisely you will be ok! My husband had lapband in 2004 in the Juarez branch of Hospital Angeles and is doing great and had no issues! In my research I even went as far as "interviewing" my husbands surgeon (that does his fills) here in colorado about surgery in mexico and he gave hospital angeles the green light!

If you have anymore questions feel free to pm me!

I think its great that you are not caving to his pressure to get surgery! You should never choose to do surgery for anyone else! If its something you want then great, but it's such a life changing experience to do it for anyone but yourself!


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