Poor benighted Tijuana fruitcakes, cheap surgeries, mediocre doctors and the Captain is being generous here, outré nurses, and who knows what filth and rodeo clowns were around the corner. All this to save a few dollars while taking an unacceptable chance with one’s life, lending credence to the old adage these Tijuana fruitcakes must believe, ‘life is cheap’. Who are these people really, the Captain would like to know as well as his fellow travelers and have they ever heard of spell check and grammar check!
“In the United States the lowest quote I got was $24,000.00 for the surgery and in Mexico,” [she] said. “I was getting quotes of $12,000.00 to $14,000.00 and I ended up paying $12,500.00.”
“But it was no bargain–since the April surgery she’s been to the emergency room three times. Larissa said she’s been told she needs surgery or she’ll slowly die.”
“I don’t have any more money, I don’t have insurance and [surgeons here] don’t want to take on somebody else’s mistakes.
The lesson that I want people to take away is this – you have to have money set aside for possible complications as well as the initial surgery. And if you have enough money for that – than why not get a competent US doctor (with US protections) in the first place? I feel like a complete fool. I gambled, and lost.”
She cavalierly gambled with her life and is losing, doesn’t she know the house always wins. So now, the taxpayer has to pick up the tab for some Mexican butcher wielding a knife and fork at any gringo with no brains, a big belly, and many American pesos.
The Captain shudders to think of all the flies in the operating room buzzing around her open wound in lovely Tijuana.
“The morning at the airport meeting the driver was a clusterf*#k…. They allowed us to talk to Dr. Almanza about the surgery and we asked questions and he asked us if we had any prior abdominal surgeries. He used an interpreter but his English wasn’t bad…. All I remember about the surgery was seeing the anesthesiologist’s face and having my arms strapped down. I do not remember seeing Dr. Almanza after surgery either…. The room they tried to put me in had 4-5 beds all occupied from surgeries either the day before or whatever. There were also plastic surgery patients. They even had a bunk bed and I pity whoever tried to haul their butt up there after having surgery. There was a car alarm going off all day long and loud dogs barking. Rest was impossible. I will say that the staff was very friendly but not being able to have rest caused me to leave. I ended up staying at the Hotel Ticuan that night but please book a room in advance if you think you are going to stay there. It was almost completely booked solid! Although they say a reservation is not necessary, I think it certainly is if you don’t want to be left in the dark…. A couple of us who had surgery the same day left early. We got our drain tubes removed and left…. Some people it will be good for and some it will not. It is an individual choice…. The surgery itself seems positive though so keep your eyes wide open and wish you the best of luck!”
This from the Dr.’s web site:
About Dr. Mario Almanza
Dr. Almanza is the leading gastric sleeve surgeon in the world, and has performed more gastric sleeve procedures than any other surgeon in the world. Trust experience and get your weight loss surgery performed by Dr. Mario Almanza. Fill in the form on this page, and you will receive all the information to get started and book your surgery date with Dr. Almanza.
Well this duplicitous, south of the border chop shop chef certainly has a high opinion of himself. According to the above clip all you have to do is fill in the forum, put your money down and the renown back yard chef will go to work. His dogs need to be feed too.
“Almost echoes my experience to the tee from Dec 2010. You pay for what you get and this is certainly a cut rate surgery. My experience was just the same – tolerable but not the best.
Because of the armed robbery at the recovery house and some issues at the hospital from other patients I can no longer endorse this Dr or the “hospital”. There are alternatives that treat you better, however I have no direct experience with other sites to offer.”
The light bulb is on but only dimly lit. Too late to be forewarned and short a brick for a full load.
“I think a lot of us have had different experiences with our surgeries in Mexico than what we would have had in the US. I went to Mexico for the usual reason, my insurance would not cover my surgery. I put my call light on a total of once while I was a patient after my surgery. I was having quite a bit of pain, and wanted to know if I could get some pain medication. The nurse came in, grabbed the call light out of my hand and yelled “WHAT?” at me! I am a nurse and know, absolutely beyond the shadow of a doubt, if I treated a patient like that, I might as well pack up my stuff and head for the front door. Hospitals in the United States do NOT tolerate attitude like that. But then I remember what I get paid working here in the states, and what nursing staff in Mexico get paid, and there is a SIGNIFICANT difference. The old saying “you get what you pay for” is true. My surgery was successful, but I paid a cut rate to have it done in Mexico, and I got cut rate service. I am happy, thrilled, and excited beyond words with the results I obtained from my VGS, but I know that the “niceties” that you receive here in the United States are not usually part of the hospital experience in Mexico….
If the facility where you are going to have your procedure done is JCAHO Internationally Certified, you can be assured that you are at least getting the minimum in safety standards.”
This Tijuana fruitcake RN is a disgrace to the profession. The Captain RN wouldn’t allow this cretin anywhere near his person. Of all our contestants she wins the booby prize. Read between the lines dear fellow travelers and you discover this poor retch is clueless as to the life threatening imbecilic chances she took going south of the border! Read what our fruitcake of the day has to say about her experience. She focuses on all the immediate incidentals highlighted above. We would like to know if she has any thought as to her extended care now that she is alive
_____**It has come to my attention that there is a man in Tijuana, Mexico that is posing as a physician, not a surgeon and no – he is not doing surgery he merely owns the clinic. This man is posing as a physician and he is not a physician. He has never been to medical school, he has no formal medical education. ANYONE that claims to be a physician or surgeon you should verify this through the Mexican Government. You need to obtain the license number of the physician and enter it to the following website. The true owner of the license will show up. There is absolutely no reason any licensed physician would deny you their license number, none!***
At least the lights are on and someone is home in this house, but sadly still bent on cut rate backyard surgery. The dogs must be fed!!
Below is a quick comparison between the cut rate, Third World Bariatric One Stop Chop Shop back yard care and safe, first rate, Tier 1 legitimate Bariatric care .
Below is a vetted WebMD article with legitimate sources! This is a must read: it is why legitimate bariatric procedures cost so much more!
Weight loss surgery is expensive. Typical costs can run from $20,000 to $25,000, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
The price of your weight loss surgery will depend on several factors:
- The type of surgery you’re having. Types of weight loss surgery include gastric bypass, adjustable gastric banding, vertical gastric banding (also called stomach stapling), sleeve gastrectomy, and biliopancreatic diversion. Each has a different fee.
- Your surgeon’s fee. This will vary based on where you live, your surgeon’s expertise, and the procedure’s complexity.
- The hospital you choose. Costs will vary and may include the operating and hospital rooms, among other fees.
Additional costs may include:
- Anesthesiologist’s fee
- Surgical assistant’s fee
- Device fees
- Consultant fees (if necessary)
- Follow-up procedures (for the gastric band)
Will Health Insurance Pay?
If you have health insurance, read your policy carefully, and work closely with your insurer and your doctor to see what’s covered.
Most insurance companies recognize that people who are overweight and obese are more likely to get serious health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and sleep apnea. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence that bariatric surgery can improve or resolve up to 30 obesity-related conditions, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.
If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll likely have to pay the entire bill yourself. Some weight loss surgery centers can help you get a loan that you can repay over a number of years.
Getting Your Insurance to Pay for Weight Loss Surgery
Most major insurance companies will require:
- Proof that surgery is medically necessary. Your surgeon can help provide your medical history and documentation of your weight-related health problems.
- Participation in a physician-supervised diet program. You may be required to successfully complete a 6-month weight-loss program before approval is granted. Medicare does not require this 6-month program, but you may be encouraged to participate anyway. This type of diet program involves monthly visits to your bariatric surgeon’s office for 6 months. The insurance companies aren’t trying to find out if you can lose weight through dieting. In fact, most insurance companies require that the patient’s weight be stable during this time — with no up-and-down fluctuations — or you may be denied coverage. They want you to demonstrate over the 6 months prior to surgery that you can commit to lifestyle changes you’ll need to make forever after your weight loss surgery.
- A psychological evaluation. This is to make sure that you understand weight loss surgery and the impact it will have on your lifestyle. The psychological evaluation also checks for untreated binge eating or any other psychological issues.
- A nutritional evaluation. You will work one-on-one with a nutritionist to outline specific dietary changes and habits that need to be changed.
What Happens Next?
When you have completed these steps, the surgeon will send a pre authorization letter to your insurance company. The letter will outline your medical history and health problems related to your weight, and provide documentation that you have completed all requirements for approval.
The insurance company will then review your case. If you have symptoms of weight-related conditions, the company may request specific diagnostic tests, such as cardiac, pulmonary, or sleep apnea evaluations.
During this period, keep accurate notes of all communications between the insurance company and your surgeon. Keep copies of completed insurance forms, letters sent, and letters received.
What if Your Insurance Company Declines Coverage?
If your request is turned down, or if the insurance company agrees to pay only a small percentage of the cost, the door is not closed.
What if Your Insurance Company Declines Coverage? continued…
You can write a letter of appeal to the insurance company representative (such as a claims supervisor) who signed the denial. Before you appeal, make sure you understand your policy completely, and that it does not specifically exclude the weight loss surgery you want.
Also, make sure restrictions were not in place when you first began your contract with the health plan.
Your appeal letter should include:
- An explanation why you feel the procedure should be covered
- A request for a full explanation of why coverage is being denied (or paid at a reduced level)
- A request for a copy of the specific statement — taken from the policy or benefits booklet — that explains why your coverage is limited or denied
- A copy of the denial notification
- A copy of your doctor’s pre authorization letter
You may find it helpful to send a copy of your appeal letter to your state’s insurance commissioner or the department of corporations if you are covered by an HMO plan. You can explain that you’re having trouble, and ask for assistance. Your bariatric surgeon can help you with your appeal.
Other Ways to Pay for Weight Loss Surgery
If you do not have health insurance, or if your insurer will not cover weight loss surgery, talk to your doctor and your surgeon about financing plans. Check on the interest rate, and make sure you are OK with all of the terms.
Anita Courcoulas, MD, MPH, chief of minimally invasive bariatric and general surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons: “Insurance Coverage: A Patient’s Guide.”
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery: “Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery.”
WebMD Medical Reference: “Preparing for Weight Loss Surgery,” “Your Options in Weight Loss Surgery: Making the Choice.”
Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on August 13, 2012
© 2014 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
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