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The Challenge of Being Overweight

There are low-cost Options in Mexico

By Dan Sieben, CEO MexAmeriCare

Governor Chris Christie recently went public with his decision to undergo surgery to treat his obesity challenge…and since then interest in surgical options for obesity has sky-rocketed.  But the fact remains that such procedures are very expensive in the United States, and for the most part, they are not covered by insurance.  What to do???|||

Dramatic savings in Mexico

According to Healthcare Blue Book, the approximate cost of bariatric surgery in Connecticut is $24,528  The cost in the Lake Chapala/Guadalajara area is about $6,000 for the same surgery!

But does weight loss surgery fit your particular situation? If it’s a cure-all and if obesity is really an epidemic in the U.S., why don’t more people have the procedure done?

Any surgical procedure is a strain on the body, and weight loss surgery is no exception. It is also no guarantee of weight loss, and the Obesity Help website indicates that people who undergo weight loss surgery often "must adhere to life-long strict diets, deal with chronic vomiting issues, face the potential for weight gain in later years, nutritional deficiencies, and even face potentially life-threatening complications."

Because of the risks and the long-term consequences, research shows there are specific reasons a doctor will recommend weight loss surgery for an individual, and "most of them are related to obesity-related illnesses. For example, an obese individual suffering from sleep apnea, diabetes, or heart disease, the benefits of weight loss surgery would likely outweigh the risks."

Before you decide to speak with your doctor about weight loss surgery, both WebMD and Obesity Help websites suggest asking yourself the following questions:

• Have you tried to lose weight through all other conventional methods including counseling, journal upkeep, professional dietician aid, and support groups?
• Do you want to lose weight to improve your health; do you suffer from a life-threatening, obesity-related medical issue?
• Do you understand the diet and lifestyle changes necessary to make your weight loss surgery a success?
• Are you willing to make a life-long commitment to managing your new post-surgery needs?
• Do you understand weight loss surgery may not result in desired weight loss?
• Are you more than 100 pounds overweight?

If you answered yes to the above questions, it might be time to speak with your doctor about surgical options for your specific needs.

Accordingly, the three most common procedures are the gastric bypass, the gastric band and the sleeve gastrectomy. These procedures are typically done laparoscopically, "meaning the surgeon makes four or five small incisions in the abdomen. Patients must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40, making them about 100 pounds or more overweight, or a BMI of 35 with a significant obesity-related illness such as diabetes."

If you do much research on the Internet, you know that each of these procedures has been proven safe and effective in helping patients achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health and well-being. Obviously you need to consult a bariatric physician to find if any of the following procedures would work for you.

Gastric Bypass Surgery: Gastric Bypass Surgery"During the gastric bypass, the surgeon staples off a section of the stomach to create a smaller pouch that holds about a quarter cup of food. The pouch is then connected to a lower portion of the intestine, allowing food to bypass a portion of the digestive tract. The resulting weight loss comes from the patient feeling a sense of fullness quicker."

Gastric Sleeve SurgeryGastric Sleeve Surgery: "During the gastric sleeve, the surgeon removes a section of the stomach. The remaining stomach is the size and shape of a banana and can hold about a cup of food. This procedure results in the patient feeling full after consuming less and also in the secretion of fewer hunger hormones."

 Lap-Band Surgery: Lap Band Surgery"The lap-band surgery is the least invasive of the three procedures because there is no alteration made to the digestive tract. The surgeon fits a band around the patient’s stomach, creating an upper pouch and a lower portion of the stomach. The band can then be tightened in a simple in-office procedure where saline is inserted into the band through a port just under the patient’s skin. Filling the band narrows the opening between the upper pouch and the stomach so food stays in the upper pouch longer. Patients feel fuller on a smaller amount of food."

If you’ve studied all options, and you’re still thinking about surgery, it is now possible to dramatically reduce the cost of weight-loss (and a host of other) medical procedures by traveling to the “Medical Mecca” of Lake Chapala/Guadalajara, Mexico…a short flight from most major cities. Our company, MexAmeriCare, facilitates medical travel, including referral by our English-Speaking Referral Doctor, reception at the Airport, making local arrangements for accommodations and transportation, and general “hand holding” by our local Concierge Team.

Let’s make the journey together. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information: 

Good luck!

Please note that this is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Please seek the help of your medical practitioner before embarking on medical or surgical procedures. Obviously, this is not intended to be a scientific document. 






MexAmeriCare puts you in contact with a doctor  Dan Sieben is CEO of MexAmeriCare. His background as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Latin America and also as a successful entrepreneur led to his creation of this company — MexAmeriCare. He and his wife have chosen Lake Chapala as their retirement home. Dan says, "One of the reasons for choosing this area is the superb quality of medical care. Lake Chapala's quality of life, beauty and the low cost of living are hard to beat — anywhere in the world!"

MexAmeriCare puts you in direct contact with a doctor in Mexico who will refer you to the best specialist for you, provides you with a full, itemized, total package price that will likely be half or less of the same procedure in the US, provides concierge service in Mexico (airport pickup and delivery, problem solving and question answering, introduction to your doctor and your B&B, your local medical records…and more). MexAmeriCare offers you solid insurance covering both travel and medical risk.


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