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Question – Should I meet my Primary Care Physician (PCP) before heading to Mexico for bariatric sleeve surgery?
Answer – It is a great idea to meet with your PCP beforehand. You want to know that they are on your side and are willing to continue seeing you after your bariatric surgery in Mexico and order the necessary lab work, etc.
It is important to involve your PCP in the entire process because the bariatric surgeon may require certain information from him to assess your medical history.
In fact, some insurance covers have a compulsory clause requiring the reference of a Primary Care Physician.
The following documents may be required such as:
- Letter of recommendation stating the need for bariatric surgery
- Reports of any previous tests conducted
- Records showing that you have been obese for the past 5 years
- Records of co-morbid conditions
- Documents that depict your previous attempts at losing weight
Usually, data pertaining to efforts made in the past 6 months is required from the Primary Care Physician.
Visiting your PCP before actually going for the surgery will help you prepare for any paperwork and also convince him/her for any assistance that might be required in the near future.
Importance of Roping in Your Primary Care Physician (PCP)
Always begin your weight loss journey by visiting the PCP who will:
- Propose the best ideas to lose weight.
- Recommend a good, yet reasonable bariatric surgeon for surgical interventions.
- Also help you follow all the instructions issued by the surgeon and clear possible doubts, should they arise, especially in the pre-op stage.
- Coordinate with the surgeon for monitoring anatomical as well as lifestyle changes post-op.
Generally, Primary Care Physicians are aware of the disadvantages as well as advantages of bariatric surgery and are very supportive.
However, remember that some PCPs may lack knowledge and that can have a negative impact on the referral as well as support process.
I did tell my PCP and she was all for it. It’s been amazing. If your doctor doesn’t like it change your primary doctor to a more open minded one. – Lindsey W ( A Mexico Bariatric Services Client)
- “Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery Program – Patient Information Packet & Application.” MUSC Health – Medical University of South Carolina, 2017, http://www.muschealth.org/weight-loss-surgery/getting-started/BariatricSurgeryProgramPacket2017updated4.25.17.pdf
- Tork, Shahryar et al. “Factors Influencing Primary Care Physicians’ Referral for Bariatric Surgery.” JSLS: Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, 19.3, 2015, e2015.00046, PMC, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4539491/#B11
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