Mexicali Bariatric patients??

Stacy McCloud

New Member
Hi all! I am scheduled for surgery at Mexicali Bariatric with Dr. Wilhelmy. I am too large to have DS so I am having the sleeve first and then will do the DS with Esquerra when I am below a BMI of 50. Today I was asked to send my deposit via personal check, written out to a patient advocate, also their administrator. My mom is helping me pay for this and she said that sounded like a scam. Was hoping to have someone else chime in that has done this same thing. Thank you so much!

Stacy
 

Munchkin

Full of Fairy Dust
How much do you have to lose to get the whole surgery and will Esquerra do it in 1 OP? Important questions because people who do the whole surgery tend to lose more/faster/better. Is the 50 BMI thing just arbitrary on their part or are there other reasons/health issues?
 

Susan in Tennessee

Well-Known Member
Hi all! I am scheduled for surgery at Mexicali Bariatric with Dr. Wilhelmy. I am too large to have DS so I am having the sleeve first and then will do the DS with Esquerra when I am below a BMI of 50. Today I was asked to send my deposit via personal check, written out to a patient advocate, also their administrator. My mom is helping me pay for this and she said that sounded like a scam. Was hoping to have someone else chime in that has done this same thing. Thank you so much!

Stacy
I, too, was asked to send a deposit made out to a woman (forget the name now) and I remember it went to an address on this side of the border, not a Mexico address. Is that same as your instructions?
 

Spiky Bugger

Well-Known Member
Hi all! I am scheduled for surgery at Mexicali Bariatric with Dr. Wilhelmy. I am too large to have DS so I am having the sleeve first and then will do the DS with Esquerra when I am below a BMI of 50. Today I was asked to send my deposit via personal check, written out to a patient advocate, also their administrator. My mom is helping me pay for this and she said that sounded like a scam. Was hoping to have someone else chime in that has done this same thing. Thank you so much!

Stacy

What you are saying re BMI is nothing I've heard before...and I've been reading this stuff for over 15 years.

In fact, many insurances won't pay for the DS unless your BMI is over 50, and some practices won't do the DS on patients with a BMI below 50.

Esquerra has a good reputation. But--for others reading this and looking into other surgeons--when I had my (stupid) LapBand surgery in Monterrey, Mexico, I went to a respected surgeon who was part of the FDA (and pre-FDA) testing of the band. No up-front deposits were required.

And, there are some VERY SKETCHY people working as "consultants" (or something) who are unnecessary to the process and a waste of your money. Be especially careful if the name Michelle is involved.

Good luck, Stacy!

Sue
 

DianaCox

Bad Cop
Spiky Bugger - I think she's talking about doing a staged DS, which MAY be appropriate for SOME people with VERY high BMIs (>60 or more) and associated health problems, if they can't withstand a 3-5 hour surgery until they are smaller.

But I would be checking first to see whether Dr. Esquerra could handle doing the DS in one step on you - the DS works better when done in one stage.

On the DSFacts site, some time ago, Dr. Esquerra answered this question: https://www.dsfacts.com/profile?id=50
3. Do you perform the DS,
Laparoscopically? Yes
Open? Yes
Planned two-stage procedure? Yes
If so, what are your criteria for requiring a planned two-stage procedure?
"Health conditions BMI over 75 "​

So - why the two stage procedure?
 

Munchkin

Full of Fairy Dust
Spiky Bugger - I think she's talking about doing a staged DS, which MAY be appropriate for SOME people with VERY high BMIs (>60 or more) and associated health problems, if they can't withstand a 3-5 hour surgery until they are smaller.

But I would be checking first to see whether Dr. Esquerra could handle doing the DS in one step on you - the DS works better when done in one stage.

On the DSFacts site, some time ago, Dr. Esquerra answered this question: https://www.dsfacts.com/profile?id=50
3. Do you perform the DS,
Laparoscopically? Yes
Open? Yes
Planned two-stage procedure? Yes
If so, what are your criteria for requiring a planned two-stage procedure?
"Health conditions BMI over 75 "​

So - why the two stage procedure?
Well that changes things! Can you get your BMI under 75 and go to Esquerra?
 

Clematis

Well-Known Member
If there are no other medical reasons for a two stage procedure, I'd push them to do a one step DS... with ESQUERRA as he has more experience in DS than Wilhelmy. Not that Wilhelmy is incompetent, quite the contrary. But if they think you have a more complicated situation for whatever reason, get the best guy to hold the scalpel.

I can;t say enough good things about Mexicali Bariatric Center. You'll be in good hands.

Oh and they have you send deposit to a US addy as it is easier. When it comes time to send the balance, it can get a little complicated. My bank had a hissy fit, looked up "MBC" and incorrectly found a recording studio and thought I was being scammed. I was furious at their intrusiveness as it is my private business and I didn't want the tellers in my bank knowing about WLS. Turns out a bank can be held responsible if they wire money to a foreign country and it is used for terrorism so they are diligent. Others here who used MBC did not have this problem with their banks wiring the money. (More than one took CASH in their pants!! I wouldn;t recommend that!!)
 

Susan in Tennessee

Well-Known Member
I took my balance due in form of a cashier check which at the time (2 years ago) they told me they could only accept a limited number of these per month. I remember I was stewing over how to do final payment when I received an email from Nina saying if I wanted to a cashier /certified check would be accepted. Something about the finances of being over the border was the reason. I'd ask them if you could pay this way.

I was trying to remember about the BMI thing. I know I was 45.2 and they told me NOT to gain. I'm thinking he didn't like to operate on higher than 50, but I don't know why. Are you close to either side of 50? I agree, having done in one surgery is ideal, and Esquerra is great!
 

hilary1617

First time at the rodeo.
If there are no other medical reasons for a two stage procedure, I'd push them to do a one step DS... with ESQUERRA as he has more experience in DS than Wilhelmy. Not that Wilhelmy is incompetent, quite the contrary. But if they think you have a more complicated situation for whatever reason, get the best guy to hold the scalpel.

I can;t say enough good things about Mexicali Bariatric Center. You'll be in good hands.

Oh and they have you send deposit to a US addy as it is easier. When it comes time to send the balance, it can get a little complicated. My bank had a hissy fit, looked up "MBC" and incorrectly found a recording studio and thought I was being scammed. I was furious at their intrusiveness as it is my private business and I didn't want the tellers in my bank knowing about WLS. Turns out a bank can be held responsible if they wire money to a foreign country and it is used for terrorism so they are diligent. Others here who used MBC did not have this problem with their banks wiring the money. (More than one took CASH in their pants!! I wouldn;t recommend that!!)
I work for a large international bank and absolutely as part of financial crimes compliance efforts, we are required by U.S. regulators make inquiries about any customer activity that appears unusual. This is primarily to address money-laundering, sanctions, and bribery/corruption risks, but also to protect customers from scams, elder abuse, robbery, human trafficking, etc. Unusual cross-border activity is a red flag, so is a much-larger-than-typical-for-the-customer payment to an unknown domestic entity. If the customer doesn't provide a reasonable explanation for the activity, the bank must file an unusual activity report with U.S. authorities -without "tipping off" the customer. The bank may also need to decline the transaction and move to exit the relationship. So, please, if a banker asks questions, be quick to provide an honest answer, even if it may be personal!
 
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