When Your Partner Doesn’t Support Gastric Sleeve Surgery

You’ve done the research and made the decision that vertical sleeve gastrectomy is right for you. The only thing holding you back is your spouse, who isn’t on board. So now what? It’s not an uncommon problem. But before you decide to proceed without their approval, try to address his or her specific objection to VSG with the advice below.

Objection #1: It’s not necessary.
Whether he thinks you’re not trying hard enough to lose weight with diet and exercise, or she believes that you’re not really that overweight, this can be the toughest objection to overcome. Especially for spouses who are naturally thin or who can lose weight easily, the idea of bariatric surgery to solve a weight problem may seem like a cop out. But studies have proven that it’s incredibly difficult for obese people to lose weight using only diet and exercise. It’s not your willpower that’s at fault; it’s your physiology. And the idea that you’re not fat enough for vertical sleeve gastrectomy can be disproven with numbers like your BMI, your blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. It’s not just our patients’ vanity on the line; it’s their health.

For spouses who are dead set against VSG, it can be helpful to watch some of my YouTube videos together—which worked for Alicia. “My husband was not on board till I showed him all the videos from Dr. A,” she says. Another idea is to ask a VSG veteran to speak with your partner about the procedure and their results. “Maybe someone who lives close to you has been to Dr. A and can meet with you,” suggests Catherine. “We met with a girl and talked for almost three hours over coffee. After that both my husband and I were confident.”

Objection #2: It’s too expensive.
It certainly can be, especially if you have it done in the U.S. Even if you have insurance, meeting deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses can add up quickly. The gastric sleeve surgery cost at Endo Hospital is a fraction of the total in the U.S. not because it’s sub-par (our quality of care and high-tech equipment exceed U.S. standards in many cases) but simply because everything is less expensive across the border. It can be as inexpensive as $7,999 at our state-of-the-art facility, and that includes everything except your travel costs.

We offer financing resources for patients who need it, though some patients have gotten creative on their own. Shellye says, “I went to a credit union and took out a car loan on my current car for the amount that I needed…it was really easy. And car loans go for about 1.9%.” Larissa went in a different direction: “We are refinancing and taking money out so I can do it.” Do a little legwork on some options for your personal financial situation and then present them to your spouse. Hopefully, his or her tune will change when the affordability is there in black and white.

Objection #3: It’s too dangerous.
Again, “dangerous” usually means one of two things: VSG in general is too dicey, or bariatric surgery in Mexico seems risky. As for the first issue, I get it. It’s surgery, and surgery always carries some risk. While I can’t speak to the safety records of other bariatric surgeons (well I can, but I won’t!), our stats at the Endo Hospital are phenomenal. Across the board, the average complication rates for this procedure are already very small, and our rates are below even those average. In many categories we have a complication rate of zero. One reason is that gastric sleeve is all I do. Since 2006, my team and I have completed more than 15,000 gastric sleeve procedures and have long since perfected it.

If the objection is more specific to getting gastric sleeve in Mexico, I can’t wave a magic wand and eliminate your spouse’s fear, but I can direct them to our safety record above and the fact that our hospital, right over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, is extraordinarily safe. Not only is the town itself a cultural hub, but our patients are always accompanied to and from the Endo Hospital by friendly, knowledgeable staffers who make the transportation experience a breeze.

The bottom line is that only you can decide whether to proceed with VSG without your spouse’s support. At Endobariatric, we welcome your questions and concerns and always try to offer potential patients resources to educate themselves, as well as their loved ones.

I invite you to follow us on all our social networks, we are on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, we also have our YouTube channel where I’m the host of the #AskDrA Show, where I (Dr. Alvarez) answer frequently asked questions that are sent to me with the Hashtag #AskDrA, subscribe to it! we talk about very interesting subjects.

If you want a more personalized experience and you have Instagram, follow me (Dr. Alvarez) to see my day both in my daily routine and in the operating room, add me! We will have a great time! My username is: gmoalvarez.

“Changing lives…one sleeve at a time”.