Jump to content
×
Are you looking for the BariatricPal Store? Go now!

Plastics in Mexico - questions for those who have gone



Recommended Posts

Hello my lovely BP community. I'm nearing my 1 year WLS anniversary date this month. At 5'7", I was 241 pounds at my all time high and 226 the day of surgery. I weighed 150.5 this morning. My surgeon's goal for me was 160 and my personal goal was between 140-150 pounds. I would be okay staying where I am but am shooing for 145 at this point and building more muscle mass.

So here are my questions - and please, can I kindly request that this post be focused on the questions I ask. I know posts about procedures in Mexico can sometime generate a heated discussion on Mexico vs. USA. The purpose of this post is to EDUCATE myself so I can make an informed decision.

I have decided to wait until next summer 2016 to have any plastic surgery done. I will need the time to save up the money, but more importantly, I want to see how much my skin will adjust on its own. Luckily I have very little loose skin except on my abdomen and am considering a Tummy Tuck.

I have read reviews from people on this site who have had surgery in Mexico and have had a wonderful experience. Many of these people I have grown to "know" over the past year on this site and value their options and know they have done their research. I'm hoping you can share what you know with me.

Why did you choose the doctor you did?

At this point, the cost is the only reason I would consider having surgery in Mexico. I simply am not in a financial place to pay for it right now otherwise. That factor alone is enough for husband's eyes to bug out. He's convinced I will get butchered. When I argue that there are top surgeon's in Mexico, he questions why they would chose to stay in a country and get paid very little when they could get paid 10 times as much in the states. I argue that it's very egocentric to assume that everyone wants to live and work in the United States... But then again we travel to Mexico frequently and the quality of life isn't exactly a cup of tea there. Regardless, I have a license to practice in the state I live in and know what a pain it would be if I even moved to a different state. It's even more complicated for professionals to practice in other countries. A medical license in Mexico wouldn't be honored here and visa versa.

I am open to the idea of having surgery in Mexico. We travel there a lot on vacation but I have to admit I hear the word Tijuana and I get a tad freaked out. I went to college in Southern California and crossing the border on foot to party was common practice. I'm still haunted my the 3-4 year olds wandering the streets at 3am selling "chicklets" gum for money. the area was filled with bars and strip clubs. The area was not nice by any means. Now granted this was back in the early 90's. There could have been a lot of development by now and since this was right by the border, not the "best" part of town. Could you describe where these clinics are? I travel abroad a lot, consider myself street smart and love different cultures. I've never had something so vulnerable as surgery done before in another country. Anything you could share about your surgeon and experience would be helpful. I'm also anal about surgery scars looking nice. Anyone willing to post a pic of their TT scar?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Bluesea71

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had surgery in Mexico twice. The first time was in August 2011, when I had a multiple cosmetic procedures all done at one time after having lost 90 pounds "on my own". I had an extended Tummy Tuck with muscle repair, breast lift (donut lift) with augmentation, body sculpting via Lipo ALL over, and fat grafting to my upper buttocks. I was very active on a plastic surgery web site and forums back then, which is unfortunately no longer an active site. That is how I originally heard about the surgeon I ultimately chose. I had originally looked into pastics in Costa Rica with a Medical Tourism company, but ultimately chose to go to Tijuana. As I am sure you know, there are many experienced and qualified surgeons there. Multiple factors contributed to my decision of surgeon. I liked that she was a woman (I was very self-conscious about using a male surgeon back then). She didn't have a TON of name recognition in the US, but those who had used her had great reviews. Her before/after pics were excellent. I loved talking with her. She contacted me personally and we had many conversations via phone and email and I genuinely felt she had my best interests at heart. And I liked that the package I got was an all inclusive sort of deal where I stayed in the recovery house she is affiliated with, with 24-hour nursing staff, hospital beds, all my meals prepared, etc. She came to visit me EVERY single day I was there and I felt exceptionally well taken care of. I stayed for two full weeks.

My second surgery in Tijuana was my gastric sleeve, which I had on Sept. 1, 2014. I had ZERO qualms about having surgery in Mexico again, since my first experience had been so positive. I received less personal attention this time around, only staying in the clinic one night and spending the rest of my time in a hotel, but this was a much more "minor" surgery, so I don't think I would have needed, nor wanted the intensive level of care I'd received after my plastics.< /p>

As for the area where these surgical centers are located, most of them are in an area called Zona Rio, which is a more "upscale" part of town. I never felt unsafe at any time on either trip. In fact, I joked a lot that it was pretty much exactly like being in the US. All the same stores and restaurants I was used to seeing at home. I did see some street peddlers on my way into and out of Zona Rio, when traveling to/from the border. I also remember seeing someone selling puppies out of the bed of a truck on the side of the road one day on my first trip and the driver who was with me explained that that specific street/area was where people went to buy dogs. So, apparently that's pretty common practice for that spot?

I didn't go out walking on my own on my first trip (mostly because walking more than about 12 steps after my tummy tuck wasn't happening), but towards the end of that trip, two of my nurses took me to the beach to walk around some. There was definitely a mix of classes on that trip. On the way out to the beach, we drove through some VERY ritzy shopping areas with fancy restaurants. But, at the beach itself, there were some run down little hole-in-the-wall restaurants/bars and I saw some pretty raggedy looking houses and apartment buildings. Still, nothing I felt unsafe around. There were lots of clearly less well-to-do families enjoying themselves at the beach. It was actually a great experience!

On my second trip, I did more walking outside on my own, since we are supposed to walk, walk, walk immediately after VSG. I walked in the area of the Marriott (the hotel I stayed in), and felt perfectly safe and comfortable. There was a Walmart in a plaza up the hill from me. I think there was an Applebees in there... it was all very normal and a lot like any middle-class, suburban, US neighborhood.

There are wonderful, skilled, experienced, and caring surgeons in Mexico. Just do your research the same way you would when making any large life decision. Don't go for the lowest price. Find the right balance for you that will make you and your husband comfortable and confident. "You get what you pay for" applies in any country, it's just that your dollar goes a little further in Mexico.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your weigh loss!

plastic surgery is usually the next big step. Mexico plastic surgeons are very popular on this site and people have been very respectable about our choices, so no worries there (smile)

I chose Dr. Victor Gutierrez because he was super educated (in Jersalem) and extremely caring with tons of experience. He is located in Zona Rio, Tijuana, Mexico. He is also a micro surgeon which means his incisions are extremely straight, invisible sutures, and after healing, scars are close to invisible.

My Pictures are available on this site. Also, you can read my "story" on this site as well.

RealSelf.com has extremely excellent ratings, as well as before and after pictures and reviews on his past patients.

http://www.bariatricpal.com/gallery/member/116222-sweet-pee/

http://www.bariatricpal.com/user/116222-sweet-pee/

http://www.dr-victorgutierrez.com

http://www.realself.com/find/Mexico/Plastic-Surgeon/Victor-Gutierrez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@JamieLogical, hey I'm interseted in going ot Mexico for plastics as well. You mention that you used a female, but I don't see the name (I could be blind). I'm interested in who you used. I've been researching it as well and have found Dr. Victor Gutierrez has great reviews, but am still looking around. Can you please send me the name of the female you used..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Cody's mom I used Dra. Laura Carmina Cadenas of Beauty Enhance. The recovery house is called Beauty Care Recovery House.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had PS twice in TJ, both Doctors were located in Zone Rio, which is the business District. My first experience was at the cosmed Clinic which is state of the arch and beautiful but the head of PS did my surgery and my results were just okay...so the next time I went with a surgeon whom I had seen some of his work and was very impressed, that was Dr Victor Gutierrez who also runs a smaller clinic in the Rio District. I was very pleased with the outcome and care with Dr Gutierrez. I had no issues going to Mexico as Dr G. picked me up from the San Diego airport himself, (as he likes to do that if he has the time so he can get to know his patient during the 1/2 hour drive to his clinic) and took me to my 5 star hotel where I stayed the night before surgery and then for a few days after I left the recovery house. I traveled alone and felt very safe...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your responses everyone. I have been researching and following the surgeons you have mentioned on realself.com for a few months now and will continue to do so.

I think the specific questions and concerns I have revolve around complications and aftercare. A Tummy Tuck is the only plastics I see myself having done. Possibly a breast lift/augmentation too, but I have to admit, for some reason the idea of having breast implants in Mexico freaks me out. I wonder why that is?!? Are they the same manufacturers as the one used in the states?

How is aftercare and complications handled when you go home? Jamie - you mentioned in another thread that you had complications. Did you received adequate care through your PCP? Are drains removed before you board the plane to go home? I'm naive to how much follow-up care would take place if I had surgery in the US in comparison. Do you send your surgeon in mexico pictures of your wounds so they can see how they are healing? Any insight would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a breast lift with implants and yes, they are the very same ones that are sold in the states, you have your pick of the type and brand of your choosing. I was a little concerned about complications too, so that is why I chose to go to Tijuana since it's just 5 miles south of the border. Turns out I had no complications, and when I did go home I was contacted by my surgeon several times a week in the beginning just so he could follow my progress...It was a very easy process for me, I would do it again in a heart beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed the part about the drains....I had hoped that my drains were removed before I left after my lower body lift last year, but they weren't so, I had to travel with them, but it wasn't a big deal since I used a wheel chair, (I could have walked but I was traveling alone and had carry on luggage) so they did the wand scan at security it was no big deal...when it was time to get ride of the little buggers, I pulled them out myself, it didn't hurt at all and I was GLAD to do it!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are they the same manufacturers as the one used in the states?

How is aftercare and complications handled when you go home? Jamie - you mentioned in another thread that you had complications. Did you received adequate care through your PCP? Are drains removed before you board the plane to go home? I'm naive to how much follow-up care would take place if I had surgery in the US in comparison. Do you send your surgeon in Mexico pictures of your wounds so they can see how they are healing? Any insight would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

My breast implants are Allergan brand and under warranty that is honored here in the US. I am in need of a revision (my drastic weight re-gain and re-loss cause my left implant to become malpositioned) and had a consult with a US doctor who told me that Allergan would replace the implants for free, even though the malpositioning has nothing to do with a defect of any sort!

As for my post-op complications, I had swelling of the soft tissue in my lower back. My surgeon and my PCP communicated directly about my treatment. It was my PCP that provided documentation for me to be able to miss additional work, but my surgeon stayed "in the loop" the whole time. I had discussed the surgery with my PCP prior to going to Mexico, so she was prepared to handle any follow-up care. You should definitely do the same.

And as for drains, I stayed in Mexico a two full weeks post-op and had my drains removed the morning of my flight home.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your weigh loss!

plastic surgery is usually the next big step. Mexico plastic surgeons are very popular on this site and people have been very respectable about our choices, so no worries there (smile)

I chose Dr. Victor Gutierrez because he was super educated (in Jersalem) and extremely caring with tons of experience. He is located in Zona Rio, Tijuana, Mexico. He is also a micro surgeon which means his incisions are extremely straight, invisible sutures, and after healing, scars are close to invisible.

My Pictures are available on this site. Also, you can read my "story" on this site as well.

RealSelf.com has extremely excellent ratings, as well as before and after pictures and reviews on his past patients.

http://www.bariatricpal.com/gallery/member/116222-sweet-pee/

http://www.bariatricpal.com/user/116222-sweet-pee/

http://www.dr-victorgutierrez.com

http://www.realself.com/find/Mexico/Plastic-Surgeon/Victor-Gutierrez

Sweet Pea - I have been researching the surgeon you listed for awhile. He is one of three I am considering in Mexico along with the other surgeons mentioned above. I am anal about scarring, so your surgeon's specialized training appeals to me. Here is my concern and I really hope this doesn't come off as negative as this might sound. I am a researcher by nature. I do my homework. I read online reviews but you never know who is posting the reviews online. On the Bariatric Pal forum you get to know people's personalities and what's important to them. I guess a level of trust develops after awhile. I've noticed that you are very quick and happy to post pictures of your surgery experience, which I'm grateful for. What concerns me is of your 300 plus posts on BP, 99.9% of them are about your plastic surgery experience. I do believe you are a WLS patient as I saw one post about Protein Intake. Please don't take my inquiry the wrong way. I'm not a combative or argumentative person by any means at all. I'm just entering unknown territory entertaining the idea of plastic surgery and quite frankly, the idea of having it out of the country still scares me. The only way I can entertain the idea is to be able able to say, "Jamie went there" or "Cowgirl Jane had fantastic results". These are also BP members that post often about a lot of different topics. Not just plastic surgery. I'm just wondering which reviews I can trust..... ????

Umm. AzDee. All of your reviews are about plastic surgery too on BP. Same surgeon. Maybe I am on to something.

Edited by Bluesea71

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@@Bluesea71 I too am a little skeptical of posters who seem to ONLY post about plastics and specific surgeons, but I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. I post a LOT more about my sleeve than my plastics, because I just had my sleeve in September and had my plastics 3.5 years ago. So the sleeve is obviously more "top-of-mind" for me. Maybe some of these posters who mostly post about their plastics do so because their WLS was a long time ago and with their plastics being more recent, that's what they think about more?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I would love to talk about my wonderful surgeon who did my RNY 12 years ago in Ensenda Mexico but he has since retired so, there's no way to refer people to him, so I am left only to speak about surgeons who someone may be considering. Hope just because I don't have a bariatric surgeon to talk about doesn't take away from my review of my various surgeons I have used in Mexico. You can look at my profile and read up on my weight loss journey if you wish. You will find that my RNY did really nothing for my long term weight loss, and that it was 4 years ago that I finally lost my weight after doing the HCG diet so I really don't talk much about it, I don't blame my RNY surgeon only myself but there might me other reasons a person doesn't gush about there other experiences. I'm not on here to push any Doctor and if you know me and have spoken to me you would know I will be using yet another Doctor to finish up my plastics later this summer...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AZDee, I appreciate your response and your honesty. I apologize if my posting made you feel under attack. That really wasn't my intention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No worries...If I were looking for a good plastic surgeon, anywhere I would check out www.realself.com and read up on the type of procedure you are considering. I wish I had known about that site when I first started. It has turned out to be very helpful in me finding the best surgeons all around the country. Doctors who specialize in post obese patients are hard to find locally, most patients will find they need to travel to have the most competent doctor perform their procedure. It usually will involve a two week out of town stay at a local hotel, but so worth it in the end!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recent Topics

  • Most popular:

  • Together, we have lost...
      lbs
    ×