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A patient died after surgery with Dr. Elias Ortiz at A Lighter Me!



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@@freddie8_8

San Diego is 25 minutes from Tijuana, not hours away. If a doctor is charging below say $4,500, then it's usually because they are a new doctor trying to get established. I personally want a doctor who has done hundreds of procedures and who is not just starting out. I don't want to become a new doctors learning lesson.

Tijuana is right next door to San Ysidro, Ca, in case of a Medical Emergency the border is opened up for the ambulance it takes mere minutes

Most Hospitals are no more than 5 miles from the Border some are even closer

People who are transported to the USA go back there because they do not want or have the money to pay the medical bill for their care so they are taken back to the USA so they can have their insurance cover the expenses

Edited by David Lopez

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The deaths aren't alleged. 2 death in over 2500 bariatric surgeries performed in 4plus years by dr Elias Ortiz with A lighter me. I have the email in front of me. One was from a heart attack. That's .08 percent...about the average. No one is disputing deaths occur as a result of surgery. And no one disputes that people can die in planes......but we prefer to go with the airline with an impeccable safety record. And good public relations is essential here, or this secrecy just looks bad as it does now. I know- I'm a reporter. We must be fully aware before we make the decision. Not all surgeons have deaths on their hands. By the way. Take Dr. Ariel Ortiz with OCC and countless others. In 11 years he hasn't had a death. We are taking chances, of course but we still need be informed.

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@@SuninVirgo

The risk of heart attack is highest upon given anesthesia as it can raise the blood pressure significantly. Again, it depends on the health of the person before surgery. Many obese people are literally dangling off of a cliff health-wise and may simply not realize such.

However, knowing that one simply can not hold natural deaths like a heart attack against a doctor this news would not cause me to change my mind. What would change my mind is the experience level. I want a doctor who has performed thousands of gastric sleeve surgeries, not someone who is just starting out.

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The decision to have surgery in Mexico, USA or any other country should be based on well researched FACTs and references that can be validated. Your life depends on it!

I had my sleeve performed in the U.S. with a surgeon whom, after research, I deemed as qualified. The surgery center was also top notch..... Again in my opinion. But honestly issues noted here by Dr. E. Ortiz can and has happened to many other surgeons..... No matter where (country) they are performing this procedure. Going under the knife is a risk. PERIOD.

With that said, I have had the chance to do a close and personal comparison between two surgeons.... One in the U.S. (mine performed by dr. Houseworth on June 17, 2014) and the other one in Mexico (dr. Arial Ortiz performed the sleeve surgery for my daughters on Dec 9, 2014). I traveled with my daughters to Mexico and stayed with them at both the OCC and Marriot hotel. There were no real major differences, but I did come away with some disappointment in the actual care my daughters received in the OCC as compared to the care I received in the U.S.

Things I learned through first hand experience and things you should get confirmed, though certainly not limited to, as part of your research are listed here.

1. Who does the actual surgery? Is the Dr. you are researching going to do the actual surgery or will it be someone else on his/her team? We researched dr. A Ortiz, and 'think' he did the surgery, but discovered him driving out of the garage later when he was supposed to be performing the actual surgery on another patient that followed after us. Either he was lighting fast on that surgery and finished very very quickly, or he simply was not in the surgery room for that patients procedure. No matter how much you research your surgeon, doesn't matter if in the end he isn't the one performing the surgery!

2. Follow up care is next most important research you should complete. How knowledgeable is the staff that will be caring for you? What are their emergency procedures for serious complications should they arise? Honestly I did not do adequate research for my daughters. Should have, but didn't complete those steps adequately. I relied on what the coordinator at OCC told me and unfortunately we based our choice on her information. Lesson learned! Coordinators get paid by the number of surgeries they get booked. They will tell you fairytales and that is the sad reality. So go into the booking procedure knowing that they serve a role in that they assist in getting you a surgery date and setting up your travel from the airport to the hotel. Etc. BUT that is all you should ever rely on. They are not medical experts.

3. Be very aware of the surgery center where your surgery will be performed. I was surprised at the "quality" of the OCC facility. Certainly was not what I had in the U.S. Infiltrated veins on 4 of the 5 patients, lab tech trying to draw blood without gloves, letting the IV bags run out and not being replaced timely, no extra pillows or blankets available to help patient get comfortable, bar music next door keeping patients awake most of the night, no monitoring of Fluid intake/output, long waits between request for and delivery of liquids, having to wear 'leggings/stockings for blood clotting concerns vs the updated leg wraps used here in the U.S. These were all minor issues that separated my U.S experience with my daughters' experience in Mexico. With that said, I would take the OCC over some of the other sites I drove by while in TJ. Some are actually located in strip malls and far from quality medical facilities! Get full descriptions of location and facility as part of your decision process.

4. Long term follow up care should be another well researched topic. I see my surgeon regularly. My daughters have never connected with their surgeon and his team since we left Mexico. To be honest, someone has called, but both my daughters work and when the Mexico staff call it is always during the day when the girls are not home! When the girls call back they are instructed to just send an email if they have any questions. I do not call that follow up care. I call that lazy and 'since we have your money we don't need to really be bothered with you' anymore. My youngest daughter has had very serious acid reflux since her surgery. She has asked questions via email, but no real help has come from her emails. Maybe the distance between my surgeon and me, and the distance between my daughters and their surgeon makes resolving issues more difficult for them. Ultimately keep that in mind when making your decision to travel long distance to have your surgery. No matter what you think, it will be an inconvenience.

So I could go on longer but I think the point here in summary is just do your research and make sure you keep your eyes open as you make your decision. Make sure you don't let the final choice be based on one person's 'personal reference.' There are those that monitor these sites and respond as paid promotion staff. Unfortunately you will likely not be able to recognize which is a fair and truthful response to that which is 'glowing puffery'. I fully expect there will be follow up posts with feedback describing their personal wonderful experiences. Those posts may be totally valid. I am happy for all those who have had success with their WLS and their surgeon of choice. That is ultimately what we all want. I wish everyone who is seeking this surgery the best of luck. It truly is wonderful to be on the losers bench! My daughters and I are enjoying our very active and vital lifestyles as a result of having WLS. While things may not have been perfect for any of us during our journey, we all 3 would do it again in a heartbeat!

Luckily our issues in Mexico were minor, and I am thankful that my daughters had the option to have their surgeries performed in Mexico at a much lower rate then it would have cost them here in the U.S. There is no way they would ever have been able to have the surgery without the option made available through Medical Tourism. Neither had the luxury of having insurance as I did. I would not deny anyone that same opportunity BUT having gone through the experience and having first hand knowledge based on that experience I can only stress the importance of making sure you do your own research and be aware of the surgeon of choice, his team, and the facility. All are very crucial to your ultimate success.

Edited by jjinWA

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We have the same chance of dying on an operating table right here in the USA.

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I had surgery with Dr. Ortiz March 28 2015 . My experience was wonderful. Death is a risk we all take with having surgery and it can happen anywhere. I know about one death from months ago but since then there hasnt been a second one. When ppl post like this they should show proof instead of making doctors look bad. I was afraid to go considering i went by myself but alighterme is a excellent company on top of that they r very honest so if anyone have questions on death i would just ask them. Well good luck on yall that havent had surgery yet and i hope u pick the best surgeon for your needs

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Interesting thread. I think knowing the risks and doing appropriate research is critical regardless of where you end up having surgery. It is just a reminder that surgery should never be taken lightly and that each person really needs to weight the benefits and the risks.

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It is very important to have extensive tests done before having any gastric surgery. I have a

concern about those who go to Mexico, there is no followup with that Dr. if something goes wrong

two or three months into post-op. I had to have two more surgeries within two months post op. After

five months I am finally feeling like myself. I don't blame my weight loss surgeon because my

health had been going downhill for years due to morbid obesity. Anything can happen when you go

under the knife. Anyone like myself with comorbidities should really do their research and no that

you are taking a risk. My heart just breaks for that person who died. I was terrified when I went

under, I was not surprised when I started having problems. I don't regret my gastric sleeve. I am

down 81 lbs. since December 10th and I am doing things I haven't been able to do in years. I wish

nothing but the best for anyone who is trying to have a better quality of life by weight loss

surgery.

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The web has a multitude of information regarding complications with weight loss surgery. It is

up to the individual to decide if they want to take that risk. My biggest concern was not having

information of the long term effects of the gastric sleeve. I was determined to have the surgery

because I was losing my fight to live. However, I would have never gone to Mexico. Not because

I feel the surgeons are not competent but I would have no followup. I know a lot of co-workers who

had the surgery and they never had any problems. There are just those few and there is no way to

know if you are one them.

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@@Edavidson

The reason why you weren't able to get that much information on gastric sleeve is because it's relatively new. Gastric bypass has been around since the early 80s. Gastric sleeve is just about 10 years old.

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I know it has not been done for that long. When I went to the seminar that my surgeon has a couple

of times a month he stated that Dr.'s actually did the sleeve first on super morbidly obese

individuals and then they later did the gastric bypass. They realized that the sleeve alone worked for a lot of people so they began offering the sleeve alone. I couldn't go through the gastric bypassI was too terrified.

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@@Edavidson

Same with me. I worked with a gal who got the gastric bypass. A couple weeks later she died of an infection. So I knew I didn't want that procedure. However, I foolishly dismissed all weight loss surgery because of that. Now I'm a bit more educated and realize that other surgeries, such as gastric sleeve, are different and have less risk.

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I am just giving an opinion here but how is 2 years follow up via skype and phone with the Surgeon

and Nutritionist going to help the patient if he has critical complications they have

flown back to the states. They would have to go to an emergency room to get the medical attention

they need. I am not doubting the physicians credentials and I have heard a lot of good stories

from patients that go to Mexico. I was only stating a concern that I would have going out of the

states to have any kind of major surgery with my co morbidoties. I had one of the best surgeons in

this state and I had problems. I am so glad that I was here with my surgeon or I could have died.

Things can and do go wrong with surgery. Again, only my opinion and I don't think that my thoughts

would keep someone from going to Mexico if they were determined to do so.

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@@Edavidson

Please keep in mind that other people don't share your concern. Many people have been helped by having their surgery in Mexico. For those who have to pay out of pocket for the surgery it's a godsend.

Many people already have a physician lined up just in case they have complications back home in the U.S. However, many people do not and have zero problems.

The complication risk is actually low for this surgery. It's not zero and no surgery is. But this risk of complications for gastric sleeve is far lower than with gastric bypass.

Another thing you need to realize is that many doctors in Mexico have more experience with gastric sleeves and perform more surgeries. So they have more experience than many doctors in the U.S. That's a plus.

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If you go to Mexico for surgery you arrange for follow up care before you go. I know it can be hard to find Dr who is willing to take on a patient that had surgery in Mexico, but it can be done. It took me 3 phone calls and a visit to his office before surgery.

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