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



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@@Soonerjoseph

Who's Rocky?

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I have been very honest about the experience we had in Mexico with Dr. Arial Ortiz. I have only a few concerns with their services and facilities, etc as I have clearly explained. But in no way would I ever say that going to Mexico for WLS is a bad idea.... Because it is the opposite! The fact that Mexico Medical Tourism provides the opportunity to have this life saving procedure is for many of us our only choice! That was the case for my daughters. I had the surgery in the U.S. only months before my daughters had their sleeve surgeries in Mexico. In addition, my oldest daughter is a Nurse Practitioner so our perspective is based on that status. I won't say the whole experience for them was perfect because it was not. BUT it wasn't exactly perfect in the U.S. For me either. They were different experiences but overall not bad in either case. Never leave Mexico out of the equation! There are many many successful surgeries performed there every day. There are risks with this kind of surgery.... No matter where it is performed.

David I thank you for your offer to set up a skype meeting with my daughter. I will contact you next week to see what we can to do accomplish this. We are traveling this week and will be back home next week.

Edited by jjinWA

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Sadly with ANY surgery there's risk of dying, anywhere it does not make me comfortable. have some faith that if you have the surgery all with be well with god's blessings!

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I understand that there are those who have to pay themselves to have the surgery in Mexico and

have read many wonderful stories. The only reason I gave my opinion was that my complications came two months after surgery. I was so grateful to be able to go to the ER where I had my sleeve. All of

my records were there and they knew what to do to save my life. Had I gone to Mexico I would not

have survived a chat with the surgeon through skype or a telephone call. I had to have emergency

surgery on a Sunday night. Most people do great with their surgeries here in the states and

abroad. But complications can and do happen, maybe not that often but the threat is there none

the less. If you have a PCP who knows what you are doing and a surgeon lined up here in the

states to handle an emergency then it wouldn't be a concern. I just felt that it would be good to

get my story out there. I apologize if I have offended anyone who has or is planning on Mexico.

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@@Edavidson I wasn't offended by your posts. Concerns over follow-up care and post-op complications are completely valid. Before having my sleeve in Mexico, I met with my PCP here in the states, had blood work done to make sure I was fit for surgery, and contacted my insurance provider to make sure I'd be covered in the event of any post-op hospital visits. I would STRONGLY encourage anyone having surgery abroad to do the same things. I am extremely lucky and grateful to have not had any post-op issues, but being prepared for them gave me the peace of mind I needed to proceed with my surgery.

As for deaths and specifically the deaths mentioned in this thread, I agree with others who have pointed out that there are risks associated with any surgery. I am always quick to point out that the mortality rate for gastric sleeve is lower than the mortality rate for knee replacement, but the truth is that US studies show a 0.08% 30-day mortality rate. That's 8 in 1000 people. Now, most of those people probably had health issues or comorbidities that put them at higher risk of complication and we do NOT know the circumstances surrounding the alleged deaths in this thread. It could be that those patients who died were at significantly higher risk and it might have nothing at all to do with the skill level of the surgeon or the medical resources of the facility. We have almost NO information on which to base assumptions about these deaths. So to immediately dismiss Elias Ortiz as a surgeon or Mexican surgeons and/of facilities as a whole is pretty presumptuous.

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JamieLogical: Thank you for your input, I never dreamed so many people would respond to my post. It

was only to encourage people to do their research and be prepared. People die in the States just

like anywhere else in the world from surgical complications. I have tried unsuccessfully to urge

caution when you have surgery abroad if you are in bad health. Morbid obesity kills, surgery for

this malady is so important to give improve your quality of life. You are the only person who has

actually understood where my opinion was coming from. Just be prepared, that simple.

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There's a study that lists different things that make mortality and complications higher/lower for bariatric surgery. For example, the single event that increases these things the most is if the choice of surgery is the DS. Another is how many procedures the doctor has performed for that specific surgery (I forget if the cutoff is 30 or 100). While other things that effect mortality and complications are bmi, comorbidities, age, and on and on.

I can't find the study at this moment. But if I was looking into wls in Mexico, I'd look for that article and find out if I had any greatly increased risks for the surgery to go bad, and if so, I'd buy Medical Tourism insurance and vacation in a hotel for a couple weeks after the surgery.

No ER in the US is going to turn you down in a medical emergency. Now, paying for it is another story.

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I had mt surgery at Mi Doctor Hospital with Dr Valenzuela. I had a excellent experience. No complications and the hospital is small but very nice and clean.

Non of the other ladies I went with had any complacations either, we keep in contact through Facebook

I had mt surgery at Mi Doctor hospital with Dr Valenzuela. I had a excellent experience. No complications and the hospital is small but very nice and clean.

Non of the other ladies I went with had any complacations either, we keep in contact through Facebook

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What is problematic, is that since the co-morbidities exist, we have a higher likelihood of potential life-threatening problems arising during or post, surgery. The issue I personally have is that a higher risk patient needs a higher risk facility. Outpatient surgeries be they in or out of this country, are too often dictated by cost rather than by patient risk. That is what has to change and that is why people must do their homework before choosing a facility and surgeon. It doesn't matter if you save money if that money goes to your funeral expenses.

Surgery is not something to take lightly.

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Absolutely!

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ill also say after reading all these posts, is that people, you can defend the surgeries done in Mexico, but when you tell others not to be biased, and then you show a bias yourself by overly defending them, it only makes you look more foolish. The undeniable facts are that hospitals in Mexico are NOT up to par with united states standards. If you are in the medical field you know this to be true. You can check with the W.H.O and find it out as well. To say you have the same chances as if you were in a level 1 , surgical trauma equipped united states hospital as you are in a clinic in mexico is absolutely ludicrous. Now does that mean you cannot have a great experience in Mexico with your surgery? Absolutely not. But it does mean there is the added chance that a high-risk patient will not get that lifesaving care that they may require. Sorry that is simple truth, it cannot be disputed by anything except emotional rhetoric. Now I am extremely lucky, oh and my qualification for my discourse. I was an Army Medic and Paramedic doing rescue in Massachusetts for 11 years. I was in the medical insurance field for 4 years qualifying physicians as exemplary caregivers for one of the largest insurers in the world. Now what can be debated is the percentage of increased risk that exists between the US and other countries. Medical Tourism sites would have you believe it to be zero. This is not the truth, sorry. However due to the inability of foreign governments to provide accurate data , you will never know. In the US you can obtain any lawsuits , deaths and the surgical record for any surgeon , and that is LAW. ( contact your local A branch of the AMA for more information) Now again I am lucky I live 8 miles from Boston where we have 3 level 1 trauma centers and 2 Level 1A trauma centers. Oh and by the way thy do not open the border for ambulances. That i can assure you. you do have a special lane to go into , but they still check your bus, ( sorry our term) and any medications on the US banned import list ( your drug kit) must be sealed on the way across the border. Ambulance from mexico must be stopped and the patient transferred to a vehicle on the us side. S it takes you some time to coordinate this. As a result the transfer time from a hospital in Tijuana to a hospital in California is not fast. I have many friends who make extra money as transfer medics in the companies that specialize in these calls. Now that being said. the facts as as is said many times. do your homework, if your accepting of the risk level, that that facility is for you, if not, then you move on. Be well and safe all.

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I truly believe people that overly attack something, such as having surgery in Mexico, must do it because they feel like they have to defend WHY they had surgery in the USA. That they're somehow better for it. Otherwise, why be so damn argumentative and loose with the facts?

I'd stand hospital Angeles up against just about any US hospital. And let's be real here. There aren't too many people having bariatric surgery done in the USA at hospitals such as the mayo Clinic, John Hopkins, or Cedar-Sinai. Stop acting like your local/regional hospital (that 99% of surgeries are done at in the US) is the creme de la creme.

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Sorry David but I understand your from Mexico and im sure it is a pride thing, But even the World health Organization ranks Mexico city as sixth behind the average US hospitals which are ranked first.. but while mexico's hospitals are getting better , they are not there yet and several numbers behind many of the other countries listed in world rankings. Also most people are not having their surgeries in mexico city. Im not saying they are bad but they shouldnt be misleading either. I agree i would not want shills for either US or overseas agencies working people over. Like i said saying the mexican hospital arent the same as the US isnt saying they are bad or shouldnt be used.

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Well anyway - I love Mexico. I like to go on vacation in Mexico, have opted for surgery in Mexico, and oh how I wish I had some of the corn on the cob with red pepper that they sell on the street in Mexico. I once saw a man pick up an orange, cut it in half, and fill up an 8 oz. glass with juice from that one orange in Mexico. It was delicious.

I have never been mistreated, harmed during surgery, nor have I ever been afraid of my surroundings.

The doctors and nurses that I encountered in Mexico were very informative, professional, and they did their jobs.

I was a chunky girl most of my life. Lose weight, gain it back. That was the story. I chose Mexico because I couldn't qualify under my insurance at the time and I didn't have the outrageous amount of money they wanted if I just paid outright. I got exactly what I asked for in Mexico and they charged me a price I could pay. I love those guys.

This time tomorrow I will be 49 years old. I will walk out my door in the morning and not look like a larda**. And that is thanks to my Dr in Mexico.

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I think that all of this bantering back and forth about U.S. vs Mexican hospitals and surgeons

should end. People are really getting upset and that is not what I intended when I told my story.

I am probably 1 out of every 1000 patients having weight loss surgery who had a life threatening

ordeal. It was not my surgeon's fault or the hospital's. I never said that my hospital was the

best hospital or that my surgeon was the best in the world. I was just sharing my personal story

which I thought that was what this site was for. I only mentioned that "I" myself would have

been in trouble had I not been able to get emergency surgery and that I was grateful that I could

go to the hospital where all of my records and medical history was. My problem started two months

after the sleeve surgery. I could not imagine having to call a surgeon in Mexico to get help

when I was in so much pain. That is all my friends, I am very upset that this has gotten so out

of control. I have no problem with how or who or where people go to have surgery. As I stated

before, I have heard wonderful stories about Mexico. I just would not go through a tourism

company to have surgery out of the U.S. because of my bad health. I am truly sorry if I have

offended anyone. It was never my intent!

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