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If you have had bariatric surgery in Mexico. We want to hear from you!!

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Hello there, my daughter is hard pressed on having the procedure in Tiajuana. I am looking into having it myself and was thinking of staying in the states. However, if my daughter is going to do it, I will not stand by and let her go at it alone. I am a true hard pressed researcher. I have read and read online, but would like to hear from many people what procedure they had there, any complications and what doctor they used and the name of the clinic. I think replies to this post will help many people find the right place to go in Mexico and avoid the dangerous places. Please post a response if you have had bariatric surgery in Mexico. These details will help keep Americans who are hard pressed on doing the procedure in Mexico safer. Lets all help each other and keep one another finding the safe clinics and doctors overseas if that is the hard pressed plan you have. thank you so much.

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I suggest you check out "My Level 10 Weight Loss" videos on YouTube by Erin Branscom. She had surgery in Mexico and has a FB group (private, $10 a month, but I think it's worth it!) where many people talk about this.

However, this is not really "research". I think you would have to see if there are any clinical studies on patients who had their surgery in Mexico and compare them to patients who had their surgery in the US, but then I'm not sure if you'd find those studies. You could contact ASBMS (American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery), to see what data they have, but I suspect they are biased in favor of people doing it in the US.

I wouldn't have done it Mexico. Sure it's cheaper, and most people come out fine, but what if you have a complication? Some doctors in the US won't treat you if you had your surgery elsewhere - at least based on some posts I've seen. And you may have to take a flight home. It's risky to fly right after any surgery due to the increased risk of blood clots, which are also increased if you are obese.

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3 hours ago, lizonaplane said:

what if you have a complication? Some doctors in the US won't treat you if you had your surgery elsewhere - at least based on some posts I've seen.

I'm running into this and I only had my surgery 3h away in an adjacent state.

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I had my surgery at HopsitalBC in Tijuana, Mx. by Dr. Illan. I did about 200 hours of research before my surgery and based on that research, finances, and other personal considerations, decided to go the Medical Tourism route and have been very happy with that decision.

These hospitals ONLY do bariatric surgeries and are geared towards medical tourists. They run a VERY well oiled machine from intake to discharge. The process was so smooth, I was completely confident going alone. The surgeon I chose is highly accredited, has done thousands of WLS procedures, has relationships and mentorships with some of the most well known US bariatric surgeons for continuing ed, is board certified, etc. He is just as qualified, if not more so, than many of the bariatric surgeons in my area.

Regarding complications, I met with my PCP beforehand and she was 100% supportive. I knew that if I had any issues post-op she would be my advocate. Additionally, US hospitals CANNOT legally refuse to treat you if you present to an ER, regardless of what caused the complications. Now, would a US bariatric surgeon agree to take you on for follow up once you've been stabilized? Maybe not. But that's why you should establish post-op care BEFORE you have surgery. Additionally the complication rate with bariatric surgeries is VERY low in general; these are long established surgeries with very good post-op outcomes. My PCP is also doing all of my labs, meds, etc.

For travel, my surgeon recommends blood thinners for 7 days post-op. I also wore compression socks and a compression shirt for my flight home. I started walking as soon as I could post-op, which also helps. Blood clots are a risk with this surgery, whether stateside or abroad, and the travel aspect can increase that. So take your blood thinners and walk as much as you can.

Money wasn't a huge factor, though it was a factor. I have very good insurance but after all the pre-op appointments, tests, scans, and everything else, we estimated our out of pocket would be in the $7,500 range. Out of pocket including spending money, an extra night in the hotel, and flights, I paid about $5,500 for surgery in Mx. It was also SIGNIFICANTLY faster. With the 6 month diet program and required insurance approvals, it would be about 9 months from first appt to surgery vs. less than 3 months from intake to surgery in Mx.

The reality is, there are amazing surgeons in the US and just as many in Mexico and other places. Conversely, there are terrible surgeons here and everywhere else. There are pros and cons to each, and every person has different needs. Ultimately it boils down to doing your research, finding a surgeon you trust, and a program that fits your needs. For me personally, medical tourism was the right choice and I'm extremely happy with my decision. Feel free to send me a message if you have any other questions!

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Hi sxystacy, welcome to the forums.

I had my surgery in Southern California because it was covered by insurance. However, I lived in Tijuana and know the city really well. It is one of the most misunderstood places on Earth... and a lot of North Americans think because they can see the slums from the border (they do exist!) and that roads are sometimes not in the best of repair, that it's some dangerous he||hole. As with many things, the news reports the bad things ("if it bleeds, it leads").

It's not a bad place. I still love it.

If you like, once you have names and addresses and have been told where you're staying, I can tell you a) what the neighborhood is like b) what's nearby in terms of grocery stores, etc., c) how to get around to wherever you want/need to go.

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I had my RNY bypass at Mexican Bariatric Center in Tijuana and my surgeon was Dr. Rodriguez Lopez. My Nov 18 surgery went well, and I am recovering without issues back at home.

Medical tourism is a huge business for Mexico — they said in our patient intro class that it’s about 5% of Mexico’s GDP. A driver met me and other patients/companions at the San Diego airport and transported us to the hotel in Tijuana (a Hyatt Place which was nice with an added plus of making GREAT chicken broth due to the number of bariatric patients who stay there). It took 35 minutes to drive there from San Diego airport, but about 3 hours to return due to the lines at the border.

Due to covid protocols, the companions stayed at the hotel and weren’t able to visit anyone at the hospital (for that reason, I did not bring a companion). I was nervous about the flight home by myself (I had a connecting flight and although the surgery went well, it was still abdominal surgery), but I flew United and they were WONDERFUL in terms of arranging for transport and accommodating my situation. I had a hike out to long-term parking once I arrived at my home airport (didn’t think that one through), but simply took my time and rested several times.

I had also worked with my PCP leading up to the surgery and have my first follow up visit tomorrow. I would also strongly encourage anyone who pursues WLS in Mexico to prearrange for local medical care. I get tons of information and nutritional advice from MBC, but obviously the support is digital only given the distance.

I worked locally and my insurance would have covered it, but the normal wait time plus the covid-related delays and backlog meant I was looking at a one-to-two year delay. I’m 53 and simply decided it was worth the money to accelerate the process, especially after I had a gout flare up early this year.

Like Sleeve_Me_Alone, this was the right choice for me and I have no regrets. I wish you well in your decision making!

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i also had surgery in Tj mexico went very smooth and still in contact with dr 3years later stayed a t a nice hotel and hospital was good as well no problems very nice and almost catered to easy easy peasey

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On 11/29/2021 at 12:23 PM, Vassarini said:

I had my RNY bypass at Mexican Bariatric Center in Tijuana and my surgeon was Dr. Rodriguez Lopez.

Samesies! Well not quite the same, I had SADI-S.

My surgery was in November 2020 and I had no complications and a quick recovery. I've lost 130 pounds so far. Mexico Bariatric Center was very thorough and professional in my experience. I am happy with my treatment there and very happy with the results.

I also believe I could have had the surgery covered by my insurance but with the deductible, co-pays, and lead-up treatment (counseling, nutrition, etc.) I would have probably ended up paying about the same amount. And as Vassarini said, it would have been a 12 to 18 month wait time to actually have surgery. With MBC, I scheduled it 7 weeks out (for convenience, probably could have made it quicker if I wanted to).

I did bring a companion, even though he had to stay at the hotel, and I liked having him close by while in the hospital and with me for the two nights in the hotel. In retrospect I don't think I would have liked having him staying in the hospital room with me overnight but visits would have been nice in a non-covid environment. Also useful for carrying bags in the airport. Didn't need a wheelchair. Piece of advice: If you can afford it, get a first-class seat for the return flight.

I don't really have a PCP (I know, I know. . . ) so I haven't run into any problems with follow-up care.

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