A Warning About Weight-Loss Surgery in Mexico

Doctor using sphygmomanometer with stethoscope checking blood pressure to a patient

The option of choosing bariatric surgery at a foreign location may offer cost benefits, but it comes with certain inherent risks for the patient’s health and safety.

Board certified surgeon and fellowship trained bariatric surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre provides weight loss surgery to patients in Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and surrounding communities in this spectacular region of the country.

Dangers of Weight Loss Procedures at Low Cost Foreign Locations

An eminent Alberta doctor foresees a significant increase in the number of people traveling to Mexico for bariatric surgery. He also predicts a similar increase in the number of severe post-surgery complications his team will have to address.

According to surgeon Dr. Clarence Wong, there are serious risks, including potential starvation due to the lack of nutrients when a patient chooses to undergo a weight loss procedure at a location that does not have the adequate expertise for such advanced surgeries.

Dr. Daniel Birch, Medical Director of the Center for the Advancement of Minimally Invasive Surgery at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton as well as an associate professor at the University of Alberta, states that this is an ongoing challenge. He feels that such instances will increase at a rapid rate.

Furthermore, he highlights that the number of Canadians going to Mexico for weight-loss surgical procedures is undetermined. But the approximate cost to Alberta health system to rectify complications will run into millions of dollars.

Dr. Birch feels that an official health advisory must be issued to warn Canadians of the possible risks of weight-loss surgery at low-cost foreign locations. Stomach surgery is being offered by a rising number of medical tourism companies.

Dr. Birch believes that there is a lack of information and warnings on the significance of this surgery available to patients at present.

He has seen patients suffer and struggle, spend exorbitantly, and endeavor for years in trying to rectify the damage. But not everyone gets better.

Agency Promises Safe and Supervised Weight-Loss

Beat the Odds (BTO) is one of many medical tourism agencies that have come up in the past 3 to 5 years. Like others, this agency arranges surgeries in Mexico in an almost epidemic state of obesity in Canada.

The agency owner Pamela Reiland states that she reduced her weight by 50 pounds post VSG surgery.

Certain patients are suing BTO. They allege that their surgery was botched. They further feel that the BTO team does not have the necessary experience and skills to assess both the medical services quality as well as evaluate the suitability of candidates.

The company, in its statement of defense, denies these allegations which are unproven in court.

Reiland highlights that BTO has offered guidance to hundreds of individuals through the procedure. People also visit the BTO website or Facebook page to view glowing testimonials from previous client’s as well as the company’s achievements.  

Reiland further states that every client is informed of the risks associated with the procedure. They need to sign a consent form at the company’s office and the hospital in Mexico.

Regulate Medical Tourism

Birch and Wong state that reliance on testimonials from satisfied clients is not similar to an evaluation from a team of medical professionals such as a psychologist, surgeon, and dietitian.

Wong says that stomach surgery is life-changing in the absence of complications. He says that patients are not properly informed about how this surgery can dramatically change their potential eating habits forever.

Birch is of the opinion that medical tourism agencies should be governed by the regulations of Canadian health-care standards of practice for assessment, follow-up, and informed consent.

Dedicated bariatric surgeon Dr. Wiljon Beltre receives patients from Orlando, Tampa, Maitland, Central Florida, and neighboring areas across the landscape for weight loss procedures.

Important Note: If the weight is regained, diabetes and other conditions could return.

To find out more about the procedures & treatments performed by Orlando Bariatric Surgeon, Dr. Wiljon Beltre, at The Center for Metabolic and Obesity Surgery Call 321-499-6505 or Click Here to Schedule a Consultation.

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