According to a study published in the Journal of Obesity Surgery, bariatric surgery is a driving factor for medical tourism—and Mexico is dominating the American market. One of the main reasons Americans travel to Mexico for sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass procedures is a desire for more affordable weight loss procedures.
So, is it safe?
More than 1 million Americans cross the border into Mexico for medical treatments each year, and the majority are undergoing bariatric surgery.
It is important to do your due diligence when researching doctors and hospitals. Though many hospitals in Mexico are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), deciding to have bariatric surgery away from home and your primary care doctor does not come without risks.
Hospitals outside of the U.S. have different standards of care. Mexico, for example, has fewer regulations governing sterilization procedures, medical licensing and surgical facilities. Those who develop complications risk having to pay high out-of-pocket costs for corrective procedures once they return to the U.S.
While the cost of international surgeries may appear lower at first glance, after weighing the risks and additional costs, they are not always a better value. Surgery in the United States is generally less risky and often includes long-term care, support groups, local dietitians and dedication to your future wellness.
If you or a loved one is interested in taking the first step toward a healthier, more active life, call Beltre Bariatrics 407-863-6897 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Wiljon Beltre is a fellowship-trained, board-certified physician. He and his staff offer a comprehensive self-pay program designed to ensure weight loss procedures are available to everyone who needs it.