Have you heard about medical tourism and wondered why U.S. patients are going to Mexico for bariatric surgery? The U.S. has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world. (Source) Americans have discovered safer and more affordable solutions in other countries like Mexico. Patients travel to Mexico for all types of healthcare including dental, plastic, and bariatric.
Traveling abroad for medical procedures is nothing new. For years, medical tourism has been an option for patients all around the world to get the medical treatments they need at a competitive price. Compared to the U.S., patients can save up to 40-80% and have shorter waiting periods.
Mexico is a great option for U.S. patients seeking medical tourism for bariatric surgery.
1.4 million Americans traveled abroad for health care in 2017 (Source)
Why U.S. Patients Travel to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery
- To receive high quality bariatric procedures at an affordable price (compared to well-developed nations)
- Skilled medical manpower
- Shorter waiting times
- Quality care of service with high success rates/outcome
To receive high quality bariatric procedures at an affordable price
Firstly, according to ASMBS, a common reason patients don’t undergo laparoscopic bariatric surgery is because insurance companies reject coverage for the procedure.
“… there is an increased mortality in patients who have been evaluated for bariatric surgery but do not undergo it for insurance denial or other reasons.” (Source)
The average cost of bariatric surgery in the U.S. can range from $16,000 – $23,000, which is out of reach for some U.S. citizens. Global bariatric healthcare is available for patients who are looking for the same quality procedure at a more affordable price.
Price Comparison: Average Cost for Bariatric Surgery in Mexico vs. the U.S.
|Bariatric Surgical Procedure||Mexico||U.S.A.|
|Gastric Sleeve||$ 7,995||$ 15,400|
|Gastric Bypass||$ 10,395||$ 23,000|
|Mini Gastric Bypass||$ 10,395||$ 20,000|
Please note, there is no global standard of healthcare that all hospitals must comply to. Different countries have different regulations which is why it’s important to do research on the hospital where you’re having surgery. Also, research the surgeon performing the bariatric surgery.
We make this process easier for our patients. TreVita has vetted numerous surgical facilities and bariatric surgeons to help ensure patients have safe options to select from.
Skilled Medical Manpower
Secondly, there are highly qualified bariatric surgeons outside the U.S. that have performed thousands of successful bariatric procedures.
To find the right surgeon, it’ll be important to do research. You’ll notice in your research that most surgeons are certified in General Surgery but only some are actually certified in bariatrics. Check the surgeon’s license number, review his/her experience, and reading their patient reviews. This will help you narrow down your search in terms of finding the right bariatric surgeon for you.
Bariatric surgeries are performed laparoscopically (a minimally-invasive approach). We recommend finding a general surgeon that has a specialty in either bariatrics or laparoscopic surgeries is ideal.
Credible Resources to Research Bariatric Surgeons
What makes medical tourism a great option for patients is that they really de-mystify the process. Medical tourism concierges coordinate every detail of the surgery in a foreign country. This includes scheduling surgery, booking hotels, coordinating ground transportation, and anything additional.
Quality care of service with high success rates/outcome
Lastly, many surgical facilities and hospitals in Mexico, including Tijuana, have been serving medical tourists for many years. They have provided high quality and successful surgeries for their patients.
You’ll find hospitals and surgical facilities in Tijuana, Mexico that have compassionate English-speaking staff in the hospital. This is due to the tourism in the area and the proximity to the U.S. border. They’re only a 30-minute drive from San Diego, California!
In conclusion, no two surgeries are the same. We recommend taking proactive steps to ensure a successful surgery by following the steps below.
This is NOT the “easy way out” (a common misconception). There is nothing easy about this transformative journey. It takes a lot of research, mental preparation, and diligence to see long-lasting results for a happier and healthier life.
Proactive Steps for a Successful Bariatric Surgery
- Do research on your bariatric surgeon and surgical facility (read reviews, look at certifications)
- Closely follow the doctor’s prescribed pre-op diet (to shrink your liver prior to surgery).
- After surgery, ensure you collect all medical records from the surgery to show your doctor when you return to the U.S.
- Closely follow the doctor’s prescribed post-op diet to start seeing results in the first year after surgery.
- Regularly take vitamins and supplements as needed to ensure you’re not missing any essential vitamins or nutrients.