Bariatric surgery in Tijuana Mexico is averaging 75% lower cost than the USA. Tijuana bariatrics can be overwhelming for anyone doing a simple internet search. As the mecca for bariatric (weight Loss) surgery Tijuana offers an array of services and prices, but careful and diligent research is required to get a handle on what is true and what is false.
Mexico has the same medical standards as the USA and Canada. EKG and standard pre-op blood work are required at every surgical facility. There are only THREE surgical facilities that are Certified for Medical Tourists by the Mexican Federal Government. The Mexican governmental agency that certifies surgical and medical facilities in Mexico meet the strictest international standards is the CONSEJO DE SALUBRIDAD GENERAL commonly known as the “CSG.” Similar to JCI certification, CSG publishes a list of Certified medical facilities throughout Mexico that have been inspected by the Mexican Federal Government agency and that meet or exceed all international standards for their respective fields.
In Mexico, one way to know whether a medical facility is a real hospital or not is to look for three key aspects of the facility. (1) Operating rooms on the ground floor: this is required by law for any real hospital in Mexico. If you enter a facility and find the operating rooms on the second or third floors, then it is a clinic. (2) Hallways that are a minimum of 6 feet wide. This will permit two gurneys (rolling hospital beds) to pass side by side in any hallway. This is the same requirement for hospitals in the USA and Canada. And (3) emergency rooms that are open to the public. Again, this is a requirement by law in the USA and Canada. Entering a surgical facility that does not have an emergency room open to the public is just a clinic, not a “real” full-fledged hospital.
Due to certain inherent risks associated with overweight patients, it would be very risky to have bariatric surgery performed in a clinic or a doctor’s office. Only a full service, fully functional hospital with all associated facilities such as blood bank, full radiology, endoscope, and elevators capable of handling hospital gurneys to move patients between floors is acceptable.
Mexican Certified Hospitals recognized by the Mexican Federal Government have met all the cleanliness and sterilization protocols for proper surgical procedures. Often, clinics and doctor’s offices do not, and many have run into problems recently and have been shut down by Mexican authorities for violating the regulations which often have resulted in patient injury or worse.
Certified Hospitals must have fully licensed and registered nurses. Often times, clinics and doctor’s offices do not. They will use nursing students or in some cases even house keepers to help take care of patients post-op. Further evidence of this is seen on the local streets in Tijuana where surgical patients are walking around in public with the IV port still in their hand or arm. No reputable medical facility anywhere in north America will allow a patient to walk out their front door with the IV port still in the patient.
Certified Hospitals must purchase all medical and pharmaceutical supplies from authorized distributers in Mexico. Often and most times, clinics do not. Clinics are also notorious for using medications that are expired. Any diligent google search will pull up many newspaper reports of clinics being shut down in Tijuana for expired medications.
The problems at clinics that we have seen is that patients in an emergency or medical complication situation would need to be put into wheel chairs to get into small office type elevators to get them out of the clinic and into a real hospital. Imagine a 400+ pound patient unable to walk or unconscious and the problems that this would compound.
Bariatric surgeries in Tijuana Mexico encompass the full gamut of procedures including the gastric sleeve, adjustable gastric band, mini and full gastric bypass. There are advantages and disadvantages of each procedure and these should be discussed with your surgeon, in ENGLISH prior to your surgery. For example, at Trinity Medical we generally recommend the fully gastric bypass only as a surgery of last resort. The long term negative health effects along with the symptoms commonly referred to as dumping make it the least favorite of all the bariatric procedures.
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