WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY IN MEXICO FAQs
Is it safe to travel to Mexico for weight loss surgery?
We have been transporting patients back and forth to Mexico without incident since 2004.
Is it safe to have weight loss surgery in Mexico?
Surgery in Mexico can be a safe and affordable option as long as you choose an experienced surgeon. You want to make sure that your entire stay is in a full fledged hospital and that you are NOT sent to a hotel or recovery house after your surgery.
Our surgeons keep you in the hospital for your entire stay. Any major complications would present themselves within the first 8 to 30 hours (we've never had any). Our surgeons refuse to compromise your care.
Keeping you in the hospital is done for your health and safety, due to the nature of the surgery. We also find that your guest is more comfortable and at ease being at the hospital complex with you while you recover. This also allows the doctor and hospital staff to be responsible for your care instead of your traveling companion.
You want to make sure your surgeon ONLY operates from a hospital that has been certified by the Mexican Government. The agency that certifies hospitals is the National Health Council (Consejo Nacional de Salud)
What is the Mexican National Health Council and how do they certify a hospital?
The National Health Council is a governmental organization that consists of 32 state health secretaries and is chaired by the Federal Health Secretary. Other high federal civil employees participate in the Council like permanent assistants.
The Certification of Health Care Facilities is the process by which the General Health Council recognizes healthcare facilities. These hospitals participate on a voluntary basis and meet the standards necessary to provide quality services in medical care and patient safety.
The requirements for the rigorous certification process can be found HERE (You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer or mobile device to view. It will take a bit to load since it is the actual requirements given to the hospitals. You will need to have someone translate it for you or you can use Google Translate to translate the file. Save it to your computer then choose the "translate a document" function.)
To summarize, the hospitals must show that standards are met with reference to the safety of patients, the quality of care, hospital safety and meets all applicable regulations and national health policies.
This is considered the equivalent to the Center of Excellence certification in the USA.
How do I verify the hospital my surgeon operates from has been certified?
The Mexican National Health Council meets 4 times per year. The current list of hospitals can be found HERE. You will want to look at page 1 for our Tijuana hospital (Operadora de Hospitales Ángeles – It is on line 1 of the document) and page 7 for our Juarez hospital (Star Médica – it is on line 63 of the document.)
Quality hospitals have checks and balances in place to ensure that any surgeon operating at their facility only uses proper surgical equipment and products as part of their patient safety practices.
How can I verify my surgeon uses proper staples or Gastric Bands?
Our surgeons take the following additional measures to ensure you are confident that you received top of the line products.
They allow you to actually verify the numbers with an authorized representative of the manufacturer. While all providers send their patients home with some kind of serial or batch numbers, patients have no way to verify that they belong to a properly purchased product. It's easy to find products listed and being sold on Ebay or in "after market" channels. They are being sold to "be used on animals" or in some kind of medical training.
Unless you are able to verify the numbers you are are given really match to a legitimately purchased product, being provided with serial numbers alone will do you very little good.
1.You are sent home with the original batch number sticker(s) of the staples.
MOST IMPORTANTLY! How will you know you got a surgical product purchased from an authorized representative of the manufacturer?
If you are looking to have a Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Bypass or Duodenal Switch, our surgeon's product provider has written a letter certifying he is a representative of Covidien and that our surgical team purchases from him regularly to give you peace of mind. After your surgery you can verify your batch number(s) by contacting him directly. To view or print the letter for your records please CLICK HERE.
2. You are sent home with the box your Gastric Band was packaged in. It has your product serial number sticker. *It is important to be given your actual Gastric Band packaging after surgery and not just be shown a box beforehand. You want to take home the same package you were shown with the same serial number.
Do I need a passport if I am traveling into Mexico?
Yes, you do need a passport or a passport card in order to return into the U.S.A. Your patient counselor can give you information on how to obtain a passport. In general it takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
How do I get from the airport to the hospital?
We handle all of your transportation from the airport to the hospital.
Do I stay at a hotel or recovery house after surgery?
Neither, you will be staying at the hospital for the duration of your stay. Our surgeons feel it is the best setting to monitor your health after weight loss surgery. It is also for your comfort and safety.
Can I bring a guest? Will my guest stay with me?
Yes, you may bring one guest with you. In fact, it is actually encouraged to bring someone with you, although not required. Your guest will be staying with you in your private hospital room. If for any reason they would rather stay at a hotel, they may do so at their own expense.
What if I return home and I'm still experiencing pain that can not be relieved?
This is extremely rare. You are sent home with medication, however in the event that you are still experiencing pain, please call us immediately. Most patients report that the pain is more of a discomfort and it can be relieved with a common pain killer, such as Tylenol.