Is It Safe to Have Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico?

We hear questions about medical services in Mexico quite often. How much is it for a gastric sleeve or plastic surgery in Tijuana? Is it safe? Well, the truth is that the answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Bad Medical Outcomes for Surgery Done in Mexico In the News

In the past months, we came across several stories in the news reporting bad outcomes for weight loss surgical procedures done in Tijuana, Mexico. Aside from the benefit of weight loss, the main attraction of those surgeries is their very low prices. Some agents offer prices as low as USD $3599 for a gastric sleeve surgery on their website. This story talks about a lawsuit filed against three doctors in Mexico who performed surgeries that ended badly. Yet the agent that sent the clients to them continues to advertise the same doctor. From this article, we learned the doctor denies any wrongdoings citing that those complaining were bribed.

Safe Weight Loss Surgery

All surgeries carry a risk. Complications in weight loss surgeries have been reported many times and in many countries. Checking and confirming your facility and surgeon credentials and reviews is an absolute must. When we talk to our clients about bariatric surgery we are confident that doctors and facilities we will present them with are accredited by the US or Canadian accreditation body. The surgeons are board certified for bariatric surgery in Canada and the United States. That’s the first and very important step.

In Mexico, The Mexican Council for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Diseases is the official organization to certify a surgeon in bariatrics. If your surgeon is not listed here, he or she is not certified to perform a bariatric surgery.

Continuity of Care

There is usually a specific recovery protocol to any weight loss surgery. A registered dietitian should be on staff to help.  You can eat only specific foods for the first couple of weeks and will be learning how to eat healthy food in moderation. You will need to follow through with this. Reputable surgical weight loss centers usually offer a program to follow. Some have remote patient monitoring to ensure the enduring success of the surgery.

Price matters

Many people that go abroad for a surgery cite that it is not affordable at home. We think differently. If you spend some time researching your home facilities and compare the price, what it includes and the quality of care you will quickly realize that the difference is not worth the risk of going to an unfamiliar culture and place. As an example, at a private facility in Canada, the total price for Laparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy performed by a board-certified surgeon has a price of CAD $13,350. It includes 1 day of hospital admission.

Should you stay or should you go?

We are hesitant to give out definite yes or no to our initial question for a number of reasons. One is that our first and foremost commitment to our clients is their safety and a high-quality doctor.  Another is that it is hard to confirm those outside of USA and Canada.  It is because the medical systems are different, training of doctors differs at times, and language and cultural barriers exist to provide full insight. And third is that without those verifications we would not like to pass misleading information or pass judgments on the entire system and all doctors that do surgeries in Mexico.

Your health decisions should come from the knowledge of risks and benefits, feelings of trust and confidence in the doctor. Medical facilitators and medical travel agents should be able to help establish it and maintain contact at all times until you come back home. Health Vantis delivers such white glove service. Give us a try and reach out at toll-free 877 344 3544 or by email

3 replies
  1. Dan Carter
    Dan Carter says:

    I think it is absolutely safe to have bariatric surgery in Mexico – well, once the world returns to normal anyways -> A lot has changed in Mexico in the last 20 years, their medical facilities, teams, and training are all first class.
    Though Mexico’s sorted history is still on many people’s minds.

    • Health Vantis
      Health Vantis says:

      It’s not as straightforward as you suggest, and that is why we wrote the post to make people aware of the potential dangers. We believe it is an individual decision on where to go and who to trust. There are private bariatric surgeons in Canada and many Canadians will feel that it is their best option. However, some may take the risk of travelling abroad. And that is ok, it is their choice. The role of a medical facilitator is to provide as much information to clients so that they can make an informed decision about where to go for their private surgery. Giving people more than one destination or facility is what we offer to our clients so that they truly have a choice in the matter.

  2. Fitness Trainer
    Fitness Trainer says:

    When the body mass becomes resistant to diet and exercise, the doctors may recommend bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery) as a medically safe and proven way to restore a healthy body. Opting a safe weight loss surgery is very critical for all those who want to lose weight. However, a large number of patients are either uninsured, under-insured, or do not qualify for bariatric surgery coverage (or their health insurance does not cover this surgery at all which is mainly the case) even if they have an adequate health insurance policy.


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