Medical Tourism Resource Guide

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Complete Guide to Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico

Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico [Patient Guide in 2020]

A complete patient’s guide to bariatric weight loss surgery in Mexico. We give a detailed explanation of everything from what you should know beforehand to the day of performing the surgery.

Table of Contents

  1. Quick tips and recommendations
    1. Don’t schedule your surgery through 3rd party websites or Facebook groups.
    2. Buyer beware: Low price = low quality.
    3. Research your hospital and surgeon
    4. Liability – U.S. based providers vs. Mexico based
  2. Choose the right location.
    1. Cities in Mexico for Weight Loss Surgery
    2. Understand the difference between Hospitals vs. Clinics
  3. Screening and selecting your surgeon
    1. Accreditations, credentials, and experience
    2. Finding real reviews
    3. Partner with Local Doctor
    4. Pick a trusted provider that suits you best.
  4. Is it safe to get weight loss surgery in Mexico?
    1. Caution Guide
    2. Risks of Mexico Medical Travel
    3. Risks of DVT
  5. Bariatric surgery procedures and costs
    1. Surgical procedures offered in Mexico
    2. What are the costs?
    3. Payment options
    4. What is included in the surgery package?
    5. Insurance coverage
  6. Coordinating your travel
    1. Flying into San Diego or Mexico
    2. Transportation
    3. Airport pickup/dropoff
    4. Hotel stay and hospital stay

In the big picture, weight loss surgery in Mexico can be safe, affordable, and a great option for anyone who wants to save money and start losing weight. Mexico’s weight loss surgery is growing exponentially year after year for individuals who don’t have healthcare insurance and are looking for an affordable price.

Tips and Tricks for Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico

#1 Quick tips and recommendations

By following this guide, you can eliminate unnecessary risks and make the best decision possible. We created a list of tips and tricks to help you understand the process better.

Don’t schedule your surgery through 3rd party websites or Facebook groups.

  • Never book or pay for your surgery through discussion forms, any Facebook groups, or people you meet online.
    • Many scammers online try to get your money by pretending to be a professional in this field.
    • Many of the patient coordinators don’t have any affiliation with the surgeons or even been to Mexico.

Buyer beware: Low price = low quality.

  • Beware, low-cost providers.
    • You can’t get the price too low without sacrificing experience, equipment, or facility. Keep this in mind, the cheaper the price means, the quality of the surgery or trip benefits might not be as good.
  • Consider purchasing medical travel insurance.
    • Purchasing medical travel insurance can give you many safety coverages and unexpected costs.

Research your hospital and surgeon

  • Research your surgeon.
    • Read up reviews on multiple sources to give you a better understanding of the surgeon.
    • Check certifications and diplomas. Make sure to double-check whether the surgeon’s certifications and diplomas are legit, as, in this field, some companies hire people to forge certificates and diplomas.
  • Research your hospital.
    • Research on the hospital that you will be staying in and the medical staff assisting you. This way, you will have a better understanding.

Liability – U.S. based providers vs. Mexico based

  • Better precautions should bring someone along with you, to have another pair of eyes looking out for you.
  • Have realistic expectations and beware of many scams because you are coming here as a tourist after all.
  • Never pay anybody in Mexico directly; always pay with a 3rd party provider. This is for safety reasons in case something happens.

We created a list that provides you tips and cautions that you should be aware of during this trip.

Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico Destinations, Cities, Locations

#2 Best Mexico Weight Loss Surgery Locations

Cities in Mexico for Weight Loss Surgery

  • Tijuana: Tijuana is known for its busy streets and populous city vibes. Many people are selling authentic Mexican things on the streets. This doesn’t necessarily mean the city is bad or dangerous, like the news always portrays.
  • Guadalajara: Known for its tequila and mariachi music. Guadalajara is a huge metropolis city and the international center of business, finance, art, and many more.
  • Cancun: Cancun, also known as the enchanted snake, is a city in Mexico famous for its vacation spot and nightlife.
  • Mexicali: The capital state of Baja, California, and also known for its agricultural industry, is where Mexico’s crops and plants are mainly grown.
  • Monterrey: Mainly a location for business centers such as CEMEX and Vitro

Hospitals vs. Clinics

In Mexico, clinics are used mainly for treating patients with minor illnesses and performing minimally invasive surgeries. They usually aren’t equipped to deal with complicated surgeries.

On the other hand, hospitals in Mexico are equipped to handle anything because they are usually highly funded by the government. They have many X-Ray machines, pharmacies, emergency rooms, and intensive care units.

Best Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico Providers

Top Bariatric Providers in Mexico

  • Mexico Bariatric Center
  • Freedom Bariatrics
  • Weight Loss Surgery Experts
  • A Lighter Me
  • Mexico Sleeve Gastrectomy
  • Tijuana Bariatrics Center

Notable Bariatric Hospitals / Facilities

  • Hospital Mi Doctor
  • Hospital Angeles
  • Hospital Guadalajara
  • Oasis of Hope

#3 Screening and selecting your surgeon

In Mexico, there are many qualified surgeons. The biggest concern for every individual when looking at surgery should always consider the surgeon’s experience and success rate. You will most likely meet with your surgeon before the surgery and after you land in Mexico. Be sure to let your surgeon know if you have any medical condition or worries; they are here to guide you through every step of the process.

Which Surgeon to Choose?

There are currently over 200 Mexican bariatric surgeons doing surgeries for people worldwide, mainly in the US and Canada. These patients mainly come to Mexico for an affordable cost. Here are the four best bariatric surgeons in Mexico, according to many people.

  • Doctor Louisiana Valenzuela
  • Doctor Rodriguez Lopez
  • Doctor Alejandro Gutierrez
  • Doctor Jacqueline Osuna

#4 Is Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico Safe or Dangerous?

There is a lot of news out there that Mexico is a dangerous country. Mexico, just like other countries out there, has safe and unsafe areas. We listed out the main tourist attractions and safe spots that many people go to. We also listed out unsafe places to avoid.

Risks of Mexico Medical Travel

The risk involving traveling to Mexico for travel is mainly unsafe places and tourist scams. Please do your research online and talk to your tour guide for more information.

Minimizing Risks Associated with Surgery and Travelling

Having weight loss surgery in Mexico or any foreign country should always be considered carefully, and take precautions. We have created a list of things you should always keep in mind and know about:

  • Make sure your passport hasn’t expired and is still valid for travel
  • There is no evidence suggesting tap water in Mexico is 100% drinkable
  • Once you’ve reached your destination, try to give yourself a day of rest to settle in and relax
  • Always check with your doctor at home to make sure the prescriptions and medications given by the doctors in Mexico are right for you, just as a precaution

#5 Average Cost of Weight Loss Surgery Mexico

Compared to the US, Mexico’s healthcare system and insurance coverage are less expensive. This is because Mexican workers usually have lower wages, medical facilities, and equipment cost less. Therefore the service of surgeries tends to be lower. However, the surgeon’s experience and qualifications are equal or even better than those in the US. Mexico’s weight loss surgeons also participated in many international events and won many awards.

Weight Loss Surgery Procedures in Mexico

Gastric Sleeve Surgery – Price ranges from $3,595 to $8,900

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy
Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric sleeve surgery is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of your stomach and limits the amount of food you eat. This is also the most popular bariatric surgery as it works for many patients and has the least complication rate.

Gastric Balloon Surgery – Price ranges from $3,800 to $8,000

RNY Gastric Bypass
RNY Bypass

The gastric balloon procedure is straightforward; it first starts with a silicone balloon inserting into your stomach from your mouth. Next, it is swallowed down the esophagus with sterile water. Then it goes down your stomach, and the balloon expands. The procedure is even less invasive than the gastric sleeve, and the procedure takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Gastric Bypass Surgery – Price ranges from $6,100 to $11,500

This popular Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is more invasive than the gastric sleeve but safer than the duodenal switch. This procedure has two processes; the first one is restricting the amount of food you can eat by a lot. The second process causes malabsorption to the food, making it absorb fewer calories.

Mini-Gastric Bypass Surgery – Price ranges from $5,200 to $6,600

Duodenal Switch

This surgical procedure is somewhere in the middle between the gastric sleeve and gastric bypass. Where it’s more invasive than the sleeve but less invasive than the bypass. Usually for patients that want to lose about 70% to 80% of their weight.

Revision Surgery – Price ranges from $6,800 to $10,500

Bariatric Surgery Revision Schematic

Revision surgery gives patients the chance to redo or undo the surgery they just had that they are not satisfied with. Mainly because they felt they haven’t lost enough weight or just want their old body back.

What Is Included In The Cost?

The weight loss surgery companies in Mexico all differ. Many include hotel stay, hospital stay, private transportations, and postoperative diet and needs. Some may even buy your flight ticket for you. Most people arrive just about one to two days early for a checkup before surgery and settle in.

Typically, the cost you pay also includes the following:

  • Transportation (From the airport to the hotel and hospital)
  • Pre/Post-Op diet and medication
  • 4 or 5-star hotel
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Pre-Op checkup

Paying for the Surgery

  1. Self-Pay/Cash Pay: The first option for paying can be done in cash. This option is the least complicated as you don’t have to worry about the long-term interest rate for payment. Once you paid the amount in full in cash. You are set.
  2. Credit Card: Paying for weight loss surgery with a credit card is another great payment option that nearly every provider allows. This method is probably what most people would do, make sure the credit card you use is valid, and the chip isn’t broken or anything.
  3. Financing/Loans: Another option is applying for financing. Many weight loss surgery companies offer financing options. These options can be paying off a certain amount every month until the price is paid off. The best financing options include;
    1. United Medical Financing
    2. eFinancing Solutions
    3. Citerra
    4. Medicard Financing (Accepts Patient from Canada)

#6 Coordinating your travel

Flying into San Diego or Mexico

Many companies require you to book the flight, and they will take care of the rest. These benefits include private transportation, pre/post-op diet and plan, hotel stay, hospital stay, and many more.


The transportations mainly include a private car that picks you up from the airport to the hospital, hotel, and vice versa. The driver most likely can speak both English and Spanish.

Airport pickup/dropoff

The airport pickup works by having our own private driver pick you up from the airport and take you to the hospital. Once the surgery is complete, we also provide private rides back to the airport.

Hotel stay and hospital stay

Depending on the hotel and hospital, most companies have a 2-night stay for the hotel (1 night before surgery to settle in and 1 night stay after surgery to minimize complications). As for hospitals, if they don’t provide hotel stays, a hospital stay works just as well. Many people will be checked upon by their surgeons after surgery.

A Brief Look Into Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico

Many people prefer to have weight loss surgery done in their home country at a local, well-known hospital – obviously with strict insurance requirements and high healthcare costs make it inaccessible for the average person. However, in Mexico, you can get the same or even better quality surgery with drastically low cost (20% -40% of the cost in the United States).

With so many resources online regarding weight loss surgery in Mexico, how do you know what is accurate? It is best to research heavily and plan everything carefully. This guide should help you with a checklist to follow to find the best weight loss surgery provider in Mexico that is the best fit for you.

Information You Need to Know

The average weight loss surgery cost in Mexico ranges from $5,000 to $9,000. That is about 70% to 80% cheaper than the cost in the US or Canada!

Keep in mind that you should never decide on a surgery based on the cost. Many factors consider the surgeon’s experience, hospital qualities and care, the trip’s safety, and the packages and benefits you will receive from the surgery.

Why Choose Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico

Weight loss surgery isn’t always covered by insurance; just like any other healthcare, you would have to pay a separate cost. However, in Mexico, the insurance is also cheaper. Many medical travelers usually get insurance because there are uncertainties such as medical conditions that need you to be taken to the hospital.

Mexico is one of the top destinations for weight loss surgeries because:

  • Mexico is a great destination for vacation and has many beautiful sceneries.
  • Flights to Mexico are way less expensive than flights to other countries.

Potential Weight Loss Surgery Complications

Just like any surgery, weight loss surgery does have complications as well. If your experiencing pain or really bad leakages, please call your doctor immediately for assistance.

Complications after weight loss surgery include:

  • Wound infections
  • Nausea
  • Digestive problems
  • Vomiting
  • Ulcers
  • Bleeding
  • Inability to eat certain foods
  • Acid Reflux

The most life-threatening complications and issues tend to occur in the first week of post-op. The first week’s complications are can leaks and infections.

It is totally normal to seek support as weight loss surgery can be a huge change in life. When you add in the post-op diet and plan, you have to stick to it is no easy task. You will soon see that you are not alone as many others are going through the same thing.

Accreditation for Mexico Weight Loss Surgery

  • Patient Assessment
  • Ease of access to care (new or continuing)
  • Upholding of patient and family rights
  • Use of Anesthesia in surgical processes
  • Surgical pre-and post-care
  • Medical use and management
  • Patient and family pre- and post-education
  • Quality improvement and overall patient safety
  • Prevention and control of secondary infections
  • Management and Staff
  • Governance, leadership, and direction
  • Qualification and Education of Staff
  • Transfer of Communication and information

The CMCOEM is a certification awarded to bariatric surgeons who have completed rigorous training and earned many certifications. This award adds credibility to the surgeon’s work. The JCI accreditation to hospitals and health care organizations gives them the credibility that this facility went through the qualities and practices that gives patients a safe environment. For more information on the accreditation standards, you can visit the JCI website.

The Final Decision

To summarize everything, your bariatric surgery decision should depend on many factors such as the surgeon, hospital, weight loss surgery company, the packages for the trip, the cost, and the safety rate of the surgery, and the location of the trip.


According to the State Department, Mexico, travel is safe; however, there are cities you should avoid traveling too. Cities that are generally safe to travel for medical tourism are Tijuana, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, and Mexico City.

* Cities to Avoid

  • Ciudad Juárez or Juarez
  • Piedras Negras
  • Nuevo Laredo
  • Acapulco
  • Monterrey
  • Reynosa

*This is not an exhaustive list and changes weekly. Please visit the State Department’s travel warnings for more information.

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