Don’t Go to Mexico for Gastric Sleeve Surgery!

Don’t Go to Mexico for Gastric Sleeve Surgery!

Medical Tourism, the term for traveling abroad to obtain inexpensive or less expensive healthcare for procedures like gastric sleeve surgery (sleeve gastrectomy), is a growing trend not just in the United States, but worldwide. Patients Without Borders reports that anywhere between 25 and 40 billion dollars are spent annually on this growing phenomenon, with an estimated 900,000 Americans traveling abroad for both cosmetic and medically necessary treatment. As practical as it may seem on the surface, there are things you should know before considering this route.

1) Lawsuits

Mexican law prohibits lawsuits. Yes, you read that correctly. Suing a physician for malpractice is never an option just south of the border because Mexican law does not allow for the same sorts of tort (personal injury) lawsuits that are common in the U.S.

2) Communication

The ability to communicate with your physician may seem like a no-brainer, but it is an often overlooked aspect of traveling to Mexico or overseas to receive treatment. Language barriers can sometimes remove the ability to communicate nuanced explanations of symptoms in what amounts to already complicated medical terminology and language. Miscommunication about vital post operative care can offset any value you may achieve.

3) Travel

Flying after certain procedures can create complications for patients due to increased occurrences of blood clots and discomfort during long trips. Always get a second opinion of safe travel practices after ANY surgery.

4) CDC Warnings

The Center for Disease Control ( has published their findings on medic tourism, citing concerns such as antibiotic resistance, unsafe injection practices, and the spread of communicable diseases like HPV and HIV due to corruption that stems from intentional oversight of certain risk factors due to the fact that the blood supply in some countries comes primarily from paid donors. For more on the CDC’s guidelines to medical tourism, visit: