Like many international travel destinations, Mexico has areas that are famous and are frequently visited and other areas that should be avoided. It is recommended that you research thoroughly the city and area where the center is located and search online reviews of the specific business and other local businesses in the same geographical area.
Anyone can create a website and make it look legitimate. The only way you can trust the claims made by any specific website is through a third party verification. These are independent organizations dedicated to vetting a specific medical organization, usually based out of the United States. There are organizations that verify and certify that the information displayed on the website about the hospital and medical team is truthful, accurate, and not misleading. The (ASMBS) American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has released a Position Statement on Global Bariatric Healthcare directed to patients seeking Bariatric Surgery outside the United States. This statement urges any patient traveling abroad to seek centers accredited by SRC (Center of Excellence Designation) and JCI (Joint Commission International Accredited). Only a handful of international hospitals have been awarded these distinctions. When shopping around for surgery, cost should be the last thing you consider. You are already paying less than half of the typical cost of surgery in your country by seeking medical attention Still not convinced? See if the center you are looking into passes or flunks the Quality Test bellow!
In general, the cost of medical care is much lower in Mexico than in the United States. This does not mean in general that the quality of the care is lower, it just simply means that the costs involved to deliver that care is less. Word of caution: Price can be an indicator of poor quality service. When looking for a reputable center, don't use the price of procedure to help you decide. Most reputable centers have a fixed price, usually lower than comparable centers in the United States and Canada, but never pricing procedures at the cut-rate deals you find advertising online. These "cheap"cut rate deals lure unsuspecting hopeful potential patients with the price since they cannot compete with quality, safety or reputation.
Safesurgeryinmexico.org has several links to the Mexican government and academic website search pages where you can verify medical licenses, board certification, and medical specialties. Taking time to manually imputing the physician's name or license can lead to revealing information such as license suspensions or lack of certifications or renewals. Any of these cases should deter you from using that specific provider. See if the center you are looking into passes or flunks the Quality Test. You can also check a specific providers accreditations here.
Bariatric surgery requires a structured follow-up program and can determine the overall level of success of a patient can reach with that specific procedure. A structured program can be offered as virtual followup with the understanding that certain situations may require the patient to return to the provider if a followup surgical procedure is required. Nutritional counseling an followup medical care can usually be delivered online combined in coordination with your local physician once back home.
A complication can arise during or immediately after your surgery or weeks to months after your procedure. If a complication develops during your hospital stay it is important that you trust and have fully researched the provider delivering the care. In this case, usually, the complications have to be resolved locally and by the team that originally performed the procedure. Complications arising after you return home can vary in type and severity. Reputable surgical centers usually disclose this fact and instruct patients to return to the surgical team to resolve the problem. A written care plan should always be offered by the provider explaining what is covered if a patient returns to be treated for a complication that developed after weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgery in Mexico has grown as the demand for weight loss procedures has increased. The quality of the surgery is more dependent on the surgeon's experience, surgical skills, the level of continuing education, the quality and safety of the hospital and many other factors that could affect the patient's final outcome. Quality accreditations have done all the work required to thoroughly qualify and grade a provider since standards of excellence in healthcare are global and are shared by major institutions around the world.
A patient can be denied insurance coverage for numerous reasons including some not listed in your policy. It is important that you check the fine print before proceeding. In general, insurers should see a positive impact on the insured health status as the benefits of bariatric surgery is well documented.