3 Dangerous Truths About Having Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico



If you are considering bariatric surgery in Mexico, you have no doubt come across the Mexico weight loss surgery horror stories. 

So, what is the truth about having gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico? Is it safe to travel to Mexico for surgery? Let’s take a closer look. 

When Gastric Sleeve in Mexico Becomes Dangerous – 3 Truths They Might Not Be Telling You

Because medical tourism isn’t designed for everyone, there can be instances that cause gastric sleeve surgery to be dangerous. Below are patients who are at an elevated risks during surgery in Mexico.

1: Gastric Sleeve in Mexico Isn’t for Everyone

Below are conditions that may exclude you from undergoing surgery in Mexico. When getting approved for surgery, it’s important to see just how experienced surgeons are with similar cases to yours.

  • Heart Conditions. Those who experience heart conditions are generally not well-suited for major surgery, including gastric sleeve surgery.
  • High BMI Patients. Patients with BMIs over 60 are at an elevated risk during and after surgery and are generally not good candidates for weight loss surgery in Mexico.
  • Not Old Enough. Those undergoing surgery should be capable of understanding the procedure and what will be taken place during surgery. Being a legal adult will help to navigate the decision to have life-altering surgery.
  • Age Prevents Surgery. Being over 65 puts patients at an really unhealthy level of risk during any surgery or procedure. We advise those seeking surgery after this age to seek surgery in the US or Canada.
  • Smoking or Drug Use. Smoking increases risks during surgery as well as drug use. Those with prior addictions to opioids are also not good candidates as the medications in Mexico are generally not as strong as the US. Therefore many patients with prior opioid use complain about the pain medications being too weak.

2: Those Not Committed to Life After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

When undergoing gastric sleeve procedure, it’s important to be fully aware of all lifestyle changes that will happen. Because medical tourism allows those to have surgery generally as soon as a month (depending on availability).

You may not have time to digest the full extent of lifestyle changes required post-operatively. We encourage all our patients to review all documents when scheduling so they have all the necessary information before undergoing surgery.

3: Those Seek “Quick” Results or Who Have Unrealistic Expectations

Because bariatric surgery isn’t a quick fix, it may not be right for those who have unrealistic expectations post operatively. One benefit of medical tourism is that you can generally avoid the bureaucracy of healthcare and insurance.

Medical tourism provides an easy approval process and may attract individuals who have unrealistic expectations regarding bariatric surgery in Mexico. Although, Renew Bariatrics provides an easy process to get approved, we cannot screen for psychological risk factors, such as overeating or seeking quick results.

Before undergoing gastric sleeve in Mexico, it’s important to fully understand the average weight loss outcomes and what to expect after surgery. Doing so will help patients in the long term reducing complications and increasing weight loss.

What is Medical Tourism? 

Traveling to another country, like Mexico, for surgery or medical care, refers to medical tourism. 

According to The New York Times, medical tourism is on the rise. There is a number of reasons for this, including high-quality facilities, lack of health insurance, and increasing healthcare costs in the United States. Other patients want the opportunity to travel before or after a medical procedure.

Is Medical Tourism More Dangerous?  

The fact is that medical tourism isn’t inherently more dangerous. Medical tourism is successful for millions of patients each year. Traveling to Mexico for surgery has its risks but so does having surgery in the United States. All surgical and medical procedures carry some risk, regardless of where treatment is performed.

Medical Tourism Benefits 

There are many benefits to medical tourism. Here are just a few of the reasons why people chose to have gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico. 

Lower Costs 

People who travel to Mexico for medical care can save as much as 90 percent in medical costs, depending on the procedure they have done. 

The high cost of malpractice insurance is one factor that contributes to the elevated cost of bariatric surgery in the United States. 

Bariatric procedures in Mexico are often all-inclusive which results in lower costs. Medications and diagnostic procedures are less in Mexico, which also lowers the cost of surgery


Many foreign hospitals offer a spa-like environment that is much more comfortable than hospitals in the United States. Some clinics offer hospital rooms that are more like a hotel suite than a traditional hospital room. 

Skilled Surgeons 

There are many skilled bariatric surgeons abroad who have extensive training and experience in bariatric surgery. Some may be well-known for their expertise outside of the country. 

Additionally, many top surgeons abroad train in hospitals in the United States. A high percentage of surgeons abroad train in English-speaking medical schools and then return to their home country after training. These physicians often speak multiple languages. 

Potential Insurance Benefits

For some people, insurance benefits go further in Mexico. With Mexico weight loss surgery horror stories being debunked all the time, insurance companies are increasingly introducing incentives and savings programs for patients traveling internationally for surgery. They are willing to do this because insurers ultimately save money when patients save money. This varies depending on your insurance company but it can’t hurt to ask! 


Getting “off the grid” for a while is a great way to ensure privacy following a surgical procedure. There’s no risk of bumping into someone you know during a hospital visit or recovery period. 

Immediate Care

For people coming to Tijuana from countries that require long waits for medical procedures, the priority treatment offered is a breath of fresh air! Unlike many public healthcare systems, the private medical industry in Mexico puts medical tourists on the priority list. In the case of gastric sleeve surgery, a patient can get on the road to health and weight loss many months sooner.

A Streamlined Booking and Approval Process

When seeking gastric sleeve surgery in a home country, patients often have to make countless trips to hospitals for consultations with doctors. With medical tourism, communication and planning can be conducted over the phone with no need for the patient to leave their house until they travel for the surgery.

A Unique Travel Experience That Includes Recovery in a Resort Paradise

When undergoing a surgery as meaningful and transformative as gastric sleeve, traveling to a vacation destination for the procedure can be both enjoyable and satisfying. The experience can serve as a life “reset.” It’s also possible to plan vacation experiences on both ends of surgery that allow a patient to explore landmarks, beaches, and other attractions. While swimming following gastric sleeve isn’t recommended, the sunshine and fresh air in the vacation hot spot of Tijuana can be great for recovery!

Final Thoughts 

So, is Mexico safe for gastric sleeve? The answer is yes. As long as you do your research and choose the right bariatric clinic, having gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico can be as safe as in the United States. In many cases, it’s an even more relaxing experience.