Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weight Loss Surgery: How It Works

Don't worry, your doctor will explain them to you.
One of the most common reasons medical turists come to Mexico is to get weight loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery. As usual, the lower prices are the main drive, but another reason is that the quality of the service is comparable to the service in the US. Moreover, since bariatric surgery is typically not covered by health insurance, it is sometimes not an option for Americans to afford it at home.

There are several types of bariatric surgery, but they all work with the same principle. The surgery reduces the size of your stomach. This means that you will need less food to feel satisfied or full. The surgery avoids the sensation of feeling hungry for longer, and thus the reduction of food intake, which over long periods of time, causes to lose weight.

The surgeon typically uses one of three methods. It constricts stomach with a band, makes the stomach thinner or tubular, or connects the intestine to the upper part of the body. All three methods involve some surgical cutting of the stomach. And obviously, theses procedures are more complex than that and they're not the only ones.

In order to prepare for bariatric surgery, there are certain conditions and requirements you have to meet.

You must be in general good health.
You need to be within a weight range.
You need to follow a certain diet for a certain period of time before and after the surgery.
You preferably need to be over 18 years old.
You must not have a health condition that prevents you from having bariatric surgery.
You may need to stop smoking and drinking for a period of time before and after the surgery.
You must be psychologically ready to have a surgery that will affect your image (even if it's in a positive weight).
Most importantly, you must have followed traditional weight losing methods, such as diet and exercise for a long time with no results.

You should expect to recover for at least 2 weeks before going back to work, although you may go back home if you don't have to drive and if the doctor authorizes it.

As with any type of surgery, you should always consult with your doctor and inform yourself of the details of the procedure and the risks involved.

On another note, aside from bariatric surgery, another procedure that is typically not covered by insurance is implants. And like bariatric surgery, many Americans come to Mexico to obtain them. You can read more about them here.


Robert Ervin is a freelancer who writes about healthcare, medical tourism, and living in Mexico.

If you're considering traveling to Mexico for healthcare or retiring in Mexico, you may want to get yourself a copy of The English's Speaker's Guide to Doctors and Hospitals in Mexico, in order to find a good doctor or hospital in the main towns and cities of Mexico, or The English Speaker's Guide to Medical Care in Mexico, to understand how the Mexican healthcare system works. 

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