Would a Doctor in the US Write a Prescription for Meds if I'm Getting Surgery Done in Mexico?

I am traveling to MX for sx. I have thoroughly researched my doctor. I will have a TT, and lipo. I was told that the US has stronger meds than Mexico. The pain medicine that the dr gives is sinergix. Would a doctor in US give me meds if I told them the truth?

Doctor Answers 12

Doctor shopping abroad

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Why would any reputable doctor agree to participate in your care and recovery when you are going out of the country for surgery that is not subject to the scrutiny and regulation of US standards?

I am a board-certified plastic surgeon now but I can speak from past experience...when I was in surgical training I had a side job for which I was trained and licensed to med-evacuate patients who were sick abroad.  I worked for an international air ambulance company as an emergency flight surgeon.  I can tell you many times I flew to other countries to bring Americans home who had gone elsewhere to have surgery at a cheaper price.  Things went bad, and they got sick, near-death sick sometimes. The company would get urgent calls and we would get hired to bring them home to a US hospital on US soil. I flew nearly all over the world and sometimes the bill for getting rescued and brought back to the United States exceeded $100,000.00. Jet fuel is expensive.

I'm assuming you are an adult and can make your own decisions.  Be careful. There are people out there who will take your money and not care if they hurt you.


Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Mexican Plastic Surgery

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Think twice before getting bargain surgery across the border.  There is less regulation there and if you have any problem, you have no recourse.  I think it is good to look for bargains on clothes and shoes but not for plastic surgery.  If you can talk a doctor into giving you medication, so be it but I don't do it.  If I am not good enough to be your doctor, why would you ask me for medicine?  Most doctors don't just hand out pain medication for issues that they are not handling.

Surgery in Mexico?

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Thank you for your question.

No, I do not think you will find a reputable physician who will write those prescriptions for you.


I don't think you will find a plastic surgeon to prescribe the medication.

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Hi, it is not professional nor ethical to prescribe a medicine to a patient without performing the surgery.  I do not think that you will find a plastic surgeon to give you the prescription without having her/him perform that surgery for you.  In regards to getting surgery in Mexico, you should think very carefully before deciding on it.  Although there can be good, qualified plastic surgeons in Mexico, we have more regulation and safety standards than other countries.  You should also be followed-up regularly postoperatively to make sure that you are healing well.  You should not compromise your care/result based on cost.

Absolutely not

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No ethical physician in the US would write you a prescription for pain medications for a procedure you will be having in a different country.


Renato Saltz, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Surgery Abroad

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As a plastic surgeon who practices on the border I have had the unique opportunity to see and treat many patients who have had surgery in Mexico. While I'm sure there are many fine doctors across the border the regulations are questionable.  The main problem is if you have problem there is no recourse for the patient. You do NOT have the same rights that are granted to you in the U.S. What appears to be a bargain right now may cost you many fold more in revision surgery if it can even corrected. If you do have a problem you will then have the task of trying to find a U.S. doctor who will do revision surgery. I assure you this will be much more difficult than getting a prescription. Think very carefully!

Mark A. Jabor, MD
El Paso Plastic Surgeon

Yikes! Going to Mexico to save money for surgery - but needs American doctor to write prescriptions

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No reputable, ethical or prudent American physician would write prescriptions for you for surgery that is being done across the border in Mexico. Additionally, there can legal consequences for their action.

As for your decision to pursue surgery in Mexico, you are taking very big risks no matter how much research that you have done. Imprudent and reckless are two relevant words for this.

I have seen countless patients over the years who thought that they would save some money by going to Mexico. Instead, they came to me to either continue their early care of which they had little or none, to deal with their open wounds or other complications, or to fix severe deformities and scarring. In the end, many had permanent deformities or deficits and no legal recourse and spent multiple times what they would have paid here for great surgery.

Then there were those that I did not see who never made it through surgery or the early postoperative course...

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

US meds for Mexican Surgery

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If you think that the medications that they use in Mexico are substandard why would you think the rest of the surgical experience will be any better?  No reputable doctor in the US would be willing to prescribe medications for another doctor outside the country.  Prescription medications are prescriptions because the drugs have specific indications and possible complications requiring a doctor's experience and supervision.  The prescribing doctor assumes responsibility for the patient he/she prescribes medications for.  It would insulting to even ask this "favor" of another doctor.  If you have chosen a surgeon in Mexico you had better be prepared to accept the whole experience in Mexico including the medications, post-operative care and any complications. As you can tell from all the comments here,  US surgeons don't like picking up the problems of surgery done outside the country and avoid it whenever they can. 

Lori H. Saltz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Seeing doctor here for surgery in Mexico

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If you choose to have surgery abroad, there is only one reason:  price.  The reason it costs less is you have absolutely no guarantees, and no recourse if things should go wrong.

Most doctors will be worried about lawsuits, assuming the responsibility for any problem you develop, should you have one.

Last year a gentleman came to see me with very unsatisfactory results from a facelift.  There was nothing I could do to help him without a major revisional surgery.  Another lady came to me with silicone injections in her face.  The doctor had assured her she received restylane injections and had no records to give her.  When we performed the surgery, we discovered silicone had been injected.

I do not expect you to believe me, or any other doctor on this website, because you have already made up your mind to proceed despite the warnings.

So I and the other panelists can only wish you good luck.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Pain Meds for Surgery done elsewhere

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While there are some excellent surgeons in other countries who are very capable of giving you a good result, medical tourism for surgery presents many challenges and no rewards for US surgeons who are left to manage complications or perform the aftercare for non US surgeons.  The biggest issue is that once a US surgeon agrees to see you and take you on as a patient, he or she becomes medicolegally liable and can be sued by the patient whereas the foreign surgeon is usually immune to lawsuits from foreigners.  There are not many plastic surgeons in the US who are willing to take that risk.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.