Is It Safe to Get Plastic Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico?

I'm considering going to Tijuana for a full tummy tuck,liposuction,and fat grafting to buttocks. The price I was quoted for a Tummy Tuck alone in Memphis,Tn was around 6,700. After traveling expenses and and the procedure I would be right at 6,000 if I go to Mexico.

Doctor Answers 8

The True Cost of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism has becoming increasingly popular in recent years; patients have been flying out of the U.S. for plastic surgery, lured by lower prices.Tijuana Mexico is the most popular place for patients from Southern California to go to - sometimes with reasonable results and sometimes with medical disasters. As a practicing Surgeon in Southern California - I am in the position to see many of these problems and try to reverse deformities that often can't be totally corrected
Interestingly, a parallel trend has also appeared: plastic surgeons in the United States are finding themselves treating an increasing number of patients who plastic surgery abroad, correcting complications and errors. A survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that 80% of the responding doctors had treated American medical tourists for complications including infection, contour abnormalities, and hematoma.
Medical tourists are often led to believe that they will receive the same quality of care for a lower price in a foreign clinic. But while it is true that the cost of plastic surgery in some foreign countries is lower, this is often because the quality of care and surgery is compromised. Such patients also seem to neglect the possibility of complications and the need for a follow-up visit.
In addition to the risks posed by sub-standard medical care abroad, medical tourists must consider the risks of injections and implants in other countries. The recent crisis with French breast implant maker Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) exemplifies this problem. PIP used industrial- rather than medical-grade silicone on their implants in an effort to reduce costs, a measure which probably increased the danger of rupture. PIP implants have not been used in the United States since 2000. Removal of these implants has been recommended by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
It is often the case that medical tourists end up spending more money because they have to pay to treat complications from their overseas surgery.
Source: The Cost of Medical Tourism – Medscape Medical News
Source: Official Statement on Faulty PIP and ROFIL breast implants – ISAPS

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Surgery in Mexico

Are you really considering traveling to Tijuana to have an extensive surgery just to save $700?  If this is a serious question, then my response is NO it is not a good idea.  Good luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Plastic surgery in Tijuana

It is not a fair question since there can be veery good surgeons in Tijuana and not so good surgeons in New York and Los Angeles. But in general, to go out of the country, to a place away from home and medical support that is familiar with you, and where the care is relatively unknown just to save a few hundred dollars out of many thousands is irrational and unwise if not down right dangerous. If $700 means that much to you, you are probably not a good candidate for elective surgery. You have to be comfortable with all aspects of the surgery, including surgeojn, facility, treatment plan, and cost.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Going to Tijuana to save $700

You are considering traveling to Tijuana so you can save $700 on a tummy tuck? Is it worth putting your health in possible danger to save some money? There are lots of questions that you should ask when you are thinking this over. What sort of credentials does the surgeon have? Is her or she even a surgeon? Is he or she really a doctor? Where will the surgery be performed? Will it be in a safe, clean sterile surgical facility? Have you considered what will happen if you have a serious or even a minor complication after your surgery? These are questions that you need to seriously consider before moving forward. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Safety of having Cosmetic Surgery Abroad

Medical Tourism or having procedures abroad is booming in all Western countries because surgeons in under-developed countries have much lower overhead costs and a lot less regulations to comply with. When you fly abroad you are gambling that you will get a competent, compassionate surgeon who operates in a sterile, state of the art facility AND that you will not suffer a complication.

BUT - what if this is NOT the case? What if your surgeon and or facility are not what they represented themselves to be? There are much fewer regulations abroad and your are going to be a cash strapped guest in a foreign country with no knowledge who to turn to. The US Embassy will not get involved - they have more important things to do. What if you suffer a complications? Will they correct it? Can you prolong your stay be a few months or fly back and forth a few times until everything has resolved. You may find that few Plastic surgeons may be willing to take over the management of a complication at the hands of a colleague across the country, much less a strange plastic surgeon in another country.

While your Mexican adventure may turn out well, should anything go wrong you will lose a lot more than 700 dollars. Believe me.  Choose your Plastic surgeon carefully.

Dr. Peter A Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Traveling Out of the Country for a Mommy Makeover

This is a very good question. The Mommy Makeover is a combination of procedures to bring a woman’s body back to the way she looked prior to pregnancy. Most commonly some variation of a #TummyTuck and #BreastSurgery are performed. Additional procedures can include liposuction, umbilical hernia repair.  The most common #breastprocedures include #mastopexy or #breastlift, #breastaugmentation, or #breastreduction. In addition to a one-on-one consultations with a board certified Plastic Surgeon, patients always need to be seen by their primary care doctor prior to such procedures.  We screen every patient and their medical records for risks of blood clots (DVT) and then take appropriate measure.Therefore, it may be in your best interest to not #travel out of the country for such procedures. Unless, you know the doctor or facility where the procedures take place well or have a previous experience with them, there is an increased chance of problems, #complications, or #emergencies which may lack the necessary attention as you would acquire easier within the United States.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

The dangers of travel abroad for a tummy tuck (Medical Tourism)

Should you go to Tijuana for a Tummy tuck to save $700? Absolutely not.

The risks of medical tourism are never worth money you might "save." While you start out wanting to save money, you end up paying in the long run--and not just out of your pocket.

I see at least two patients per month in consultation for things that have gone wrong after returning home from having surgery in another country. I regularly perform corrective surgery for these patients.

While the cost of American healthcare is more expensive, much of the added cost is designed to protect patients if something goes wrong. Doctors in the U.S. undergo more scrutiny and more oversight, making surgery here safer and more reliable.

I'm not alone when it comes to this opinion--please see the link below for an article at CSNBayarea.

Barbara Persons, MD, FACS
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Medical tourism: Savings may not be worth it!

In my opinion, the value of having your surgeon locally available is worth the extra $700. I would not skimp here.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

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.