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Worry Free Bariatric Surgery In Mexico

Submitting this form is intended to facilitate the exchange of information only. There is absolutely no obligation attached to this action, and no information will be shared with third parties.

NOTEWORTHY

GOOD TO KNOW


News & Expert Opinion • Frequently Asked Questions • Conversation
News & Expert Opinion
Frequently Asked Questions
Conversation

EXPERT NEWS & VIEWS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Stacks Image 35
What Would Be Included In My Surgery Package?

We try to minimize the things you have to think about while you prepare for and recover from your surgery… so you can focus on you.

Your all-in-one package includes travel and accommodation, local transfers, your surgery and hospital stay, medications, lab tests and hospital incidentals.

Meals are not included nor are extended hotel stays, room upgrades or changes to your travel schedule.

How Experienced Are The Medical Teams?

Our surgeons have personally performed over 8,000 Bariatric surgeries and have an experienced, well trained Bariatric medical team –– most of whom have been together for many years. All are fully accredited professionals.

I Only Speak English. How Will I Communicate?

Dr. Lopez speaks English and many members of his team are bilingual as well. The hospital has numerous other English speaking staff members.

What About Travel & Accommodations?

Travel arrangements are made for you. This includes air travel, hotel accommodation and local transfers.

What Does BMI Mean?

BMI is short for Body Mass Index. BMI is a useful measurement for most people over 18 years old and along with your Personal Health History will help your surgeon determine if you are a candidate for Bariatric surgery. A BMI of 25.0 or more is considered overweight, while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. While BMI is a helpful guide, it is only an estimate and doesn’t take into account variables like age, ethnicity, gender and body composition.

Why Travel Outside Canada For Surgery?

Over 63,000 Canadians visit other countries to have medical procedures performed every year. Sometimes it's because they don't have timely access to a specific procedure in Canada. Often it is because long wait times prevent them getting the surgery they need, when they need it.

Obesity has not received official recognition as a chronic disease by the federal government or any Canadian provincial or territorial governments. Therefore most Bariatric Surgeries are not covered under provincial health plans. Mexico has become a sought after alternative.

Is Revision Surgery Also Available?

Yes it is. Revision Surgery is performed on patients who have already had Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Band, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve) and have either had complications, regained or failed to lose weight successfully from the initial surgery. Depending on the initial Bariatric Procedure, your Surgeon will recommend the Bariatric Procedure that is right for you and your weight loss goals.

How Long Is The Air Flight?

Depending on what part of Canada you are starting from and which city in Mexico you have selected for your surgery, flight times are typically similar to those between Toronto and Vancouver. About five hours or so on average. Click below for more specific examples.

What Is The Pre-Op Diet?

At The time of your surgical consultation your Doctor will determine if you'll need to follow a pre-op diet to better prepare you for your Bariatric procedure. The Pre-Op diet consists of high protein, low carbs and low sugar. It is designed to reduce the amount of fat in your liver.

Reducing the fat in your liver makes the surgery easier, faster and safer. Generally two weeks on the Pre-Op diet is right for most people. This will be determined by your surgeon and medical team.

Will Mexico Be Safe For Me?

Your hospital and hotel accommodation are located in premier neighbourhoods in three of Mexico's most popular vacation destinations. Mexico is one of Canada's favourite vacation spots (Over 1.7 Million Canadians vacation in Mexico every year).

Click to send your question.

What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopy a minimally invasive surgical technique where only very small incisions are made. It is simpler, safer, and faster than traditional methods. All our surgeons are fully accredited in Laparoscopic surgery and all our Bariatric procedures are performed using this technique.

Has Covid-19 Impacted Wait Times?

In Canada, yes. Elective surgeries have been put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic. Coming out of the pandemic, Hospitals will face a large back-log which is expected to push Bariatric surgery wait times at least one year beyond the current 5 year average across Canada. Wait times for Bariatric surgery in Canada are (already) the longest of any surgically treated condition (source: Canadian Journal Of Surgery Research).

Healthcare Connects continues to offer short wait times for Bariatric surgery in Mexico.

CONVERSATIONS

COSTS • WAIT TIMES • INCLUSIONS

COSTS • INCLUSIONS

Stacks Image 5831

I heard it from a friend who....

Ordinarily, the topics of medical tourism and bariatric surgery in Mexico might not be the most inviting social media ice breaker... Times have certainly changed, as these recent threads on our Facebook Page show.

Not everyone's comments are positive about going to Mexico for surgery but every post presents an opportunity to clarify misconceptions about the Canadian Medical Care system and clear up outdated notions about Mexico.

Regarding The Cost of Private Weight Loss Surgery


There are no deep, dark secrets around the cost of Bariatric surgery. There are a very limited number of surgical slots allocated to Bariatric surgery within the public medical system here in Canada. If you can qualify and can handle the wait times to have your surgery here, you should do so. It's free. And the surgeons and hospitals are excellent. If you do not qualify for surgery within the Canadian public health system, or feel you cannot tolerate the wait times that exist, your alternative is to have the surgery privately. Either at a clinic here in Canada, or outside the country.

User Post:
"I don't understand the "costly" comment regarding bariatric surgery in Canada.
I just had bariatric surgery in Canada at the beginning of the month. It was free. The only thing I had to pay for was the Optifast (a brand of medically supervised weight management) I had to take for 4 weeks before the surgery and that was all of $300."

Healthcare Connects Response:
"We are an alternative to Private Clinics in Canada who charge $15-20,000 for Bariatric Procedures. The private clinics are for people who don't want to wait and go through the Canadian Healthcare System. Unfortunately, in some Canadian Provinces people have to wait up to 5 years or more before they can have surgery. I'm so glad things worked out for you in the Healthcare System."

User Post:
"And what's the cost here in Canada?"

Healthcare Connects' Response:
The cost for example, for a Gastric Sleeve at a Private Clinic here in Canada would start at $20,000. Add to that, if you needed to come in to Toronto from elsewhere to have it done (the procedure) that would not cover airfare and hotel.

Canadians are showing up proudly in support of our healthcare system. Healthcare Connects is not here to degrade or disrespect Health Canada or the Private Clinics in any way. In fact, what we offer is the perfect compliment to the system. Witness how one user, with Canadian pride on their side, boasts the benefits of surgery at home...

User Post:
If you go through the Canadian healthcare system, it's FREE (bariatrics). Yes, it takes a long time to get through the referral and clinic process but it's for good reason. To make sure you're READY and are actually making lifestyle changes and healthy choices that will allow you to sustain the weight loss from the surgery.

Healthcare Connects' Response:
Yes you are correct, it is Free. The wait process however is due to the fact that it is an elective surgery. And despite the fact that World Health Organization and the Canadian Medical Association have deemed Obesity a chronic disease, the Canadian Government has not.

This 2018, Bariatric Surgery study from Obesity Canada reports that Bariatric Surgery was only available to one in 171 Adult Canadians living with severe Obesity.

Go here for the full report: https://obesitycanada.ca/resources/reportcard/
I think you'll be shocked by their findings, I know I was.

Lots Of Positive Feedback On Bariatric Surgery In Mexico


User Post:
"I have a couple friends that got it (bariatric surgery) done in Mexico and had no problems at all. They picked them up at the airport, took them to the hospital, had their surgery, stayed in hospital a few days, got them back to airport to fly to Ontario. It was a lot cheaper and no year-long or more to wait. Doing great!"

Healthcare Connects Response:
"Thanks for posting your note! Clearly your friends did their homework as everyone should when having surgery in another Country or at home here in Canada. We also make sure our patients are transported to and from their hotel, to and from the hospital and to and from the airport. You are never alone with Healthcare Connects. Have a great day and stay healthy!"

User Post:
"The surgery itself is a 45 minute procedure. You are advised that a nutritionist is a must after surgery, they were incredible in Mexico 🇲🇽, the care is top of the line, easiest and best thing I ever did. 1.5 years post-op feel like a million bucks. Mexico 2018.

User Post:
My husband plans to go through this next spring… I’m currently in Alberta waiting for an endoscopy to see if I’d qualify for further surgery (ex Slimband patient). If I qualify I will not be waiting for Alberta because it’s taken 2 years already just to see the Bariatric Surgeon. I’ll go straight to Mexico.

User Post:
My family member had the weight loss surgery performed in Mexico. She mentioned how safe, clean, and friendly her experience was.

User Post:
"My husband had his weight loss surgery in Tijuana a year ago in April, he has lost 135 lbs. so far. Best decision he made.”

Healthcare Connects Response:
That's great! Thank you for posting. There are so many great surgeons in Mexico. Congratulations to your husband!

User Post:
This was MY Surgical Team! (Healtlhcare Connect’s Surgeons) –– they were amazing! I’d do it over again 100x.

Healthcare Connects Response
Thank you, they are a truly amazing group of professionals. I was so impressed when I first met them. Hope all is well with you. Take care.

User Post:
They ((Healthcare Connects Surgeons) were the best!! 6 months later and the best choice I have made. Only regret was I should have done it sooner.

Not Everyone Is A Fan Of The Idea


While many of us were on lockdown in our homes, it became the perfect time to talk about bariatric surgery, and health in general. Though the conversations were mostly positive, some people took the opportunity to express their concerns, or dissatisfaction with our mission. Other Users and Healthcare Connects respond.

User Post:
Holy crap. I would never even in the darkness hours go to Mexico for Surgery. Are people on drugs when they think they should go there for surgery??

A User Posted This Response:
I went to Tijuana and I worked in a hospital at the time I had my surgery and I can tell you, you will never see a hospital as clean, staff that are beyond amazing, and the care you receive is like nothing I have ever seen. I don’t regret it one bit and some people need to get over the “stereotypical” dirty Mexico cause I will tell you it’s the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend it.

Healthcare Connects Response:
Thank You for posting –– We know we have some negative perceptions to overcome (about Mexico). When I visited our hospital in Puerto Vallarta, I was so impressed by how clean and organized everything was and that they use state of the art equipment. Posts like yours will help us overcome those negative perceptions. Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

User Post:
"Don't go to Mexico for any surgery. It's not safe. Believe me."

This user gave no mixed messages about how they feel about Mexico. You'd think Healthcare Connects might shy away from such negative sentiment, but just the opposite occurred.

Healthcare Connects Response:
Reasonable safety precautions should always be taken at home and whenever you travel. Generally, Canadians feel quite comfortable in Mexico, which has a lower crime rate than Jamaica, The Bahamas, Brazil, St. Lucia, Dominica and other familiar 'warm weather' destinations. In 2018, 1.7 million Canadians visited Mexico on vacation. making it our #1 holiday destination. We also know that 63,000 Canadians travelled outside Canada for medical procedures in 2016 and that number is growing.

The important thing is to do your homework because yes, there are 'bad' so called 'medical professionals’ everywhere, even in Canada. That’s where we come in. Healthcare Connects researches the success rates, experience, reputation and credentials of our Surgeons and Facilities and handles all your details. We also include medical coverage in all of our packages. Here is a story from the CBC in July of 2017 of one Canadian’s journey to Mexico for Bariatric surgery.

Regarding Varying Wait Times in the Public System


Many comments sparked lengthy conversations, and within those replies, we've see a variety of references, both positive and negative towards how each province handles their own surgical weight loss surgery capacity.

User Post:
I'm in Alberta and I've been on the waiting list since December of 2017 for the surgery.

User Post:
It took a year from when I got referred to the Medicine Hat clinic to when they called to schedule my first appointment. Then it took a year of meeting with them and making lifestyle changes to get approved for surgery and a year from there to get the surgery. And I was one of the last to get my surgery before they shut it all down for COVID.

User Post:
With a referral by our family doctor, I had to complete a specific class they tell you about at Healthy Living, and work with the clinic on changing your lifestyle to prep for the bariatric surgery. Also, it took 3 years to get from referral to the actual weight loss surgery."

User Post: My husband plans to go through this next spring… I’m currently in Alberta waiting for an endoscopy to see if I’d qualify for further surgery (ex Slimband patient). If I qualify I will not be waiting for Alberta because it’s taken 2 years already just to see the Bariatric Surgeon. I’ll go straight to Mexico.

There are those who appreciate the functionality of a close team, despite the wait time...

User Post:
"Hamilton Ontario... It took about 18 months from referral to surgery. I was required to take classes, assessments for sleep apnea, psychology, nutrition classes, all that takes time, plus if you smoke cigarettes must be 6 months quit. Then, the follow up appointments for 5 years with the clinic for nutrition, counseling and any other areas that need it. Going to a clinic that you never will have follow up is risky. The wait is hard but worth it. It's part of the issue of having a food addiction or whatever made you unhealthy enough to need surgery. The head stuff important. Surgery is smallest part of it. The work comes after and the follow up counseling/support is beyond necessary for success. Highest success rates with high numbers for long term sustainability are programs that insist on the steps taken prior to and after surgery not a bunch of doctors who are charging outrageous amounts for a 90 min surgery and have an assembly line approach. Obesity is a multifaceted issue and should be fixed by a comprehensive healthcare team."

User Post:
"You must be in Ontario (in regards to another user's shorter wait time). To get bariatric surgery done in Nova Scotia is a 10 year wait just to have a consultation. When looking into going to Ontario to get this done it was going to cost almost $20,000 because Nova Scotia's healthcare would not cover out of province."

Not All The Conversations Involved Words


One user posted these before and after photos:

pastedGraphic
Before & After Bariatric Surgery. 169 KB View full-size Download

Another kind visitor added their before & after photos:

pastedGraphic
Before and After 165 KB View full-size Download

The Amazing Community We Serve


The amount of conversation, and the constructive nature of the majority of comments has left us feeling blessed and honoured. We are thankful for the positive supporting comments, the histories and processes being shared...

We are equally thankful for the the occasional less than positive remark. They give us a chance to clear the air for others, offer explanation and clarification for misunderstandings or lingering stereotypes associated with medicine in what has become the leading medical tourism destination in Bariatrics.

Stacks Image 6223
For more information on Bariatric Surgery with Healthcare Connects in Mexico or to see more Conversations on our Facebook Page just click.

NOTEWORTHY

GOOD TO KNOW


News & Expert Opinion • Frequently Asked Questions • Conversation

EXPERT NEWS & VIEWS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Stacks Image 2991
What Would Be Included In My Surgery Package?

We try to minimize the things you have to think about while you prepare for and recover from your surgery… so you can focus on you.

Your all-in-one package includes travel and accommodation, local transfers, your surgery and hospital stay, medications, lab tests and hospital incidentals.

Meals are not included nor are extended hotel stays, room upgrades or changes to your travel schedule.

How Experienced Are The Medical Teams?

Our surgeons have personally performed over 8,000 Bariatric surgeries and have an experienced, well trained Bariatric medical team –– most of whom have been together for many years. All are fully accredited professionals.

I Only Speak English. How Will I Communicate?

Dr. Lopez speaks English and many members of his team are bilingual as well. The hospital has numerous other English speaking staff members.

What About Travel & Accommodations?

Travel arrangements are made for you. This includes air travel, hotel accommodation and local transfers.

What Does BMI Mean?

BMI is short for Body Mass Index. BMI is a useful measurement for most people over 18 years old and along with your Personal Health History will help your surgeon determine if you are a candidate for Bariatric surgery.

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. A BMI of 25.0 or more is considered overweight. While BMI is a helpful guide, it is only an estimate and doesn’t take into account variables like age, ethnicity, gender and body composition.

Why Travel Outside Canada For Surgery?

Over 63,000 Canadians visit other countries to have medical procedures performed every year. Sometimes it's because they don't have timely access to a specific procedure in Canada. Often it is because long wait times prevent them getting the surgery they need, when they need it.

Obesity has not received official recognition as a chronic disease by the federal government or any Canadian provincial or territorial governments. Therefore most Bariatric Surgeries are not covered under provincial health plans. Mexico has become a sought after alternative.

Is Revision Surgery Also Available?

Yes it is. Revision Surgery is performed on patients who have already had Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Band, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve) and have either had complications, regained or failed to lose weight successfully from the initial surgery. Depending on the initial Bariatric Procedure, your Surgeon will recommend the Bariatric Procedure that is right for you and your weight loss goals.

How Long Is The Air Flight?

Depending on what part of Canada you are starting from and which city in Mexico you have selected for your surgery, flight times are typically similar to those between Toronto and Vancouver. About five hours or so on average. Click below for more specific examples.

What Is The Pre-Op Diet?

At The time of your surgical consultation your Doctor will determine if you'll need to follow a pre-op diet to better prepare you for your Bariatric procedure. The Pre-Op diet consists of high protein, low carbs and low sugar. It is designed to reduce the amount of fat in your liver.

Reducing the fat in your liver makes the surgery easier, faster and safer. Generally two weeks on the Pre-Op diet is right for most people. This will be determined by your surgeon and medical team.

Will Mexico Be Safe For Me?

Your hospital and hotel accommodation are located in premier neighbourhoods in three of Mexico's most popular vacation destinations. Mexico is one of Canada's favourite vacation spots (Over 1.7 Million Canadians vacation in Mexico every year).

What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopy a minimally invasive surgical technique where only very small incisions are made. It is simpler, safer, and faster than traditional methods. All our surgeons are fully accredited in Laparoscopic surgery and all our Bariatric procedures are performed using this technique.

Has Covid-19 Impacted Wait Times?

In Canada, yes. Elective surgeries have been put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic. Coming out of the pandemic, Hospitals will face a large back-log which is expected to push Bariatric surgery wait times at least one year beyond the current 5 year average across Canada. Wait times for Bariatric surgery in Canada are (already) the longest of any surgically treated condition (source: Canadian Journal Of Surgery Research).

Healthcare Connects continues to offer short wait times for Bariatric surgery in Mexico.

CONVERSATIONS

Stacks Image 5914

I heard it from a friend who....

Ordinarily, the topics of medical tourism and bariatric surgery in Mexico might not be the most inviting social media ice breaker... Times have certainly changed, as these recent threads on our Facebook Page show.

Not everyone's comments are positive about going to Mexico for surgery but every post presents an opportunity to clarify misconceptions about the Canadian Medical Care system and clear up outdated notions about Mexico.

Regarding The Cost of Private Weight Loss Surgery


There are no deep, dark secrets around the cost of Bariatric surgery. There are a very limited number of surgical slots allocated to Bariatric surgery within the public medical system here in Canada. If you can qualify and can handle the wait times to have your surgery here, you should do so. It's free. And the surgeons and hospitals are excellent. If you do not qualify for surgery within the Canadian public health system, or feel you cannot tolerate the wait times that exist, your alternative is to have the surgery privately. Either at a clinic here in Canada, or outside the country.

User Post:
"I don't understand the "costly" comment regarding bariatric surgery in Canada.
I just had bariatric surgery in Canada at the beginning of the month. It was free. The only thing I had to pay for was the Optifast (a brand of medically supervised weight management) I had to take for 4 weeks before the surgery and that was all of $300."

Healthcare Connects Response:
"We are an alternative to Private Clinics in Canada who charge $15-20,000 for Bariatric Procedures. The private clinics are for people who don't want to wait and go through the Canadian Healthcare System. Unfortunately, in some Canadian Provinces people have to wait up to 5 years or more before they can have surgery. I'm so glad things worked out for you in the Healthcare System."

User Post:
"And what's the cost here in Canada?"

Healthcare Connects' Response:
The cost for example, for a Gastric Sleeve at a Private Clinic here in Canada would start at $20,000. Add to that, if you needed to come in to Toronto from elsewhere to have it done (the procedure) that would not cover airfare and hotel.

Canadians are showing up proudly in support of our healthcare system. Healthcare Connects is not here to degrade or disrespect Health Canada or the Private Clinics in any way. In fact, what we offer is the perfect compliment to the system. Witness how one user, with Canadian pride on their side, boasts the benefits of surgery at home...

User Post:
If you go through the Canadian healthcare system, it's FREE (bariatrics). Yes, it takes a long time to get through the referral and clinic process but it's for good reason. To make sure you're READY and are actually making lifestyle changes and healthy choices that will allow you to sustain the weight loss from the surgery.

Healthcare Connects' Response:
Yes you are correct, it is Free. The wait process however is due to the fact that it is an elective surgery. And despite the fact that World Health Organization and the Canadian Medical Association have deemed Obesity a chronic disease, the Canadian Government has not.

This 2018, Bariatric Surgery study from Obesity Canada reports that Bariatric Surgery was only available to one in 171 Adult Canadians living with severe Obesity.

Go here for the full report: https://obesitycanada.ca/resources/reportcard/
I think you'll be shocked by their findings, I know I was.

Positive Feedback On Bariatric Surgery In Mexico


User Post:
"I have a couple friends that got it (bariatric surgery) done in Mexico and had no problems at all. They picked them up at the airport, took them to the hospital, had their surgery, stayed in hospital a few days, got them back to airport to fly to Ontario. It was a lot cheaper and no year-long or more to wait. Doing great!"

Healthcare Connects Response:
"Thanks for posting your note! Clearly your friends did their homework as everyone should when having surgery in another Country or at home here in Canada. We also make sure our patients are transported to and from their hotel, to and from the hospital and to and from the airport. You are never alone with Healthcare Connects. Have a great day and stay healthy!"

User Post:
"The surgery itself is a 45 minute procedure. You are advised that a nutritionist is a must after surgery, they were incredible in Mexico 🇲🇽, the care is top of the line, easiest and best thing I ever did. 1.5 years post-op feel like a million bucks. Mexico 2018.

User Post:
My husband plans to go through this next spring… I’m currently in Alberta waiting for an endoscopy to see if I’d qualify for further surgery (ex Slimband patient). If I qualify I will not be waiting for Alberta because it’s taken 2 years already just to see the Bariatric Surgeon. I’ll go straight to Mexico.

User Post:
My family member had the weight loss surgery performed in Mexico. She mentioned how safe, clean, and friendly her experience was.

User Post:
"My husband had his weight loss surgery in Tijuana a year ago in April, he has lost 135 lbs. so far. Best decision he made.”

Healthcare Connects Response:
That's great! Thank you for posting. There are so many great surgeons in Mexico. Congratulations to your husband!

User Post:
This was MY Surgical Team! (Healtlhcare Connect’s Surgeons) –– they were amazing! I’d do it over again 100x.

Healthcare Connects Response
Thank you, they are a truly amazing group of professionals. I was so impressed when I first met them. Hope all is well with you. Take care.

User Post:
They (the Healthcare Connects Surgeons) were the best!! 6 months later and the best choice I have made. Only regret was I should have done it sooner.

Not Everyone Is A Fan Of The Idea


While many of us were on lockdown in our homes, it became the perfect time to talk about bariatric surgery, and health in general. Though the conversations were mostly positive, some people took the opportunity to express their concerns, or dissatisfaction with our mission. Other Users and Healthcare Connects respond.

User Post:
Holy crap. I would never even in the darkness hours go to Mexico for Surgery. Are people on drugs when they think they should go there for surgery??

A User Posted This Response:
I went to Tijuana and I worked in a hospital at the time I had my surgery and I can tell you, you will never see a hospital as clean, staff that are beyond amazing, and the care you receive is like nothing I have ever seen. I don’t regret it one bit and some people need to get over the “stereotypical” dirty Mexico cause I will tell you it’s the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend it.

Healthcare Connects Response:
Thank You for posting –– We know we have some negative perceptions to overcome (about Mexico). When I visited our hospital in Puerto Vallarta, I was so impressed by how clean and organized everything was and that they use state of the art equipment. Posts like yours will help us overcome those negative perceptions. Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

User Post:
"Don't go to Mexico for any surgery. It's not safe. Believe me."

This user gave no mixed messages about how they feel about Mexico. You'd think Healthcare Connects might shy away from such negative sentiment, but just the opposite occurred.

Healthcare Connects Response:
Reasonable safety precautions should always be taken at home and whenever you travel. Generally, Canadians feel quite comfortable in Mexico, which has a lower crime rate than Jamaica, The Bahamas, Brazil, St. Lucia, Dominica and other familiar 'warm weather' destinations. In 2018, 1.7 million Canadians visited Mexico on vacation –– making it our #1 holiday destination. We also know that 63,000 Canadians travelled outside Canada for medical procedures in 2016 and that number is growing.

The important thing is to do your homework because yes, there are 'bad' so called 'medical professionals’ everywhere, even in Canada. That’s where we come in. Healthcare Connects researches the success rates, experience, reputation and credentials of our Surgeons and Facilities and handles all your details. We also include medical coverage in all of our packages. Here is a story from the CBC in July of 2017 of one Canadian’s journey to Mexico for Bariatric surgery.

Regarding Varying Wait Times in the Public System


Many comments sparked lengthy conversations, and within those replies, we've see a variety of references, both positive and negative towards how each province handles their own surgical weight loss surgery capacity.

User Post:
I'm in Alberta and I've been on the waiting list since December of 2017 for the surgery.

User Post:
It took a year from when I got referred to the Medicine Hat clinic to when they called to schedule my first appointment. Then it took a year of meeting with them and making lifestyle changes to get approved for surgery and a year from there to get the surgery. And I was one of the last to get my surgery before they shut it all down for COVID.

User Post:
With a referral by our family doctor, I had to complete a specific class they tell you about at Healthy Living, and work with the clinic on changing your lifestyle to prep for the bariatric surgery. Also, it took 3 years to get from referral to the actual weight loss surgery."

User Post: My husband plans to go through this next spring… I’m currently in Alberta waiting for an endoscopy to see if I’d qualify for further surgery (ex Slimband patient). If I qualify I will not be waiting for Alberta because it’s taken 2 years already just to see the Bariatric Surgeon. I’ll go straight to Mexico.

There are those who appreciate the functionality of a close team, despite the wait time...

User Post:
"Hamilton Ontario... It took about 18 months from referral to surgery. I was required to take classes, assessments for sleep apnea, psychology, nutrition classes, all that takes time, plus if you smoke cigarettes must be 6 months quit. Then, the follow up appointments for 5 years with the clinic for nutrition, counseling and any other areas that need it. Going to a clinic that you never will have follow up is risky. The wait is hard but worth it. It's part of the issue of having a food addiction or whatever made you unhealthy enough to need surgery. The head stuff important. Surgery is smallest part of it. The work comes after and the follow up counseling/support is beyond necessary for success. Highest success rates with high numbers for long term sustainability are programs that insist on the steps taken prior to and after surgery not a bunch of doctors who are charging outrageous amounts for a 90 min surgery and have an assembly line approach. Obesity is a multifaceted issue and should be fixed by a comprehensive healthcare team."

User Post:
"You must be in Ontario (in regards to another user's shorter wait time). To get bariatric surgery done in Nova Scotia is a 10 year wait just to have a consultation. When looking into going to Ontario to get this done it was going to cost almost $20,000 because Nova Scotia's healthcare would not cover out of province."

Not All The Conversations Involved Words


One user posted these before and after photos:

pastedGraphic
Before & After Bariatric Surgery. 169 KB View full-size Download

Another kind visitor added their before & after photos:

pastedGraphic
Before and After 165 KB View full-size Download

The Amazing Community We Serve


The amount of conversation, and the constructive nature of the majority of comments has left us feeling blessed and honoured. We are thankful for the positive supporting comments, the histories and processes being shared...

We are equally thankful for the the occasional less than positive remark. They give us a chance to clear the air for others, offer explanation and clarification for misunderstandings or lingering stereotypes associated with medicine in what has become the leading medical tourism destination in Bariatrics.

Stacks Image 6191
For more information on Bariatric Surgery with Healthcare Connects in Mexico or to see more Conversations on our Facebook Page just click.

NOTEWORTHY

GOOD TO KNOW


News & Expert Opinion • Frequently Asked Questions • Conversation

EXPERT NEWS & VIEWS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What Would Be Included In My Surgery Package?

We try to minimize the things you have to think about while you prepare for and recover from your surgery… so you can focus on you.

Your all-in-one package includes travel and accommodation, local transfers, your surgery and hospital stay, medications, lab tests and hospital incidentals.

Meals are not included nor are extended hotel stays, room upgrades or changes to your travel schedule.

How Experienced Are The Medical Teams?

Our surgeons have personally performed over 8,000 Bariatric surgeries and have an experienced, well trained Bariatric medical team –– most of whom have been together for many years. All are fully accredited professionals.

I Only Speak English. How Will I Communicate?

Dr. Lopez speaks English and many members of his team are bilingual as well. The hospital has numerous other English speaking staff members.

What About Travel & Accommodations?

Travel arrangements are made for you. This includes air travel, hotel accommodation and local transfers.

What Does BMI Mean?

BMI is short for Body Mass Index. BMI is a useful measurement for most people over 18 years old and along with your Personal Health History will help your surgeon determine if you are a candidate for Bariatric surgery.

A BMI of 25.0 or more is considered overweight, while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. While BMI is a helpful guide, it is only an estimate and doesn’t take into account variables like age, ethnicity, gender and body composition.

Why Travel Outside Canada For Surgery?

Over 63,000 Canadians visit other countries to have medical procedures performed every year. Sometimes it's because they don't have timely access to a specific procedure in Canada. Often it is because long wait times prevent them getting the surgery they need, when they need it.

Obesity has not received official recognition as a chronic disease by the federal government or any Canadian provincial or territorial governments. Therefore most Bariatric Surgeries are not covered under provincial health plans. Mexico has become a sought after alternative.

Is Revision Surgery Also Available?

Yes it is. Revision Surgery is performed on patients who have already had Bariatric Surgery (Gastric Band, Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve) and have either had complications, regained or failed to lose weight successfully from the initial surgery.

Depending on the initial Bariatric Procedure, your Surgeon will recommend the Bariatric Procedure that is right for you and your weight loss goals.

How Long Is The Air Flight?

Depending on what part of Canada you are starting from and which city in Mexico you have selected for your surgery, flight times are typically similar to those between Toronto and Vancouver. About five hours or so on average. Click below for more specific examples.

What Is The Pre-Op Diet?

At The time of your surgical consultation your Doctor will determine if you'll need to follow a pre-op diet to better prepare you for your Bariatric procedure. The Pre-Op diet consists of high protein, low carbs and low sugar. It is designed to reduce the amount of fat in your liver.

Reducing the fat in your liver makes the surgery easier, faster and safer. Generally two weeks on the Pre-Op diet is right for most people. This will be determined by your surgeon and medical team.

Will Mexico Be Safe For Me?

Your hospital and hotel accommodation are located in premier neighbourhoods in three of Mexico's most popular vacation destinations. Mexico is one of Canada's favourite vacation spots (Over 1.7 Million Canadians vacation in Mexico every year).

What Is Laparoscopic Surgery?

Laparoscopy a minimally invasive surgical technique where only very small incisions are made. It is simpler, safer, and faster than traditional methods. All our surgeons are fully accredited in Laparoscopic surgery and all our Bariatric procedures are performed using this technique.

Has Covid-19 Impacted Wait Times?

In Canada, yes. Elective surgeries have been put on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic. Coming out of the pandemic, Hospitals will face a large back-log which is expected to push Bariatric surgery wait times at least one year beyond the current 5 year average across Canada. Wait times for Bariatric surgery in Canada are (already) the longest of any surgically treated condition (source: Canadian Journal Of Surgery Research).

Healthcare Connects continues to offer short wait times for Bariatric surgery in Mexico.

CONVERSATIONS

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I heard it from a friend who....

Ordinarily, the topics of medical tourism and bariatric surgery in Mexico might not be the most inviting social media ice breaker... Times have certainly changed, as these recent threads on our Facebook Page show.

Not everyone's comments are positive about going to Mexico for surgery but every post presents an opportunity to clarify misconceptions about the Canadian Medical Care system and clear up outdated notions about Mexico.

Regarding The Cost of Private Weight Loss Surgery


There are no deep, dark secrets around the cost of Bariatric surgery. There are a very limited number of surgical slots allocated to Bariatric surgery within the public medical system here in Canada. If you can qualify and can handle the wait times to have your surgery here, you should do so. It's free. And the surgeons and hospitals are excellent. If you do not qualify for surgery within the Canadian public health system, or feel you cannot tolerate the wait times that exist, your alternative is to have the surgery privately. Either at a clinic here in Canada, or outside the country.

User Post:
"I don't understand the 'costly' comment regarding bariatric surgery in Canada.
I just had bariatric surgery in Canada at the beginning of the month. It was free. The only thing I had to pay for was the Optifast (a brand of medically supervised weight management) I had to take for 4 weeks before the surgery and that was all of $300."

Healthcare Connects Response:
"We are an alternative to Private Clinics in Canada who charge $15-20,000 for Bariatric Procedures. The private clinics are for people who don't want to wait and go through the Canadian Healthcare System. Unfortunately, in some Canadian Provinces people have to wait up to 5 years or more before they can have surgery. I'm so glad things worked out for you in the Healthcare System."

User Post:
"And what's the cost here in Canada?"

Healthcare Connects' Response:
The cost for example, for a Gastric Sleeve at a Private Clinic here in Canada would start at $20,000. Add to that, if you needed to come in to Toronto from elsewhere to have it done (the procedure) that would not cover airfare and hotel.

Canadians are showing up proudly in support of our healthcare system. Healthcare Connects is not here to degrade or disrespect Health Canada or the Private Clinics in any way. In fact, what we offer is the perfect compliment to the system. Witness how one user, with Canadian pride on their side, boasts the benefits of surgery at home...

User Post:
If you go through the Canadian healthcare system, it's FREE (bariatrics). Yes, it takes a long time to get through the referral and clinic process but it's for good reason. To make sure you're READY and are actually making lifestyle changes and healthy choices that will allow you to sustain the weight loss from the surgery.

Healthcare Connects' Response:
Yes you are correct, it is Free. The wait process however is due to the fact that it is an elective surgery. And despite the fact that World Health Organization and the Canadian Medical Association have deemed Obesity a chronic disease, the Canadian Government has not.

This 2018, Bariatric Surgery study from Obesity Canada reports that Bariatric Surgery was only available to one in 171 Adult Canadians living with severe Obesity.

Go here for the full report: https://obesitycanada.ca/resources/reportcard/
I think you'll be shocked by their findings, I know I was.

Positive Feedback On Bariatric Surgery In Mexico


User Post:
"I have a couple friends that got it (bariatric surgery) done in Mexico and had no problems at all. They picked them up at the airport, took them to the hospital, had their surgery, stayed in hospital a few days, got them back to airport to fly to Ontario. It was a lot cheaper and no year-long or more to wait. Doing great!"

Healthcare Connects Response:
"Thanks for posting your note! Clearly your friends did their homework as everyone should when having surgery in another country or at home here in Canada. We also make sure our patients are transported to and from their hotel, to and from the hospital and to and from the airport. You are never alone with Healthcare Connects. Have a great day and stay healthy!"

User Post:
"The surgery itself is a 45 minute procedure. You are advised that a nutritionist is a must after surgery, they were incredible in Mexico 🇲🇽, the care is top of the line, easiest and best thing I ever did. 1.5 years post-op feel like a million bucks. Mexico 2018.

User Post:
My husband plans to go through this next spring… I’m currently in Alberta waiting for an endoscopy to see if I’d qualify for further surgery (ex Slimband patient). If I qualify I will not be waiting for Alberta because it’s taken 2 years already just to see the Bariatric Surgeon. I’ll go straight to Mexico.

User Post:
My family member had the weight loss surgery performed in Mexico. She mentioned how safe, clean, and friendly her experience was.

User Post:
"My husband had his weight loss surgery in Tijuana a year ago in April, he has lost 135 lbs. so far. Best decision he made.”

Healthcare Connects Response:
That's great! Thank you for posting. There are so many great surgeons in Mexico. Congratulations to your husband!

User Post:
This was MY Surgical Team! (Healtlhcare Connect’s Surgeons) –– they were amazing! I’d do it over again 100x.

Healthcare Connects Response
Thank you, they are a truly amazing group of professionals. I was so impressed when I first met them. Hope all is well with you. Take care.

User Post:
They (the Healthcare Connects Surgeons) were the best!! 6 months later and the best choice I have made. Only regret was I should have done it sooner.

Not Everyone Is A Fan


While many of us were on lockdown in our homes, it became the perfect time to talk about bariatric surgery, and health in general. Though the conversations were mostly positive, some people took the opportunity to express their concerns, or dissatisfaction with our mission. Other Users and Healthcare Connects respond.

User Post:
Holy crap. I would never even in the darkness hours go to Mexico for Surgery. Are people on drugs when they think they should go there for surgery??

A User Posted This Response:
I went to Tijuana and I worked in a hospital at the time I had my surgery and I can tell you, you will never see a hospital as clean, staff that are beyond amazing, and the care you receive is like nothing I have ever seen. I don’t regret it one bit and some people need to get over the “stereotypical” dirty Mexico cause I will tell you it’s the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend it.

Healthcare Connects Response:
Thank You for posting –– We know we have some negative perceptions to overcome (about Mexico). When I visited our hospital in Puerto Vallarta, I was so impressed by how clean and organized everything was and that they use state of the art equipment. Posts like yours will help us overcome those negative perceptions. Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

User Post:
"Don't go to Mexico for any surgery. It's not safe. Believe me."

This user gave no mixed messages about how they feel about Mexico. You'd think Healthcare Connects might shy away from such negative sentiment, but just the opposite occurred.

Healthcare Connects Response:
Reasonable safety precautions should always be taken at home and whenever you travel. Generally, Canadians feel quite comfortable in Mexico, which has a lower crime rate than Jamaica, The Bahamas, Brazil, St. Lucia, Dominica and other familiar 'warm weather' destinations. In 2018, 1.7 million Canadians visited Mexico on vacation. making it our #1 holiday destination. We also know that 63,000 Canadians travelled outside Canada for medical procedures in 2016 and that number is growing.

The important thing is to do your homework because yes, there are 'bad' so called 'medical professionals’ everywhere, even in Canada. That’s where we come in. Healthcare Connects researches the success rates, experience, reputation and credentials of our Surgeons and Facilities and handles all your details. We also include medical coverage in all of our packages. Here is a story from the CBC in July of 2017 of one Canadian’s journey to Mexico for Bariatric surgery.

Regarding Varying Wait Times in the Public System


Many comments sparked lengthy conversations, and within those replies, we've see a variety of references, both positive and negative towards how each province handles their own surgical weight loss surgery capacity.

User Post:
I'm in Alberta and I've been on the waiting list since December of 2017 for the surgery.

User Post:
It took a year from when I got referred to the Medicine Hat clinic to when they called to schedule my first appointment. Then it took a year of meeting with them and making lifestyle changes to get approved for surgery and a year from there to get the surgery. And I was one of the last to get my surgery before they shut it all down for COVID.

User Post:
With a referral by our family doctor, I had to complete a specific class they tell you about at Healthy Living, and work with the clinic on changing your lifestyle to prep for the bariatric surgery. Also, it took 3 years to get from referral to the actual weight loss surgery."

User Post: My husband plans to go through this next spring… I’m currently in Alberta waiting for an endoscopy to see if I’d qualify for further surgery (ex Slimband patient). If I qualify I will not be waiting for Alberta because it’s taken 2 years already just to see the Bariatric Surgeon. I’ll go straight to Mexico.

There are those who appreciate the functionality of a close team, despite the wait time...

User Post:
"Hamilton Ontario... It took about 18 months from referral to surgery. I was required to take classes, assessments for sleep apnea, psychology, nutrition classes, all that takes time, plus if you smoke cigarettes must be 6 months quit. Then, the follow up appointments for 5 years with the clinic for nutrition, counseling and any other areas that need it. Going to a clinic that you never will have follow up is risky. The wait is hard but worth it. It's part of the issue of having a food addiction or whatever made you unhealthy enough to need surgery. The head stuff important. Surgery is smallest part of it. The work comes after and the follow up counseling/support is beyond necessary for success. Highest success rates with high numbers for long term sustainability are programs that insist on the steps taken prior to and after surgery not a bunch of doctors who are charging outrageous amounts for a 90 min surgery and have an assembly line approach. Obesity is a multifaceted issue and should be fixed by a comprehensive healthcare team."

User Post:
"You must be in Ontario (in regards to another user's shorter wait time). To get bariatric surgery done in Nova Scotia is a 10 year wait just to have a consultation. When looking into going to Ontario to get this done it was going to cost almost $20,000 because Nova Scotia's healthcare would not cover out of province."

Not All Conversations

Involved Words


One user posted these before and after photos:

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Before & After Bariatric Surgery. 169 KB View full-size Download

Another kind visitor added their before & after photos:

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Before and After 165 KB View full-size Download

The Amazing

Community We Serve


The amount of conversation, and the constructive nature of the majority of comments has left us feeling blessed and honoured. We are thankful for the positive supporting comments, the histories and processes being shared...

We are equally thankful for the the occasional less than positive remark. They give us a chance to clear the air for others, offer explanation and clarification for misunderstandings or lingering stereotypes associated with medicine in what has become the leading medical tourism destination in Bariatrics.

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Click for more Conversations on our Facebook Page or more information on Bariatric Surgery with Healthcare Connects in Mexico.

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