Gastric sleeve currently ranks as the number one weight loss surgery procedure worldwide, thanks to its less invasive treatment approach and a high success rate. However, thousands of women and men in the US and Canada are unable to get the benefits of this life-changing surgery because their insurance policy may not cover this procedure and the out-of-pocket costs of this surgery are prohibitively high in these countries.
Cost of gastric sleeve in Tijuana
The border town of Tijuana in Mexico has emerged as a leading global center for gastric sleeve surgery. The cost of gastric sleeve Tijuana is only about one-fourth of what it would cost in the US or Canada. This has led to a boom in demand for Tijuana gastric sleeve surgery because patients can save as much as 75% when they choose to have this procedure in this touristy, hospitable and easily accessible location.
The average gastric sleeve Tijuana cost will range from $4,500 to $5,500, while the same procedure in the US or Canada may cost you anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000. Considering this drastic cost difference for the same quality of medical services and high standards of care, a growing number of patients from the US and Canada now take a convenient road trip or fly to Tijuana every year for their weight loss surgery.
Tijuana gastric sleeve packages
Your medical tourism provider can arrange a customized Tijuana gastric sleeve surgery package according to your budget and your individual goals. You may be able to add or remove some of the services, depending on your unique requirements. In addition to the surgery costs, your package may also include travel and accommodation costs, if you want.
As long as you work with a reliable medical tourism company, you are assured of complete transparency in price. However, you should be upfront with your patient coordinator as well as bariatric surgeon about all the items that are included in your Tijuana gastric sleeve package. This will ensure that you have no unpleasant surprises later on regarding any hidden costs. Key components usually included in your gastric sleeve Tijuana cost are as follows:
• Gastric sleeve surgeon’s fee
• Fee of any other attending surgeons or specialists
• Fee of the anesthesiologist and registered anesthetist nurse
• Operating room costs
• Overnight stay at the hospital, if required
• Costs of diagnostic tests before and after the surgery
• Pre- and post-surgical appointments with the surgeon
• Consultation with the nutritionist and physical therapist
• Cost of one week’s prescription medications
• Cost of surgical accessories
• Transport to and from the airport to hotel
Factors affecting the cost
Your gastric sleeve Tijuana cost may marginally vary from another patient, or if you obtain quotes from two different sources, you may find some difference in their price quotations. It is important to view the cost in the context of the quality and range of services that a medical tourism company offers you. You should consider the following key factors, which will make a difference to your actual cost of gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana:
• Surgeon’s fee: One of the most significant cost components in your gastric sleeve package will be the fee charged by your weight loss surgeon. Board-certified bariatric surgeons as well as other highly experienced and top-qualified surgeons may charge relatively higher than someone who is less trained or less experienced and working under the guidance of a senior surgeon. It is always prudent to choose the best bariatric surgeon in Tijuana for a major procedure such as vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG).
• Hospital charges: Some of the leading hospitals and bariatric centers in Tijuana are equipped with advanced facilities and offer cutting-edge surgical technologies for procedures such as VSG. These hospitals are headed by highly rated bariatric surgeons and well-trained and bilingual staff that will provide outstanding personalized care and attention to you at every step. The operating rooms at these hospitals and surgery centers are fitted with the latest equipment and the patient rooms are well-appointed.
• Medical tourism provider: Perhaps the most important factor that will impact your actual costs of gastric sleeve Tijuana is your choice of a medical tourism company. A trusted and dedicated facilitator will make sure that you receive the best possible treatment in Tijuana at an affordable cost. They will provide you tips and guidance about your travel to save your expenses. If some rebates or discounts are possible on your gastric sleeve package, a reputable medical tourism company will pass them on to you.
Insurance and financing options
If you have a health insurance policy in your home country, you should check with your insurer whether they will cover the costs of your gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana. Sometimes your coverage may not be sufficient to cover the costs in the US or Canada, or your co-pays and deductibles may be too high as per your policy terms.
In these situations, it is worthwhile to discuss with your insurance provider the possibility of coverage for your surgery in Tijuana. Nowadays some insurance companies are willing to offer coverage for medical tourism in Mexico because of the growing recognition of this destination for safe and affordable weight loss surgery procedures.
If insurance coverage for your Tijuana sleeve gastrectomy is not possible, you may want to explore a few financing options. A number of medical care financing companies in the US and Canada will offer you loans at low interest rates for your procedure in Tijuana. You can expect quick loan approvals, flexible terms and conditions, and convenient payments in small installments extendable up to 60 months.
Is low cost equal to low quality?
In any medical or surgical procedure, such as VSG in Tijuana, the integrity of the treatment provider, their skills and experience, and the availability of advanced medical infrastructure are the prerequisites. A highly qualified gastric sleeve surgeon who has performed hundreds or probably thousands of surgeries already is going to perform your procedure with the same dedication in the operating room, even if their fee is low.
Similarly, a less trained, less experienced or non-board certified bariatric surgeon in the US or Canada at a private surgery center may not be able to deliver excellent outcomes, even if their fee is high. In complex medical procedures, a higher cost is no guarantee that you will achieve better results, and lower cost does not mean that you will have a poorer outcome.
Hospitals and surgeons in Tijuana are able to offer the world’s most competitive rates for gastric sleeve surgery for the following reasons:
• The average cost of living in Tijuana is far lower than the living costs in the US or Canada. As a result, the surgeon’s fee, anesthesiologist charges, hospitalization costs, staff salaries, and other overheads are much cheaper. These cost benefits are passed on to the patient.
• The government of Mexico has encouraged medical tourism by offering land at subsidized rates for international quality hospitals and bariatric centers and lower customs duties for imported medical and surgical equipment. This reduces the costs of hospitalization.
• Hotel, food, and local transportation costs in Tijuana are highly affordable compared to the average costs in the US or Canada. Visiting Tijuana from California or other states also involves very little travel expenses. Therefore, patients have a clear cost advantage.
• Unlike the US or Canada, gastric sleeve surgeons in Tijuana are subjected to far fewer cases of medical malpractice. Most surgeons do not purchase medical malpractice insurance. Their staff costs, rentals, and other overheads are also low. This allows them to charge a much lower fee.
• While the absence of insurance coverage means that you have to pay for the costs of your Tijuana VSG procedure out of pocket, it ultimately brings down the administrative costs. Cash payment involves minimal paperwork and reduces overheads for the hospital.
Do your own cost-benefit analysis
When you choose your gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana, you will be able to save thousands of dollars compared to your home country. You don’t have to disrupt your household budget or run into a vicious debt trap when you decide to have an affordable procedure in Tijuana. In fact, you can use your potential savings more meaningfully by investing in your long-term health, diet, fitness, and personal care when you return home after the surgery.
Considering the lower costs in Tijuana, you are in a commanding position to work with the very best bariatric surgeon and the most reputable hospitals or surgery centers of choice. You should carefully evaluate which is a better option for you: a top-ranking surgeon and hospital in Tijuana or a low-ranking private practitioner in the US or Canada with high charges? Make your decision based on an objective cost-benefit analysis and go ahead with this transformative bariatric surgery to get rid of obesity.