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Comparing Weight Loss Surgery Costs in Mexico vs. the U.S.
Posted by skymedicus STAFF on 7/24/2017 7:52 PM | Last Modified: September 26, 2017
As reported by Health.com, an estimated 6 million Americans each year choose to have surgery abroad -- and hundreds of thousands head to Mexico for weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery, duodenal switch surgery and gastric sleeve surgery.
Below, we briefly describe each of these weight loss surgeries, and highlight the cost difference between having the procedure performed in Mexico vs. the U.S.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery involves dividing the stomach into two pouches: a smaller upper pouch, and a larger lower pouch. The small intestine is then rearranged to connect them both. The result is that individuals have a smaller stomach, and therefore feel satiated (i.e. full) with less food compared to before the surgery.
In the U.S., gastric bypass surgery is among the most expensive weight loss surgery options, and can cost around $30,000. In Mexico, however, the same surgery can cost around $7,000.
Lap Band Surgery
Lab band surgery involves taking an adjustable, inflatable silicone band (sometimes referred to as a LAGB), and putting it at the top part of the stomach. The result is that food consumption slows down, which in turn leads to a smaller amount of food intake.
In the U.S., lap band surgery can cost around $15,000. However, the same surgery in Mexico can cost around $5,000.
Duodenal Switch Surgery
Duodenal switch surgery involves removing about 70 percent of the stomach along its greater curvature. It also involves re-routing the small intestine, in order to create two distinct pathways and one common channel. The purpose is to reduce the amount of time the body has to digest extra calories from food, as well as to limit the absorption of fat.
In the U.S., duodenal switch surgery (like gastric bypass surgery) is quite expensive, with costs starting at around $30,000, but in some cases going much higher. In Mexico, however, the same surgery can cost around $8,000.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Gastric sleeve surgery involves using a stapling device to create a small “sleeve” in the stomach, and removing the excess (and no longer required) portion. Like gastric bypass surgery, the purpose is to reduce the amount of food intake.
In the U.S., gastric sleeve surgery can cost around $20,000. In Mexico, however, the cost is around $5,000.
It’s also important to note that the estimated figures provided for weight loss surgery in Mexico are all-inclusive, which means that they cover:
Essentially, the only major cost that is not covered is the flight.
Why is Weight Loss Surgery in Mexico So Much Lower Than the U.S.?
In light of the above, you may be asking a fair and important question: why are weight loss surgery costs so much lower in Mexico than the U.S.? The answer is straightforward, and it has nothing to do with quality or standards of care.
First of all, the costs of living in Mexico are lower than the U.S., and that means surgeons and hospital staff are paid less. In addition, insurance and administration costs are much lower. On top of this, there is (healthy) competition among hospitals for medical tourism patients. All of these factors drive costs down.
To learn more about weight loss surgery options in Mexico and other countries around the world – including Costa Rica, Brazil, India, Thailand and more, contact the SkyMedicus team today. Your consultation with us is free. For more on comparing the cost of weight loss surgery, download our FREE infographic now: