Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Plastic surgery too expensive? Try Mexico
Posted By Ed Lavandera, CNN Correspondent: 2:37 PM ET
  38 Comments
I'm afraid I wouldn't go to Mexico for a suntan let alone something as serious as plastic surgery. All I've ever read about in connection with Mexico is drugs, crime and corruption, why would I think their Medical profession would be any different.
Posted By Anonymous Bev Ontario Canada : 3:18 PM ET
I would sooner gouge out my own eyes and fill my empty sockets with maggots. So, no, I wouldn't go to Mexico for plastic surgery. I think if you're that desperate, you should seek psychiatric help immediately. Discovery Health had a special on last night about an extremely rare condition called Harlequin disorder. Children who are afflicted with this experience a severe hardening of the skin and eventually become seriously deformed. They also have limited movement, and I believe it is eventually fatal. So when I start worrying about my breasts not being big enough, or my thighs not being small enough, I'll try to remember those children with this condition and I will slap myself.
Posted By Anonymous Debbie Darby, Denham Springs, LA : 3:21 PM ET
No, I saw the show last night and saw what happened to those people who had the procedure done in Mexico. It's just not worth it!
Posted By Anonymous Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 4:00 PM ET
Umm, no. Surgery is risky enough without letting someone who is most likely not even a trained professional do the job. There are things you can get away with buying cheap (like Q-tips) and things that you must splurge on if you want to be sure of what you're getting (like surgery!). My advice to anyone considering discount plastic surgery over the border: Seek a second opinion - from a psychiatrist.
Posted By Anonymous Al, Long Island, NY : 4:16 PM ET
It is so dangerous to go to Mexico for plastic surgery. I have seen pieces on this subject before, and they are heartbreaking. I can't imagine wanting surgery so bad, I'd risk my life for it.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 4:24 PM ET
I wouldn't even go to Mexico to buy illegal drugs...and it's only 35 minutes away.
Posted By Anonymous Eric, San Diego, CA : 4:54 PM ET
I used to live in Mexico, in the city pictured above. I needed dental work done there and it was top-notch, with all the newest equipment. My root canal turned out to be no big deal and I have a beautiful porcelain crown that you'd never notice. Oh, and the price was about US $300.
Posted By Anonymous C, Culver City, CA : 5:05 PM ET
There are some good doctors who do excellent work and can help with the financial burden, however, it requires much due diligence on your part to find the right ones.
Posted By Anonymous Matt, Los Angeles : 5:44 PM ET
My father became very sick on a family trip to Mexico. The doctor was wonderful - he made "house calls" to our hotel and generally provided a level of care no longer seen in this country. If I decide to have plastic surgery, I plan to go where I'm more than a cog in the medical wheel!
Posted By Anonymous Victoria, New York, NY : 5:48 PM ET
Not a chance! I get sick on the food whenever I go to Mexico. I don't really see myself ever getting plastic surgery unless it is necessary for medical reasons. Really, I'm just a big chicken and I don't want anyone coming towards me with a knife.
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 6:21 PM ET
4 years ago, I traveled to a small town of Acuna, Mexico. I had a lap band done. I research My Dr. for over a year. The care that I received at the small hospital was great and keep in mind I had the language barrior with most of the nurses. My Dr. before I left gave me his cell phone number if I had any problems. He was going on vacation the next. When back in Colorado I had some questions and called him while he was on vacation. He happily told helped me. I could not have been happier. The Mexican Dr.s had been to doing the lap-band surgery 10 years prior to it being approved in the US. They taught many of the American Dr.s the procedure. The sad thing is that it took several years until I found an American Dr. to make adjustments on my band. Do your home work before you make the decision.
Posted By Anonymous Donna Pueblo, Colorado : 6:28 PM ET
I had breast enlargement surgery in Mexico back in 1992. The experience was a little un-nerving because I ended up with an infection in one breast and capsules formed around both implants making the breast appear a little harder then normal. The infection was treated with antibiotics and the capsules that formed were torn apart and worked out by my medical doctor who happened to have some experience with this type surgery. When I first went in for a consult to have the breast enlargement surgery I explained to the doctor that I wanted my breast to be a small C (I was a small B) and he tried to talk me into getting a D because he said with my height and bone structure I could handle D cup. I explained that I would not feel comfortable with such large breast and told him I wanted to go with a small C. I wish I would have had trusted that little voice inside that told me to look for another doctor because as it turned out
I not only ended up with an infection, and capsules that surrounded each implant but I also ened up a D Cup.
If I ever choose to go out of the country again for plastic surgery I will be sure to do the research required and I will not doubt the little voice inside.

It is 14 years later and while my implants have held up well, I really have never gotten use to my large chest size.
Posted By Anonymous W. Owens Mansfield, Ohio : 6:36 PM ET
I'll go to MEXICO if that would be the last option.but what I know the best doctors now regarding to plastic surgery is in ASIA and cheaper too.

regards to all staff and crew of AC360 and to Mr. Anderson Cooper.
Posted By Anonymous Jemillex Bacerdo Chicago, IL. : 6:40 PM ET
One of the main problems with seeking unecessary medical attention outside of your home country is that it is more difficult to check references and get the opinions from previous patients/customers. With that said, why anyone would risk putting themselves in the hands of a stranger thinking their money buys trust and assurance is beyond me. How far would I go? As far as credibility, reliability, experience and good feedback from others would take me. For now I'll stick with the gym as my health and beauty regimen. That way I only have myself to blame if I look and feel worse instead of better.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Anne, Toronto, ON, Canada : 6:45 PM ET
I know surgery in the United States can be expensive and full of beaurocracy, but it still is of the best you can get in the world. People fly to the US from other countries to have complicated surgeries performed. It was even a big deal when Boris Yeltson volunteered to have his surgery performed in Russia rather than the United States.
Posted By Anonymous Alex, Dayton, OH : 6:51 PM ET
I've gone many times to Mexico, and it's just not like in the movies!! there are many high-tech medical centers that many places in the US lack. It's all about ignorance, of course I would receive medical attention there, just do good research.- the best medical centers are in Monterrey, Guadalajara and Mexico City.- start by searching the web!!
Posted By Anonymous Bill Hawkins, Houston, TX : 8:09 PM ET
As with most things, fools who shop on price alone get what they deserve.

Cheap people know the cost of everything but the value of nothing.

No sympathy here.
Posted By Anonymous Jack,Tampa,FL : 9:08 PM ET
I feel the answer lies in the statement. Research your physcian thoroughly. You would do the same in the United States.
Posted By Anonymous darrell Meyer, Hendersonville, Tennessee : 9:18 PM ET
Why do we need cosmetic surgery in the first place?

I attended a seminar �Fashioning the Body, Inscribing the Self: Rethinking Feminist Approaches to Cosmetic Surgery� by Victoria Pitts. She spoke about the social and psychological dimensions influencing the diagnostic criteria of BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder)
The need for cosmetic surgery in American modern medicine has increased because �happiness with improved beauty� is a product sold by profit-hungry cosmetic surgeons to the American consumer. It has become a marketing strategy to sell and sell. That is how surgery in the United States becomes expensive. And not just plastic-surgery, but any kind of surgery is expensive in the United Sates. Mexico is taking up the pace of what is offered and sold -but is unaffordable and difficult to obtain in the United States.

Similarly with the anti-depressant drug Paxil: It is more expensive in America, and cheaper in Mexico. Many Americans were lucratively prescribed anti-depressants by their doctors and therapists, just to push pharmaceutical sales for drug companies. After the American drug companies made their profits and got America hooked on drug dependant pharmaceuticals, and some mishaps with FDA, the affordability and availability of long-term refill prescriptions went down. And where do people find affordable pharmaceuticals? Across the borders: Mexico!

(But Wall Street is still laughing).
Posted By Anonymous Ratna, New York, NY : 9:22 PM ET
NO WAY!!! I would not go to Mexico or pretty much any other country to get plastic surgery. If it were life or death I would probably think twice about it. Those were horror stories about what Dr. Mario Lodolo did to some of his patients it were work of a butcher. Shouldn't he be fired by now or forbid to practice medicine? I would rather spend the extra money and get a job well done in the U.S. then go to a different country with a greater risk.
God Bless,
JOANNA
Posted By Anonymous Joanna Parker, Millsboro: DE : 9:26 PM ET
I thought it was interesting that the story's success story was Mexico, but the horror stories were Costa Rica and Angentina. Americans do realize they're all different countries, right? Not every Spanish speaking country is the same, but the story seems to combine them all into some nebulous country "somewhere south" of the US. That being said, the face of the of the spokeswoman for Faceliftmexico.com -- who looks like she's had a few herself -- looks frightening enough to ward me off of any facial surgery.
Posted By Anonymous Kris, Austin, TX : 10:00 PM ET
I'm a bargain hunter, but I don't think I'd go to Mexico or any other country for plastic surgery. My main reason is that if the patient has complications down the line, he or she might have to board a plane to be examined by the surgeon. Bottom line - there are shady surgeons in every country. Judging cosmetic patients and trying to change society is not the answer. Doing your homework is.
Posted By Anonymous Michelle G., Land O'Lakes, FL : 10:06 PM ET
We all know the horror stories. Of course, that is what makes a good story. We won't get a show about the wonders of "plastic surgery" in Mexico.
If anybody outside the U.S. saw the many shows about the splastic surgery nightmares here, they would think the same thing. Don't rely on the media for unbiased information.
Posted By Anonymous E. Martinez Bermuda Dunes, CA : 10:11 PM ET
Considering that the only cosmetic surgery I would get would be medicallyl necessary, I would not include Mexico in my research of doctors. I'm not a fan of any "unnecessary" surgery.
Posted By Anonymous Deb, Richmond VA : 10:49 PM ET
If it's truly optional or frivolous surgery, Mexico may be an ill-considered choice: there will also be many clinics local-to-you in the US who will treat you with care, efficiency, and competence - the free market can and likely will do it's magic.

But if it's a serious condition, especially if it is one for which the upper-class gets health insurance but for which you don't, a _well researched_ MX surgery might be superior in every
objectively conceivable respect.
I'm going through this now. To my surprise, I realize I'd now pay I'd pay _more_ to get treatment in MX than in the US.

Most people who can't comprehend this
position may be thinking about it in an under-informed abstract. Be faced with uninsured surgery in the US and - even if $ is not a real consideration - you might find things a bit different _when you dig into them with your life on the line_. Even on an
equal cost basis.
Posted By Anonymous P.S., Redwood City, CA : 11:12 PM ET
I have had 4 major surgeries in Mexico City, including a tonsillectomy, appendectomy, strabismus eye surgery and plastic surgery at age 17 to pull back my ears. I never had any complications with any of my surgeries and these surgeries were in the early 70s and 80s. It is human nature to be afraid of the unknown, but Mexico is more advanced than many people think and many surgeons are US-trained. They just can't charge as much as US surgeons can because no one can pay it. Researching doctors is the most effective means to be as safe as possible, and not just in Mexico, but in the US as well. My mom also had an abdominal aortal bypass 5 years ago and she is doing very well today. Mexico has very good medical care.
Posted By Anonymous Elsa, Henderson Nevada : 11:57 PM ET
as an American who lived in Mexico for years and had several surgeries there, I can tell you that the facilities are as modern and doctors as trained as they are here. You just have to do your homework as others have stated. Those of you on here who believe that some television report you saw on some exploitative (yes, CNN, ABC, NBC etc are all exploitative) show is representative of the majority of cases are the ones who need to have your head examined. These attitudes are also for the most part based on ignorance and even racism. The average life expectancy in Mexico is very much comparable to the US so where do you think Mexicans are getting their medical work done?? THINK, PEOPLE!
Posted By Anonymous Jesse, Charlotte, NC : 1:04 AM ET
I'd rather go to Sao Paulo Brazil or Rio
Posted By Anonymous Maria ,Orlando, Fl : 1:17 AM ET
I think Brazil has excellent Doctors for plastic surgery and less expensive than Mexico
Posted By Anonymous Dennis ,Miami Fl : 1:20 AM ET
You know the old saying, you get what you pay for. By the way, have you seen some of the celebrities who have gotten work done and they go to more expensive surgeons. No thank you!!
Posted By Anonymous Barb K., Phoenix AZ : 6:30 AM ET
I will! Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, I know the possibilities of the doctors. After some research I found a wonderful doctor who is not only experieced and educated. He will perform the surgery in one of the best Hospitals in the city... Mexico has wonderful places, cities, people, etc! Don't judge the country by one or two cities! The same way that New York shouldn't get judged by the Bronx! You find wonderful doctors in the US and in Mexico, difference is the amount of money you have to pay for the services, and in some cases, the willingness of the doctor to take care of you after the surgery. My doctor gave my his cell phone. He is available to me 24/7 and if after the surgery (tummy tuck) I'm not happy with the scar, he's willing to fix it without charge! Some of the comments here are based in pure ignorance. Period.
Posted By Anonymous Samantha Mendoza, San Antonio, Tx : 7:07 AM ET
All doctors in Mexico are not bad...just as all doctors in the United States are not good. More than 60,000 people died last year at the hands of incompetent doctors...in the United States.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Giorgianni, Nokomis, FL : 7:39 AM ET
There are good doctors and bad doctors no matter where you go. I've had friends go across the border for plastic surgery with no problems of any kind. Surgery they could not have afforded here. You just have to do your homework, wouldn't you do the same thing in the US?
Posted By Anonymous Armando Ruiz, Houston TX : 9:58 AM ET
Surgery in Mexico? Why in the world do you think all the illegals come to the US for their medical needs?
Posted By Anonymous Craig, Pleasant Valley NY : 10:51 AM ET
If you decide that you want to go to Mexico to have your surgery, by all means go ahead - But buy an extra round trip ticket so that, should you have complications, you can go back and have the original physicians take care of your problems. Time and again, we see people trying to save a few dollars by going out of the country (you usually get what you pay for), then having significant post-op difficulties and turning back to the American medical system where they will never be turned away from an emergency room. Many will end up never paying their physicians or hospital bill in the US.
Posted By Anonymous Dr. John Nashville, TN : 10:56 AM ET
A similar story could be written about botched medical procedures in any country, including the U.S. I have numerous friends who have had fantastic results with medical procedures in Mexico, with better care that in the U.S. and they do not have to declare bankruptcy after surgery.
Posted By Anonymous j. gray, St. Jo, MO : 11:40 AM ET
I'm not sure about plastic surgery, but I've read and heard of Americans who have visited reputable hospitals for various medical reason in Mexico. Many said they received far better treatment than they ever did in the US. Not only did the hospitals have all the same equipment, but they received more personalized attention for the doctors and nurses.
Posted By Anonymous Sarah, Portland, OR : 11:54 AM ET
Dear Ed,

It does not surprise me that in a culture so appearance oriented, that people, mostly women, are compelled to take extreme measures to achieve the ultimate goal of beauty and its implied youthfulness. It is an addiction for which there is no cure.

The media is notorious for encouraging this mindset. For example, I haven't noticed many people at CNN that would not be considered young and attractive.

Maybe I will change my mind in the future, but I believe people need to prepare themselves for a time when their youth and good looks can no longer sustain them.

Before I would travel to Mexico for plastic surgery I would take the money and send it to "Doctors Without Borders" where it can really change someone's life. For those who choose to go: "caveat emptor."

Jo Ann
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 12:01 PM ET
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