BILOXY, WOMAN (WLOX) – Cheaper does not always mean better, especially when it comes to surgery. Tijuana’s trip to save money on bariatric surgery ended with one woman in the Persian Gulf having complications and another having a life.
In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning after 11 Americans who underwent weight loss surgery in Tijuana returned home with antibiotic-resistant infections. However, many still decide to engage in “medical tourism” as it is a cheaper alternative to surgery.
Unfortunately, friends and family mourned the death of Bilox’s wife, who died during surgery. Loved ones say that 34-year-old Markita ‘Kiki’ McIntyre died during a gastrectomy. T-gastrectomy is a bariatric operation in which 80% of the stomach is removed, reducing the amount of food a person can eat.
Many are still confused about what happened that day, including Francesca Multri, one of her best friends. According to Multri, they both had to have a gastrectomy. Multri finally changed his mind, and Markita continued.
“I talked to my boyfriend all the time,” Moultri said. “We talked every day, he asked questions in the group every day, so he was very knowledgeable.”
He said he spoke to her hours before the operation.
“I asked him how he was, he said he was fine,” Moultri said. “I posted something on Facebook և he laughed at it. I was going to talk to him at 2 or 3 pm after the operation. “
However, he said he never called. Then, around 5 in the evening, she received a call from her husband that Markita did not respond and died.
“It was very destructive,” Moultri said. “I just want to be the voice of surgery for these women. You all have these surgeries և they are not healthy և they are not good for your body. Do not do that. It was a wake-up call. “
With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Donald Balder, a certified general surgeon and founder of the Mississippi Institute for Weight Loss Surgery in Gulfport, said he had never heard of a bariatric patient dying in the United States.
“It’s extremely rare,” Balder said. “One of the problems with transient surgery is that they may not have the right job. So there are risks to it. But if you go to an experienced surgeon who has done hundreds, if not thousands, of cases, the risk is reduced. ”
Balder said T’s surgery is the most common bariatric surgery performed in Mexico. On average, he said, the cost of pocket surgery is $ 16,000-18,000. In other countries the price is relatively lower, fluctuating in the range of 4000-5000 USD. The price difference is one of the most common reasons why many people seek surgery in other countries.
Recently, Dr. Balder said he had to correct the complications of a 33-year-old Pascagula resident after a gastrectomy.
“He came back with an incapacitated heartburn,” Balder said. “The number one complaint after weight loss surgery is heartburn or acid reflux, because the stomach puts more pressure on the stomach than people used to, he had a big hernia.”
Balder said the facility did not correct his hiatal hernia, which occurs when the upper abdomen passes through a diaphragm into the chest cavity. He said that they left a lot of stomachs.
“It wasn’t really done the way it is done in America, it was kind of bigger, so I had to do it to correct the hernia,” Balder said. “We did it on Monday, I spoke to him this morning, he says he’s amazing. There is no heartburn. “
Dr. Balder’s patient, Charletta, agreed that she felt better and wanted to share her story. Like many, he said he had surgery in another country because it was cheaper.
“Technically, it is supposed to be less evasive, more expensive than bypassing,” said Charletta. “You still have good results, because you can lose up to 70% of your body weight, so it was more cost-effective for me. And for me, I would not want any of my organs to be transformed, because if you bypass the stomach, you have to transform your intestines. ”
But three weeks after the operation, he felt unwell.
“I was vomiting and nauseous more than usual,” said Charletta. “You have some nausea and vomiting, but not as much as I felt. “They tell you to swallow slowly, eat, I did all that, I still felt it.”
Balder told him that in Mexico, a surgeon had sutured his hernia to his stomach, making it more difficult for him to store food and causing him to become excessively acidic. If he felt it, he said he still had a good experience, he said the institution was informative and attentive.
“I did not know I would have any problems until I got home,” said Charletta. “When I spoke to my nursing sisters, they were making progress in their diet. I could not use anything. But fortunately Dr. Balder agreed to help me, and I began to feel better. I still say that I had a lot of experience, I will always say that I had. But if I could do it again, I would go to Dr. Balder. ”
And he is happy that his life is on track.
“Before the operation, my highest was 381,” said Charletta. “And I tried Keto, Weight Watchers, I was still losing a lot of weight. “I weigh 290 pounds this morning, so once I start to feel younger, I can go back to my kids, I’m rebuilding my life.”
“What fascinates me the most is that I love what I do, I love seeing people move on to new lives, new health. “So I follow my patients when we move forward, very consistently, every 6-8 weeks during the first year,” Balder said. “And if you go to Mexico, they pay very little for any further action. The operation itself does not work, you have to change your diet և lifestyle և there are many things that are wrongly described as healthy. So many people may try to lose weight, but not properly.
Along with various postoperative protocols, he said that most doctors in Mexico do not usually provide patients with the information they need after the procedure.
He said that if not all of his patients from Mexico were given the appropriate bariatric vitamins to be advised, leading to B-12 deficiency, vitamin D deficiency.
“I will never let my family or friends go there,” Balder said. “I will never do that. We have the lowest cost of weight loss surgery in the state. I keep my prices as low as possible so that people can finance here. ”
Risks associated with TG gastrectomy may include:
- Excessive bleeding.
- Adverse anesthesia reactions.
- Blood clots.
- Lung or breathing problems.
- Leakage from the cut edge of the stomach.
Although this surgery has risks, it also has many advantages, according to Balder.
“It is not an aesthetic surgery, it has aesthetic side effects, I mean people who lose 80-100 kilograms, look younger, so to speak, more attractive,” said Balder. It is to promote health, to get rid of diabetes, to lift the weight of the joints, so that they do not have to repair the joints, to lift the weight from the back, so that they can return to work, sleep apnea, high blood pressure. … »
And he advises everyone to do their research before making a quick decision.
“Pause a lot, rethink your options,” Balder said. “We go, we buy a car, we finance, we don’t really think twice about financing it, do we?” But you’re going to go to another country that can speak another language. they have to think second. “
If you want to know more about the risks and procedures of bariatric surgery, click here.
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