When prices seem too good to be true, they probably are. Be sure you understand the tradeoffs inherent in those lower prices. There are many clinics in the Tijuana area, many of them specializing in fairly common procedures. But even if the risks of a surgery are known, it does not mean that the risk is equal across surgeons and hospitals. We strongly advise international patients to work with hospitals rather clinics. It’s critical that you have access to intensive care and emergency services, and a qualified surgeon available 24×7, including a cardiovascular anesthesiologist. It is also advisable to work only with board certified surgeons who are members of the major Associations and attendees of the major congresses of their specialization.
All surgery has some risk. It’s smart to minimize/eliminate those risks you can control, and one of those things you control is what surgeon to see, and at what hospital.
Questions for the surgeon: (always ask for the surgeons professional bio/CV – often you will be able to verify attendance at association and congress meetings, or identify publications of articles, protocols and clinical trials.
What hospitals do you have operating privileges at?
Where did you obtain your medical degree?
Where was your internship?
Have you authored any medical protocols?
Do you work with any medical device manufacturers?
What types of continuing education congresses have you attended recently?
What is the most recent advance in your field? What is your experience/plan for training?
How many times have you performed this procedure? What is your current monthly average?
What are the fees including consultation?
What type of availability can I expect as part of my follow up care?
Who’s holding the knife during my procedure? Do you do the surgery yourself, or do your assistants do the surgery?
Good doctors and surgeons will readily provide – volunteer – their cell phone and email information.
What medical and personal health records do you need to assess my condition and treatment needs?
There are many ways to get your records in the hands of your surgeon in Mexico. If you are not comfortable sending them yourself using USendIt or other similar services, you can work with companies like Records Express, that specialize in the HIPAA compliant records transfer.
Questions for the hospital:
Will you provide travel planning services? How will I get from the airport to the hospital?
What is included in the medical travel package price (surgeon, hospital stay, anesthesia, prescriptions, lab tests, concierge services)
How many hours will I be in surgery and how many nights will I be in the hospital? Will I need to stay in the area after being released from the hospital, to recover?
This is one area where delegation isn’t desirable. You want specific assurances that all the trouble you went through to find the right surgeon isn’t wasted because the procedure will actually be performed by your practitioner’s protƒ©gƒ©.