SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – The CDC issued a strong warning to people traveling to Mexico for weight loss procedures and develop antibiotic-resistant infections.
As we reported several Jutants got sick after we received these risky operations.
It may seem like an inexpensive and easy way to go, but it can come with the most expensive price. The 33-year-old mother of two of Magna was needed to reduce weight due to a number of medical problems. But that decision almost cost her life.
"I was so sick, even doctors thought they would not work."
Justin Rodriguez went to Mexico to get a gastric sleeve where doctors cut 80 percent of her stomach.
What she thought was a life saving measure for her diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, weighing 387 pounds, turned into a lifelong nightmare.
Her family had to find out from her doctor that she might not succeed.
"Long after the patient leaves the Tijuana home, they may get sick in an emergency room diagnosed with influenza or pneumonia and really have an abscess from the stomach's nutrition," said Dr. Anne Ibele, a Surgeon Surgeon at the University of Utah.
That's exactly what happened to Justin.
Ibele says Justin is not alone.
"Every year we have more and more patients coming to us."
"My left pulmonary collapse broke, put two chest tubes. If anyone had that, dear Lord Jesus," Justin said.
Justin was on the feeding tube for two years and developed epilepsy.
The weight loss operation can cost $ 10-20,000. That's one-third of that in Mexico. Insurance companies see bariatric operations like cosmetic rather than what doctors believe is a medical issue.
"Obesity is a bad medical problem, it can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and early death," Ibele said.
Ibele says patients are desperate. Initially a relatively cheap operation in Mexico could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills to fix the problem.
Justin says nearly one million dollars has been estimated in medical bills and life-long pain. She takes 20 different drugs, and some, she must take four times a day.
Ibele says to check with your hospital. If the insurance does not cover biatric surgery, some places offer discounts. In U says that "self-packs" allows the patient to pay from a pocket at a reduced price and that operation is insured.