A family in Arizona is grieving the loss of their 24-year-old daughter, who they allege had weight loss surgery in Mexico and subsequently died in a hospital in her home state owing to complications from the treatment.
Dulce Herrera, who died in early May, was reportedly connected to the facility through a Facebook group and came to Tijuana.
Her family told ABC15.com that she got an infection in her intestines after the surgery and had to go to the hospital in Scottsdale when she got home.
The family claims they don’t know if the doctor who performed the bariatric surgery was certified, and that the low cost may have influenced her choice to fly for it.
Maria Rodriguez, the woman’s mother, told ABC15.com, “If she could hear me now, I would warn her don’t do it.”
Every year, millions of Americans engage in medical tourism or travel to another nation for medical treatment.
Cost, culture, or even the desire to get care or therapy that is not accessible or approved in the United States are all valid reasons.
Dental care, cosmetic surgery, reproductive treatments, organ and tissue transplants, and cancer therapy are among the most popular operations sought overseas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Your risk of problems is determined by the location of the surgery, the facility where it is conducted, and if you are in excellent physical and psychological condition for the operation,” the CDC says.
Infectious illness, antibiotic resistance, quality of treatment, communication problems, plane travel, and continuity of treatment are all factors that raise the risk of complications.
Pre-trip consultations, travel health insurance, bringing copies of medical documents, carrying a travel health kit, and collecting all medical records post-procedure before returning home are all recommended by the CDC.
The agency recommends conducting extensive research on the health care practitioner and facility where the operation will be performed, as well as consulting with accrediting organizations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that “overseas hospitals may not maintain accreditation or provider licensure, collect patient outcome data, or maintain formal medical record privacy or security procedures.”
“Medical tourists should be aware that medicines, medical devices, and medical goods used in other countries may not be subject to the same regulatory scrutiny and monitoring as those used in the United States. Furthermore, certain medications may be counterfeit or otherwise useless (due to expiration, contamination, or inappropriate storage, for example).”