Traveling from Los Angeles to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery
According to an LA County Health Survey, adult obesity rates in Los Angeles County went up 74% from 13.6% in 1997 to 23.6% in 2011.1 And as per a report published by Trust for America’s Health, about 24.1% of the adults are obese in California. As the number of overweight and obese adults mounts up, many are taking up the surgical route to vanquish obesity.
This article is a guide to bariatric surgery in Mexico for Los Angeles County residents.
Self-pay Bariatric Surgery Costs in Los Angeles
According to Bariatric Surgery Source, while no insurance gastric sleeve costs about $22,200, the average self-pay cost of lap band is about $15,700 and gastric bypass about $21,600 in California. These prices may be beyond the financial means of some people who have no insurance or have been denied bariatric surgery.
Cheaper options for weight loss surgery exist south of the border in Mexico. For example, you will find bariatric packages in Mexico for as low as $4,295. Click here for more information.
Weight Loss Surgery in LA vs. Mexico
Traveling to Mexico may be beneficial for self-paying individuals in Los Angeles seeking discounted weight loss surgery. There are various cities in Mexico, such as Tijuana, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Guadalajara, which have established themselves as hubs for Americans and Canadians wanting to circumvent high no-insurance bariatric surgery prices in their home country.
Here is a comparison of weight loss surgery in Mexico vis-à-vis in Los Angeles:
- Prices: You enjoy significant savings in Mexico compared to having surgery in the United States.
- Quality of Care: You will find hospitals and surgery centers offering similar level of care as in the United States; however, you will have to exercise due diligence and conduct your own research before zeroing in on a facility as just like any other place, there are establishments in Mexico which may offer sub-standard care.
- Competence of Bariatric Surgeons: Just like in the United States, you will find good and bad doctors in Mexico. You will also find competent bariatric surgeons with credentials similar to those of their American counterparts. The key is to research into your options well, and decide on a surgeon best suited to meeting your needs.
- Language Barriers: As English is not widely spoken in Mexico, you might face communication issues. If you can’t speak basic Spanish, keep language an important criterion for choosing a surgeon. However, there are quite a few Mexican surgeons regularly dealing with clients from the US and Canada and hence, speak reasonably good English. There are others who may engage language interpreters to cut down communication barriers.
Here is some useful travel information for people from Los Angeles considering Mexico for discount weight loss surgery
LA to Mexico by Road
|City in Mexico for WLS||Distance||Travel Time (approx.)|
|Tijuana (TIJ)||141 miles||2h 19 min|
|Mexicali (MXL)||235 miles||3h 50 min|
From Tijuana, you can even park your car in San Diego, CA and simply walk across the border or get picked-up from the border crossing area.
LA to Mexico by Air
|City in Mexico||Flight Duration|
|Tijuana (TIJ)||8h 55 min (connecting)|
|Cancun (CUN)||4h 55 min (non-stop)|
|Puerto Vallarta (PVR)||3h 10 min (non-stop)|
|Guadalajara ( GDL)||3h 15 min (non-stop)|
|Mexicali (MXL)||8h 55 min (connecting)|
Leading Bariatric Surgeons in Los Angeles
Choosing Mexico for surgery is your personal decision. Some people may forego traveling to Mexico, and rather have their surgery in LA. The following are some of the bariatric surgeons in the region:
Dr. Jeremy E. Korman
Dr. Korman is a board-certified weight loss surgeon practicing in Marina Del Rey. He has helped over 2,000 people banish obesity with weight loss surgery. He is a member of the ASMBS. Click here for detailed bio-data of Dr. Korman.
Dr. David Lourié
Dr. David Lourié is a bariatric surgeon in Los Angeles area who performs procedures using minimally invasive robotic techniques. He is a fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). His practice is located in Pasadena, CA. Click here for more information on Dr. Lourié.
Dr. David G. Davtyan
Dr. David G. Davtyan is an experienced bariatric surgeon certified in the Realize and Allergan lap band systems. He is certified by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine and practices in various locations in the LA County. Here is his detailed resume.
Dr. Philippe Jean Quilici
Dr. Philippe Jean Quilici is a bariatric surgeon in Burbank practicing at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and a host of other hospitals in the region. He is a member of the Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). Click here for his resume.
Dr. Matthew Lublin
Dr. Matthew Lublin is a minimally invasive surgeon, and is a member of the ASMBS and SAGES. He has completed a laparoscopic bariatric fellowship course at the Ethicon Surgical Institute, and is certified in the INAMED and Realize lap band systems.
Dr. Nazarian Jamshid
Dr. Nazarian has over two decades of bariatric experience and is a member of the ASMBS and the International Federation of Bariatric Surgery. He is also a recognized member of “Bariatric Center of Excellence”.
Dr. Carson Liu
Dr. Carson Liu earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago, and has many publications to his name. He is a member of the ASMBS and the Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract.
Dr. George Mutafyan
Dr. Mutafyan is an ASMBS-member laparoscopic surgeon currently serving as a faculty member at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. He specializes in minimally invasive bariatric surgery, and offers various weight loss surgical options such as lap band, gastric bypass and gastric sleeve.
Dr. Sergey Lyass
Dr. Lyass is a board certified surgeon with more than two decades of surgical experience, and has authored over 100 scientific publications for prime medical journals. He completed his fellowship in minimally invasive weight loss surgery from Cedars Sinai Medical Center in LA.
Dr. Eraj Basseri
Dr. Eraj Basseri is a bariatric expert offering da Vinci robotic surgery to LA residents. He is a member of SAGES and Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (SLS). He has a fellowship in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery from Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
Hospitals for Bariatric Surgery in LA County
Some of the hospitals and surgery centers in and around LA offering weight loss surgery recommended by independent rating companies and newspapers are:
Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center
A five star rated hospital by HealthGrades, which is a prime healthcare rating company, Saint Joseph Medical Center is a Center of Excellence designated by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery as well as accredited by the American College of Surgeons Bariatric Surgery Center Network. With a ‘mind-and-body’ approach towards weight loss, the center offers an all-encompassing bariatric program which includes nutrition and surgery, support groups, as well as life-long follow-up.
UCLA Center for Obesity and Metabolic Health (COMET)
COMET is a leading center for bariatric surgery in Los Angeles County designated as Level One Center of Excellence by the ASMBS. The center boasts a team comprising weight loss surgeons, cardiologists, diet experts and endocrinologists offering customized programs tailored to meet your health goals.
Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center
Occupying the sixth spot in the US Health News survey of best hospitals in the United States for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery in 2015 is the Cedars-Sinai Weight Loss Center. The weight loss center features a team of specialists from multiple disciplines offering personalized care to people seeking bariatric surgery in Southern California. Click here for the hospital website.
Note: We do not endorse any of the doctors, hospitals or surgery centers mentioned in this article.
This article is solely for informational purposes and attempts to guide residents of Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Glendale, Lancaster, Palmdale, Pomona, Torrance, Pasadena, El Monte, Downey, Inglewood, West Covina, Norwalk, Burbank, Riverside, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Orange, Irvine, Santa Monica, Huntington Beach and other areas around LA on having weight loss surgery in Mexico.
We recommend readers to conduct their own research and choose a bariatric surgeon who suits their requirements.
- Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Office of Health Assessment and Epidemiology, Trends in Obesity: Adult Obesity Continues to Rise, September 2012, http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/wwwfiles/ph/hae/ha/Obesity_2012_sFinal.pdf
Disclaimer: Weight loss results may vary. We do not guarantee any specific results.