9 reasons why Puerto Vallarta is better option for weight loss surgery By Gerald Witt on June 28, 2018

When considering weight loss surgery in Mexico, there are many options for you to consider.  1) Surgery Type 2) Doctor  3) Hospital and finally 4) Location of where you want to have surgery and the advantages and disadvantages of having surgery in a specific city in Mexico.  Dr. Juan Francisco Hidalgo, bariatric surgeon, and his weight loss center, Weight Loss Team is based out of Puerto Vallarta Jalisco Mexico.  Here are 9 reasons why Puerto Vallarta is a better option for weight loss surgery than Tijuana Mexico.


  1. The Border         

Plain and simple the border is something most people do not consider when choosing a bariatric surgeon in Mexico.  The US and Mexico border when driving can be a nightmare on a good day.  To have surgery in Tijuana you will normally fly into San Diego and then get into a van and travel 30-45 minutes to get to Tijuana.  The arrival is not too bad other than it takes you almost an hour to get situated after leaving the airport.  The real nightmare is after your surgery and you need to go back home and cross the border prior to your flight.  Normally you will need to be at the airport 2 hours prior to your flight home, but then when you try to cross the US border from Mexico, you normally must wait between 1-2 hours just to get out of Mexico, and that time will be spent in a van sitting, with some possible discomfort from your surgery and anxiety about missing your flight home.  This, in fact, makes a long and stressful day even longer and more stressful, and most patients never factor this into consideration when choosing to have surgery in Tijuana.


That said, when you choose Puerto Vallarta for your surgery, you will fly directly into our International Airport.  Once you are here, Dr. Hidalgo offers a VIP transportation package whereby a driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to your hotel.  The total transportation time is usually 15 minutes from the airport to the hotel.  Customs and Immigration is a breeze here in Puerto Vallarta and you will not be sitting in a vehicle driving and waiting to cross the border.  When it is time to go home, the driver will pick you up about 2 hours before your flight, and that is it.  You will be on your way home before you know it and typically you will be home before you would have even boarded your flight if you choose Tijuana for your surgery.  Puerto Vallarta offers easy access, easy transportation to and from the airport and no border waiting.

Puerto Vallarta Airport


  1. Surgery Vacation

If you are spending all of this money on a surgery, why not make a real vacation out of it.  By choosing Puerto Vallarta and Dr. Hidalgo for your weight loss surgery, you not only get to stay at ocean view resorts but are also minutes away from the beach and pools.  The Puerto Vallarta resorts and hotels offer vacation style accommodations and since Puerto Vallarta is a beach resort destination, you can not only have your surgery but enjoy the beautiful sunsets both before and after surgery.  Puerto Vallarta is also one of the safest cities in Mexico, nowhere near the violence found at the border and is one of the most relaxing and safest places to visit year-round in Mexico.


When you go to Tijuana for your surgery, you will be in a large congested and dangerous city, that has traffic, and major crime due to being a border town.  The doctors in Tijuana place you either in a guesthouse or city hotel and you have no access to the beautiful beaches of Puerto Vallarta.  Tijuana is very dangerous and the doctors have been known to use security to protect themselves and the patients but even so at times the crime has affected even the patients traveling for weight loss surgery in Tijuana.

  1. Medical Tourism Destination

Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s leading destination for Medical Tourism and the Mexican government is placing a lot of value in the continued development of Puerto Vallarta’s medical tourism industry.  From major hospitals to hotels that accommodate the tourist seeking surgery, Puerto Vallarta has more doctors performing medical tourism related surgeries than any other city in Mexico.  From weight loss surgery to plastic surgery, dental work, and even orthopedic surgeries, no other city in Mexico has the number of visitors as Puerto Vallarta for medical vacations.


Tijuana has a lot of bariatric doctors and there are a lot of weight loss surgeries performed in Tijuana but, due to the volume of surgeries that are performed in Puerto Vallarta, there are at least 6 major hospitals in Puerto Vallarta that are considered to be on par with facilities in the United States or Canada.


  1. Hospitals    

As mentioned above, Puerto Vallarta has at least 6 major hospitals that are considered to be on par with hospitals in the US.  Dr. Hidalgo operated out of the best hospital in Puerto Vallarta, the CMQ Premiere Hospital.  This hospital features state of the art operating rooms, modern and clean facilities, and works with most major American and Canadian Insurance companies.  The CMQ Premiere specializes in weight loss surgery as well as Medical Tourism and boasts performing more medical tourism surgeries in Puerto Vallarta than any other hospital, including plastic surgery and orthopedic surgery.  The CMQ Premiere also has a fully equipped Intensive Care Unit as well as a critical care unit and specialists in every field to attend to any and all needs of the patients.


In Tijuana, there are some nice facilities, and there are some scary facilities such as a surgery center in a strip mall or a hotel floor that was converted into a surgical center.  You really need to pick and choose and be careful with what you get.  Sometimes in Tijuana, the pictures look better than the actual facility, and patients have told horror stories about having surgery in these so-called hospitals in Tijuana.  If you do opt to have surgery in Tijuana just make sure you do your homework so that you are not stuck in an inferior facility with no intensive care or critical care so that if you have a problem, you are not placing your life at risk.  Many patients never factor this into the equation, but the quality of the hospital is very important to saving your life if there is a problem, and in Puerto Vallarta, the CMQ Premiere is fully equipped and staffed to handle any type of medical emergency.


  1. Medical Professionals

Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s leading destination for Medical Tourism, so suffice to say that a lot of Mexico’s best doctors in all types of fields are here in Puerto Vallarta.  From weight loss surgery to plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery, ENT, oncology, dentistry and many other fields.  All of the best doctors are here to treat not only the 45,000 US and Canadian expats who live here year round but the influx of tourists coming from all over the world for treatments that are substantially less than in their home country.  For example, weight loss surgery is almost 60-70% less than the prices charged in the United States, and Dental work and Plastic surgery are priced around the same with regards to the money you would save by receiving care in Puerto Vallarta.  The number of qualified and well educated medical professionals in Puerto Vallarta in all specialties is amazing.  Most of the medical field is fluent in English and Spanish so typically there is no language barrier between the doctor and the patient.


  1. Dr. Hidalgo       

Weight Loss Team and Dr. Juan Francisco Hidalgo perform his weight loss surgeries out of the CMQ Premiere hospital here in Puerto Vallarta.  Dr. Hidalgo is Puerto Vallarta’s leading bariatric surgeon and is now performing more weight loss surgeries than any other doctor in the city.  He routinely performs gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and revision surgeries on patients traveling from all over the world.  Dr. Hidalgo is fluent in English and has been trained in Tijuana Mexico, so he knows the true differences between the two cities.  He also strives to offer VIP care that is not offered in the border town of Tijuana.  Dr. Hidalgo has made an effort to do things differently here in Puerto Vallarta, by establishing a regimen that helps the patient recover quicker and healthier, as well as a relationship with the hospital to help make the surgery more affordable and priced the same if not less than in Tijuana. Dr. Hidalgo is able to provide his patients with years of follow-up and postop care, and with him, the patient is just not a number or a dollar sign.  He is available to you every step of the way.  Most doctors in Tijuana or even in Vallarta for that matter do not stay in touch with the patient once they leave from surgery, with Dr. Hidalgo and Weight Loss Team this is not the case as Dr. Hidalgo feels that follow-up is key to the patients success, be it through online support, a back office web portal or just plain and simple contact with the patients.


In Tijuana, the doctors just push you through the system, and to them, you are merely a number.  Some doctors will schedule 10 surgeries in a day and with that, there is no possible way to provide the care that each and every patient needs or deserves.  The cattle call technique is not appropriate for weight loss surgery, but in Tijuana, you may be just another number to these doctors.


  1. Follow-up Care

As said above, Dr. Hidalgo feels that follow-up care is critical to each patient's ultimate success with weight loss surgery.  When you choose to have surgery with Dr. Hidalgo in Puerto Vallarta as opposed to most doctors in Tijuana, Dr. Hidalgo will provide you free follow-up.  Follow-up is done in person and online through a support group as well as a back office web portal that was built specifically so Dr. Hidalgo’s patients get the best possible care in Mexico and have the best possible results.  Typically in Tijuana, once you have surgery the doctor finishes surgery and sends you home and most likely you will never hear from them again.  With Dr. Hidalgo in Puerto Vallarta communication is key and a goal in providing patient support and patient success.


  1. Not a Surgery Mill

Having surgery with Dr. Hidalgo will keep you out of the surgery mills that are offered in Tijuana at the border.  Lining up to be number 12 on a long day of surgeries is not the safest nor most effective way to provide patient care.  That said in Puerto Vallarta, Dr. Hidalgo performs no more than 4 surgeries in a day.  2 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.  Typically it takes about 1 hour to clean the operating room between surgeries so just imagine if a doctor is performing 10 surgeries in a day, and if the hospital he is using is being sterile, then you would typically have about 10 hours of downtime as they clean the operating room between surgeries.  That said another 10 hours of surgery and the doctor would be working about 20 hours a day, something that most likely is not happening in Tijuana.  As such the patient most likely is having surgery in a non-sterile environment when having surgery in Tijuana.  In Puerto Vallarta, Dr. Hidalgo takes great care to ensure that each patient has a safe environment for each and every surgery.  This is key to helping keep the infection rate and complication rate down.  If someone tells you they are doing 10 or more surgeries in a day be wary and cautious as it is your life and your health that is on the line. Most likely there is nothing wrong with the skills of the surgeon, but most definitely your surgery will not be in a sterile environment.


  1. Friendliest City in Mexico

Puerto Vallarta was named by UNESCO World Heritage Site as the Friendliest City in the World in 2006 and to this day the people of Puerto Vallarta continue to be welcoming of tourist and visitors to the city.  The people of Puerto Vallarta strive to not only be friendly but helpful and courteous and this makes for a safe destination for your weight loss surgery.  The people of Puerto Vallarta from the taxi drivers, to the hotel employees and hospital staff as well as the doctors, make you feel like you are part of a family.   You will not get this sensation or experience this in Tijuana.  Tijuana is a big city and everything is moving at about 100 miles per hour.  In Puerto Vallarta, the people take the time to make you comfortable, to answer your questions and to make you feel at home.  This makes your surgery experience so much better.  A true vacation which happens to include a surgery with it.


In conclusion, you can see that Puerto Vallarta is a solid and viable option when choosing to have weight loss surgery in Mexico.  It is much better than Tijuana for surgery, as not only does Puerto Vallarta have easy entry and departure, no waiting at the border, but Dr. Hidalgo also provides the best care in Mexico out of one of Puerto Vallarta’s best hospitals, all in a safe and friendly environment.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about weight loss surgery in Puerto Vallarta with Dr. Juan Francisco Hidalgo.

The Weight Loss Team Staff

The Weight Loss Team

The Weight Loss Team in Puerto Vallarta is dedicated to the continued weight loss success of every patient. Through our state-of-the-art technology, advanced techniques, and easy access to online support, patients can expect successful weight loss surgery that creates lasting results. Patients travel from around the world to our practice to experience:

  • State-of-the-Art Facilities
  • Experienced Surgeons
  • Multiple Surgical Options
  • Advanced Laparoscopic Methods
  • Affordable Care
  • Life-Changing Results

If you're ready to lose weight and sustain a healthy, happy lifestyle, contact our Puerto Vallarta practice by filling out our online form or calling 800-404-9064.

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