JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A popular trend that saw many people in Region 8 travel out of the country to get weight-loss surgery now comes with a warning from the Arkansas Department of Health.
The ADH has reported two cases of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Arkansans. It’s linked, according to the ADH, to a national outbreak.
Health officials in Mexico identified poor infection control practices at the Grand View Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico during or after August 2018.
Anyone who had surgery at the Grand View Hospital is urged to get screened for hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV. The ADH does note that the risk for developing one of the infections is low.
If you fall in the window of possible infection, you are urged to call (501) 661-2136 to arrange tests.
Anyone who received medical care in Tijuana before August 2018 should talk with their health care provider if they are interested in screening for these diseases.
“Additionally, anyone who had surgery in Tijuana, Mexico and is experiencing signs of an infection, such as fever or redness, pus or swelling at their surgical incision site, should seek medical care immediately as serious complications may result without prompt treatment,” an ADH news release said. “Patients should make sure to tell their health care provider about their travel and all medical care or surgeries they had abroad to help guide effective treatment.”
According to Sleeve.com, a medical tourism company, the Grand View Hospital is a popular hospital for “affordable and high quality Weight Loss Surgery in Tijuana Mexico.”
“Built from the ground up to be the best bariatric hospital in all of Latin America,” the website boasts. “Technology and facilities like the best hospitals in the USA. No other hospital in the region compares!”
In February 2018, Region 8 News highlighted the growing trend of Arkansans going across the border for bariatric weight loss surgery.
We spoke with Dr. Guillermo Alvarez, who is not based out of Tijuana, Mexico, about the popular trend.
“Just by crossing eight blocks reduces more than half the of the cost in the states,” he said in Feb. 2018. “Why? Mainly because of the hospital’s cost.”
He says hospitals in the states up-charge for supplies, making the price much higher.
The cost to have the surgery in Mexico is just under $9,000 with patients saying it’s a bargain for what they’re getting.