Medical tourism in Mexico is an industry that has seen exponential growth. Mexico has become one of the most visited countries for surgeries. Its popularity has been increasing during the last few years due to its updated facilities and accessible prices for surgeries. According to Statista, an online portal for statistics, in 2018 the top leading medical destination by value was the United States, followed by South Korea and Turkey. Notably, Mexico was in 9th place worldwide with a value of $350 million USD. Since 2018, Mexico’s popularity has surged and it is currently in the top 5.
Most Famous Cities in Mexico Among Tourists for Plastic Surgery
Some of the cities that are more popular for medical tourism are those that are close to the border with the United States. Their proximity makes it easier for tourists to get there in a timely manner. Other cities are popular destinations with medical tourists for the same reason they are popular with regular tourists: rest, relaxation, and the beach. The most popular cities for medical tourism in Mexico are Tijuana, Monterrey, Cancun, Los Cabos, Mexico City, and Guadalajara. Mexico City and Guadalajara are popular destinations due to the size and cultural significance of the cities.
The following data compares the market value of surgeries in Latin American countries between 2014 and 2019, including Mexico. It is noticeable that the growth in Mexico has been the highest.
Tourists continue to flock to Mexico for medical procedures. The graph below shows the number of tourists traveling to Mexico for medical purposes from August 2019 to February 2019.
Quality of Mexican Surgeons Compared with American Surgeons
Many patients are understandably worried about maintaining the same level of technical expertise in Mexico that surgeons in America have. Most clinics, hospitals and doctors in Mexico emphasize that their procedures have strict controls. Mexican surgeons have responsibilities to their patients, just as American surgeons do, in order to help them with all the surgery and post-surgery process.
In fact, statistics support the Mexican claim that they are as competitive as other countries. According to a global ranking made by Statista, Mexico ranks in the 29th position, having a score of 59.1 regarding the quality of facilities and services. They have a score of 48.84 regarding destination environment. Considering all of the technically advanced countries in the world, 29th is a very strong placement.
Still, there are several myths that plague healthcare in Mexico. These myths are busted below by Vida Wellness and Beauty.
Myth #1: “Healthcare in Mexico, including plastic surgery, is unsafe, patients are constantly at risk and medical services are not regulated.
The fact: The standard of healthcare in Mexico is one of the best in the world. Tijuana, for example, is consistently one of the top 3 medical tourism destinations in the world, year after year. This is not a coincidence: patients find medical care in their language, the city is easily accessible by land and air, clinics offer the most advanced procedures and doctors are highly trained.”
Myth #2: “Having cosmetic surgery with a Mexican surgeon is a gamble because you don’t know if the doctor is qualified.
The fact: Plastic surgeons in Mexico need to go through extensive and highly specialized training. It’s true that in Mexico, just as anywhere else in the world, doctors that are not trained to practice plastic surgery can try to deceive patients. Nevertheless, if you know what certifications and qualifications your doctor MUST have, you will know you’re in the hands of a professional.”
Myth #3: “Plastic surgeons in Mexico will take your money and once they discharge you, you are on your own.
The fact: A reliable plastic surgeon will be readily available to answer your questions even from afar. Additionally, he or she should explain how you can ask questions or contact them in case you need additional information.”
Plastic Surgery Death Rate in Mexico
While the statements above are helpful, comparing death rates due to plastic surgery is a definitive way to compare safety. According to the “Comisión Nacional de Arbitraje Médico”, the death rate in Mexico for reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery per 1,000 complaints is shown in the image below. Mexico City has the highest death rate by far of any city in Mexico.
In the United States, the death rate is not easily found and was not included in the Plastic Surgery Statistics Report of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
In both countries, patients have to give written consent. During this time, the surgeon walks the patient through the risks and benefits of the surgery. If the patient wishes to continue, they must sign the paper acknowledging that they understand this information and accept the risks.
A rhinoplasty, more commonly referred to as a nose job, is a very popular surgical procedure. Most patients who receive a rhinoplasty are not required to stay in the hospital. The procedure itself takes on average 1.5 to 3 hours and recovery takes about 6 weeks. The average price for a rhinoplasty in Mexico is $37,177.00 Mexican pesos ($1,558.00 USD). In the U.S., a rhinoplasty costs $5,350 USD on average. The drastic difference in price makes Mexico a popular destination.
The following map shows the different cities in which rhinoplasties common occur. The blue spots indicate the cities with cheaper procedures and the red color represent the most expensive cities.
The following graph shows the average prices per city for rhinoplasty. Monterrey is noticeably pricier.
These numbers vary greatly, which can confuse many patients. A typical rhinoplasty is priced in the following manner. The plastic surgeon first evaluates the patient, which can cost between $500 Mexican pesos ($20 USD) and $1,000 Mexican pesos ($40 USD). After the first appointment, the surgeon will request old health records or new studies that better evaluate the patient’s health. These studies can cost between $800 Mexican pesos ($33 USD) and $1,000 Mexican pesos ($40 USD). The intervention and the surgical team will have an approximate cost of $20,000 Mexican pesos ($838 USD) to $50,000 Mexican pesos ($2,094 USD). This price may include the operating room, which has an approximate price of between $7, Mexican pesos ($293 USD) and $20,000 Mexican pesos ($838 USD). Other times, the operating room is an additional cost not included in the price of the surgical team.
All the procedures below are also priced in this manner.
A neck lift reduces sag and excess skin in the neck area. Patients typically return to work within 2 weeks. The average price for a neck lift in Mexico is $33,833 Mexican pesos ($1,417.97 USD). In the U.S., a neck lift can cost $5,242. In Mexico, the prices for a neck lift vary considerably by state. The map below shows popular cities in which neck lifts occur. The blue spots are cheaper while the red spots are more expensive.
The following graph shows the average prices per city for neck lifts. Quinana Roo is one of the cities in which neck lifts are most expensive.
Some people may be surprised that neck lifts cost as much as rhinoplasties and not more. Neck lifts are actually fairly straightforward surgeries and are not high-risk. Therefore, the cost of this procedure is similar to something as straightforward as a rhinoplasty.
Breast implant surgery often requires patients to stay in the hospital overnight. Some patients are able to immediately return home. The surgery itself often lasts for about 2 hours, but recovery takes much longer. Most patients feel that a full recovery takes about 6 weeks.
The average price for breast implants in Mexico is $54,237.00 Mexican pesos ($1,417.97 USD), compared to $3,824 in the U.S. Again, the graph and chart below compare prices across different cities in Mexico. The red spots show expensive cities while the blue spots show cheaper ones. Notably, Tijuana is more expensive generally.
A tummy tuck is a procedure in which excess tissue on the abdomen is removed and the area is tightened. Patients who receive a tummy tuck generally go home the same day as the procedure is performed, but sometimes they may be required to stay overnight. A full recovery takes about 6 months.
A tummy tuck is generally more complicated than the procedures listed above, so it is more expensive in both Mexico and the U.S. The average price for a tummy tuck in Mexico is $80,137.00 Mexican pesos ($3,358.63 USD), compared to $6,253 in the U.S. The following map shows that Culiacan is one of the most expensive places in which to get a tummy tuck. The graph, however, shows that many of the listed cities can have expensive tummy tucks.
Liposuction is a procedure that removes fat from various areas. It can be used to shape and tighten the body. Many patients are able to leave the clinic or hospital the same day as the surgery. While recovery takes about two weeks, patients are expected to wear a compression garment for 1-2 months after the surgery to control swelling.
Liposuction is slightly different from the other procedures above in terms of pricing. It is slightly harder to compare the prices in both countries because liposuction can occur anywhere on the body. The average price for a liposuction in Mexico is $59,200.00 Mexican pesos ($2,481.00 USD). In the U.S., liposuction costs $3,518 on average. However, it may be that people choose to liposuction more areas of their body in Mexico than in the U.S.
Like the procedures above, liposuction prices change depending on the locale. The following map shows blue spots, indicating the cities with cheaper liposuction procedures, and red spots that represent the most expensive. It is noticeable that Leon, Guanajuato is one of the most expensive places.
A Mommy Makeover can encompass many different procedures. Typically, it includes a breast lift, a tummy tuck, and liposuction. It may also include either a breast augmentation or breast reduction. The recovery time and duration of hospital stay varies depending on which procedures patients get.
The average price for a Mommy Makeover also depends on the procedures. In Mexico, the average price is $118,625.00 Mexican pesos ($4,971.00 USD). In the U.S. a Mommy Makeover can cost between $9,000 to $20,000.
The following map and graph show the different prices in different cities. While each city can vary wildly, Quinana Roo, Guadalajara, and Monterrey have the highest prices.
A body lift often refers to lifting the abdomen and back. A lower body lift also includes the buttocks, tummy, waist, hips, and thighs. People who choose this procedure are often hoping to remove excess skin and unwanted fat. Most surgeons require most patients to stay in the hospital at least overnight. Recovery time varies based on the extent of the procedure.
The average price for a Body Lift in Mexico is $66,936.00 Mexican pesos ($2,805.00 USD). In the United States, a body lift costs about $8,157 on average. The following map and graph show the different prices in different cities. The prices in the cities is mostly comparable, with Morelia have the highest maximum price.
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Rhinoplasty (Nose Job)
- Dr. Rene Barrón Gonzáles
- Fentanes Cirugía Plástica
- Dr. Raúl Pérez Cerezo
- Hector Carranza Cirugía Plástica
- Dr. Manuel Gutiérrez
- Dr. Echeagaray
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Neck Lift (Cervico Facial Lift)
- Dr. Manuel Gutiérrez
- Dr. Quiroz
- Dr. Fuentes,
- Dr. Castañeda
- Dr. Abraham Juárez López de Nava
- Dr. Marco Carmona
- Dr. Salvador Medina Sánchez
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Breast Implants
- Dr. María Teresa Aguilar Ibarra
- Dr. Jose Daza
- Dr. Víctor Genaro Sámano Guzmán
- Dr. Jorge Uribe Kalafatic
- Dr. Arturo Valdez
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Tummy Tuck
- Francisco Quintero from Guadalajara.
- Daniel Camacho Melo from Tijuana
- Victor Samano from Cancun
- Rafael Camberos from Tijuana
- Manuel Gutiérrez
- Quiroz, Dr. Fuentes,
- Jose Eleuterio Gonzalez
- Salvador Medina Sánchez
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Liposuction
- Dr, Josué Lara
- Dr. Marco Sariñana
- Dr. Gustavo Gaspar
- Dr. Juan Luque
- Dr. Marco Sariñana
- Dr. Rafael Camberos Solis
- Dr. Isabel Balza Mirabal
- Abraham Juárez López de Nava
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Mommy Makeover
- Dr. Octavio A. González Galindo
- Dr. Rubén Agredano Jiménez
Famous Doctors in Mexico for Body Lift
- Dr. Jhon Gómez Cirujano Plástico
- Dr. Xavier Antonio Sánchez García
- Dra Maria Isabel Caravantes
- Dr. Maria Teresa
- Dr. Jorge Uribe
Requirements to Get to Mexico
Fortunately, there are not many barriers for Americans to travel to Mexico. Americans do not need a visa to visit Mexico as long as they are there for tourism and do not plan on spending longer than 6 months in the country.
Some people may choose to buy medical insurance for medical tourism. The cost of these policies depends on the number of days of anticipated coverage, the cost of the treatment, and whether the patient will pay in dollars or pesos.
Payment is another aspect of medical tourism that patients must consider. Paying in pesos, dollars, or by credit card or wire transfer depends on the clinic or hospital. It is important to establish the correct payment method before leaving the United States.
Additionally, the surgeon in Mexico will ask for payment upfront and contact information. Be prepared to offer both.
Transportation to Mexico for Plastic Surgery
Most of the American citizens who chose to go to Mexico to do plastic surgeries prefer to go to hospitals and clinics in the border due to the proximity to the United States. This means that, for some patients, driving is a possibility. Additionally, many clinics and hospitals in Mexico offer shuttles from some places in the United States that are close to the border with Mexico. For patients who are further away from the border, searching for an inexpensive flight is simple. Be mindful of peak tourism times in Mexico and avoid them to score a cheaper flight.
Total Cost of Travel to Mexico
Depending on the destination and arrival city, the cost of the entire trip can vary widely. A roundtrip flight could be $400, depending on both cities. A hotel in popular cities can range anywhere from $75/night to $200/night. Depending on the surgery type, patients may not need to stay in the hospital at all and may be allowed to leave whenever they feel it is appropriate. It is important to ask the surgeon for an estimate of initial recovery time in order to anticipate these costs. For example, just because breast implants may take 6 weeks to recover from does not mean that patients are expected to stay in Mexico for 6 weeks. Often, the surgeon will be able to give patients a better idea of the initial recovery time, such as a week.
It is important to look for on the surgeons and hospitals. Some people prefer hospitals rather than small clinics. In the event that a complication occurs, a hospital is better equipped to handle that complication. There are a number of travel agencies who specifically cater to medical tourism. Choosing a travel agency who knows the region well may help tourists choose the safest and most reliable surgeon and hospital.
Plastic Surgery in Mexico is a more affordable option that more and more Americans are choosing. Plastic surgery can be safe with comparable results as surgery in the U.S. It is important to find a reputable surgeon and hospital to minimize risk. A travel agency that caters to medical tourists is a great resource. By planning ahead, you can get the body you want for less money.