Dr. Alejandro Lopez has performed over 3,000 weight loss surgeries. His skilled hands have contributed to the health and well-being of thousands of people who took the chance to travel to Mexico for more affordable weight loss options.
While many people might fear the booming medical tourism business and rightfully question the safety of traveling to Mexico for weight loss procedures, Alejandro Lopez is ready to set the record straight. He has had zero deaths and one of the highest success rates on the operating table. Dr. Lopez sat down with us for a moment to dispel some of the myths about bariatric surgery, and to share what made him passionate about helping people lose the weight for good.
People are scared to book surgeries in Mexico, wondering if they’ll be as good as they are in the States. How would you respond?
I think that in this case we are always offering the best surgeries and also the best facilities. Patients are worried the hospitals are smaller and not as clean. We have very nice facilities here and some of them even have certifications from the United States, as well as Mexico.
People are hearing negative press about Mexico surgeries. It’s really unfair. How do you combat infections, and address these medical concerns?
An Example, Hospital Vida in Tijuana is reviewed for certifications that ensure the protection and prevention of these types of things.
We also have the prior experiences with our patients who are quite comfortable and grateful because the attention they’ve received is very good. In comparison to the United States hospitals, we have heard we are very competitive. We have Canadian patients that say we offer much better attention than they receive there. The quality of our communication and the hospitals are all very good.
How about discussing patients who have died on the table? Do you have anything people haven’t been made aware of?
We have had no deaths. We have had a few complications as all surgeons do, but these are complications that can be resolved right here in Mexico.
How do patients receive the necessary follow-up care?
In the past year we might have had two or three leaks we detected right after the surgery. We take them back to the surgery rooms and close the leak. The leak is the most important complication a patient can have. The other complication is clotting. When the patient is here, they are always visited in their hotel by one general doctor or the nurse after their surgery to detect any complications. The most important thing is that we watch patients very closely. If you can detect a complication, you can resolve it.
90% percent of complications happen within 3 days. In these cases it is likely a leak that was just never detected. We have a very active support group and we stay in touch with the patient when they return home. We try to stay in close contact so that if something is wrong we can offer a resolution to the client or tell them whatever they’re experiencing is normal. They can call me. They can text me. That’s very important to know.
How serious is bariatric surgery?
This is absolutely a major surgery. We have to cut the stomach and remove 80% of the organ.
What are your personal hobbies?
Work. (And dog training.)
What would you do if you were not a doctor?
I would be a doctor. I wouldn’t be anything else. My father is a doctor. My older sister is a doctor. My whole life I knew that’s what I wanted to be.
Which patient story has been the most memorable to you?
We had a patient from Canada who visited us in Puerto Vallarta, and she was very scared. We went back and forth several times. She had the surgery and when she was leaving the hospital she cried and explained she had a magnificent experience. She referred her husband a year later and some of her other family members. Most people feel very sensitive and happy after the process once they realize everything is just fine.
What else could we do to educate patients before they are referred to you?
All doctors can say they have their certifications. We can offer testimonials from patients that have been here before. We have a support group where they can speak to former patients all day long. We can have a conference and can speak before the surgery, and we can speak after. I am available, and there’s support throughout the entire process.
Dr. Lopez is well represented in forums, online discussion boards, and blogs, all with positive reviews.
Learn more about Dr. Lopez.
Do you have a doctor related question regarding bariatric surgery? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us today.