Weight-loss surgery in Mexico has turned out to be a disaster for a Canadian woman who has been unable to get follow-up care at home.
Due to long wait times, Emily Saunders traveled from her home in Hythe, Alberta, to Tijuana for gastric sleeve surgery.
The procedure was successful in terms of reducing Saunders’ weight but now she has lost too much. She weighed 250 pounds before the surgery, and has lost 127 pounds since.
“And I’m still losing weight. There is only so much more weight I can lose before my heart gives out,” she told CBC News.
Saunders has been unable to get follow-up care because specialists — her doctor has referred her to six — have refused to see her. Her husband thinks it’s because she went to Mexico for the surgery.
“It breaks my heart to see my wife just withering away,” said Barry Reed.
Saunders said she won’t be able to go for a consultation at the Edmonton bariatric clinic until June, which will be nearly 18 months after her post-surgery problems began.
Alberta Health Services said bariatric patients must undergo behavioral and psychological therapies, counseling and assessments before surgery, and that the current wait time for bariatric “revision” surgery is three to four months.
Meanwhile, Saunders cannot stomach solid foods. Said Reed: “Every time she eats she’s doubled over in pain . . . . She’s been in pain every day for a year and a half now.”
Saunders regrets her decision to go to Mexico for treatment, and suggests others considering it “do your homework.”
“In my experience, don’t do it. Don’t go to a foreign country for surgery and expect to have the follow-up care that you need in Canada, because it’s not going to happen.”
Source: CBC News (en)