Bariatric Surgery Medical Tourism: Mexico Certifications
The obesity rate continues to grow at an alarming rate globally, increasing the risk of a wide range of health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, etc. Appalling but true, 40% of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are associated with obesity and overweight. The increased rate of obesity and associated metabolic disorders has resulted in a growing need for effective, safe, and long-lasting weight loss programs that can help alleviate the conditions.
As healthy weight loss gets into the priority list of more people, bariatric surgery has gained significance over the last few decades. It has emerged as a fast, proven, and effective method to lose weight and restore overall wellbeing. An article published by Lancet indicates that there is a rise in survival rate among obese patients after undergoing metabolic bariatric surgery.
However, the success of weight loss surgery depends – to a large extent – on the experience and skillfulness of the surgeon. Therefore, choosing the best bariatric surgeon is one of the most important decisions you will make when planning to achieve your weight loss goals. While experience, patient reviews, and the number of successful surgeries are crucial parameters to check, a vital credential to check is “board certification.”
Who is a Board Certified Bariatric Surgeon?
A bariatric surgeon who complies with strict requirements in terms of skills, qualifications, safety standards and patient care is awarded a board certification. The surgeon’s credentials are reviewed and verified by the country’s bariatric authorities with regard to high standards of excellence in bariatric surgery. Having a board certification in Bariatric and Metabolic surgery implies the surgeon has excellent patient satisfaction, high success rates, and minimal complications. A certified weight loss surgeon is recognized by the Board, which helps instill a sense of trust among patients.
Board certification indicates that the weight loss surgeon has completed an on-site clinical fellowship in his field of specialization and met specific predefined quality standards. It also ensures the surgeon complies with the highest safety standards in performing the surgery and patient care. The certification is awarded only after successful completion of evaluation examination and fulfilling the important criteria of performing a minimum number of bariatric procedures within a certain period as the board decides. To put it simply, there are certain eligibility criteria the surgeon must fulfill to get certified by the board.
Bariatric surgeon board certification needs to be renewed every 10 years.
Board Certification Requirements
The requirements to get a certification may vary depending on the Board that governs bariatric surgery regulations in the country where the surgeon is performing the procedures. In this article, we will briefly discuss the stages of certification that a weight loss surgeon must meet as laid out by the Mexican College of Surgery for Obesity and Metabolic Diseases AC.
- Stage 1: The surgeon who has applied for certification must complete certified courses in different types of bariatric procedures, get certified by the Mexican Board of General Surgery, and acquire at least 3 years of experience in performing weight-loss surgeries.
- Stage 2: Once the doctor fulfills the criteria as mentioned in Stage 1, he or she enters Stage 2 of the certification process and is required to submit case studies in their field of specialization. The case study must be submitted to the evaluation committee.
- Stage 3: In the final stage, the doctor who wants to receive bariatric surgery board certification will undergo theoretical and oral evaluation. Only when the surgeon qualifies for these assessments, he or she becomes a board-certified bariatric surgeon.
To become an accredited weight loss surgeon, there are certain factors based on which the doctor’s credibility is reviewed. These include:
- Optimum bariatric surgical volume and outcome
- Instruments and equipment that comply with regulatory guidelines
- Standardized clinical pathways and operating procedures
- Qualified patient call and dedication
- Assistant surgeons or bariatric nurses
- Comprehensive medical facility inspection at minimum one bariatric center or hospital where the surgeon performs weight loss surgery
- Continuous patient follow-up and post-operative consultation
- Bariatric support groups for patients
Why Should You Choose a Board-Certified Surgeon?
There are several benefits of working with a bariatric surgeon who has board certification. These are:
- A board-certified surgeon has years of experience in this specialization and is likely to be more skillful in evaluating patient conditions
- He or she stays regularly updated about the latest bariatric procedures, technology and equipment used, and medications
- Significantly lower risk of surgery-related complications before and after the procedure
- Higher probability of achieving desired weight loss results through the bariatric surgery
- Patients are likely to have more confidence in a board-certified surgeon and hence, they feel more relaxed and comfortable during the procedure
How to Verify a Board-Certified Bariatric Surgeon?
When you consider having weight loss surgery, you are likely to ensure working with a certified and highly trained surgeon. However, when you are miles away, it can be difficult to ascertain the credibility and certification of the doctor. One of the best ways to address this situation is to call the surgeon via video conferencing and ask them about their credentials. For instance, in Mexico, the credentials of a bariatric surgeon are issued by the Secretaria de Salud. A board-certified doctor will discuss his or her credentials upfront, while a not-so-reliable surgeon will try to ignore the topic.
For better decision-making, ask the surgeon for testimonials and references from earlier patients. This will help you have a better idea of the surgeon’s expertise, behavior towards patients, success rate, and quality of service delivered. Alternatively, you can work with a trusted medical tourism company that provides a vetted list of board-certified and accredited bariatric surgeons in Mexico. Brief research on the Internet will help you learn more about the surgeons who have excelled in weight-loss surgical procedures and acquired board certification.
Patients often overlook the importance of bariatric surgery board certification when finding a good surgeon. This is either due to lack of proper knowledge or to have lower prices. However, the Board emphasizes considering the benefits and importance of certification during the research stage of weight loss surgery. This is because patients will have the peace of mind knowing the surgeon has high levels of proficiency in bariatric procedures and is accredited by the top bariatric authorities in the country. Right from initial consultation to diagnosis, evaluating patients’ condition, performing surgery, and through post-operative consultation – a certified surgeon handles all these with utmost expertise and professionalism.
Board certification validates the type of bariatric procedure the surgeon offers, renders confidence and security to patients, minimizes the risk of pre-and post-operative complications, and improves post-surgery outcomes.
To have bariatric surgery is an important decision in your life. It not only involves physical metamorphosis, but also substantial emotional, lifestyle, and dietary changes. More so, there is a significant cost associated with the procedure, therefore, you would expect effective weight loss outcomes with minimalist complications. And this majorly depends on your obesity condition and the expertise of the weight loss surgeon you choose.
Do not compromise with the quality of bariatric surgeon you choose because this can remarkably affect your health and you may not get the desired results even after investing so much money. In addition to considering the level of experience and credentials of the surgeon, it is important to choose one who has a board certification in his field of specialization. It ensures they have undergone strict regulatory evaluation and possess the required skills to deliver high-quality results.
So, board certification of bariatric surgeons is one of the most crucial factors that you cannot overlook in finding a trusted doctor for your procedure.
Find the Best Bariatric Surgeons in Mexico.