South of the Border: the Best Elective Medical Procedures to Have in Mexico

If there’s anything that Americans can agree on, it’s that the cost of medical care can be much too high. Insurance policies alone can run into the thousands in premium payments, yet even the most comprehensive medical plans might sometimes not cover certain elective procedures. That is, of course, if you can find a doctor in the US willing to perform the procedure in the first place! It’s enough to make you pull your hair out.

There’s good news, though. If you’ve become frustrated with the state of medical care in the United States, you’ll be glad to know that medical care in Mexico is often more accessible and less expensive than here at home. In fact, medical tourism to Mexico generates $4.8 billion a year thanks to lower overall costs. Here are some of the best elective medical procedures when it comes to having them done by our neighbors to the immediate south.

Cosmetic Surgery

The number of board-certified cosmetic surgery specialists working on the south side of the US/Mexico border are high. Thanks to lower medical costs in Mexico compared to the US, this has made elective procedures like cosmetic surgery one of the biggest draws for border cities in northern Mexico. At the same time, there are more than a few unlicensed surgeons working in the region as well, but these individuals can usually be spotted by looking for extremely cut-rate procedure prices.

The number of different cosmetic surgeries offered in Mexico is as diverse as the ones offered in the United States. Americans can expect to have their facelifts, tummy tucks, and breast augmentations cost anywhere from 50% to 70% less south of the border, representing costs savings in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Multi-Focal Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery has been around for quite some time, both in the US and elsewhere. However, there are certain types of advanced laser eye surgeries that aren’t available in America, an example being multi-focal LASIK. These procedures, which are also sometimes called PresbyLASIK, are unique in that they can be used on patients that want to retain bifocal vision.

Multi-focal LASIK in the US have just recently emerged from clinical trial phases, despite the fact it’s been cleared for use in Mexico and other places around the globe. Despite that, it’s still considerably less expensive to have PresbyLASIK performed outside of the United States; it can cost up to $3500 per eye in the US. Meanwhile, many board-certified laser eye surgeons in Mexico will charge less than $2000 to perform multi-focal LASIK on both eyes.

Weight Loss Surgery

Surgery for weight loss has proven to be highly effective in treating obesity, but some insurance companies in America might not cover it if they determine it’s being done electively. This has led many to turn to Mexico, where surgical costs are significantly lower — if you have to pay out of pocket, at least you should get a good price after all. At the same time, Mexico is ahead of the game when it comes to different and more advanced types of weight loss surgeries.

An example of this is how one adjustable lap band procedure was cleared for use in Mexico a full five years before it was in America. Both gastric bypass and gastric lap band surgeries are between 60% to 70% less expensive in Mexico. This translates to savings of $15,000 or even more depending on the specific surgery.


The costs of dental work in the United States are enough to cripple all but the most affluent families, especially if your insurance doesn’t offer much in the way of coverage or charges exorbitant deductible fees. However, the cost of dental work in Mexico is often a fraction of the price it would be in the United States.

From elective and cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening and veneers to more intensive work like dental implants, crowns, and being fitted with full sets of dentures, dental work done in Mexico is up to 80% less expensive as it is at home in the United States. In some cases, the cost of a procedure in Mexico alone might be lower than your US dental insurance deductible.

Reproductive and Fertility Procedures

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than being told by your insurance company that your reproductive health isn’t important. Starting a family might be seen as an “elective” by US insurers, but plenty of Americans need help to conceive; that’s firmly out of reach by most due to the high cost of fertility treatments in a country where insurance won’t offer to cover them.

Thankfully, reproductive health treatments in Mexico are much more affordable than they are here in the US. Fertility treatments are around 55% less expensive over the border. When the typical treatment in the US can cost more than $8,000, this spells a major difference in the chances of being able to afford to have children.

The Sky’s the Limit

When it comes to elective medical procedures in Mexico, the difference is astounding. Compared to the types of treatment options you have in the United States, their Mexican counterparts are universally less expensive. Not only that — in many instances there are treatments that are available in Mexico well before they are approved for use in the US. This sets Mexico even further ahead of America in regards to how the country handles elective medical care.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight, lose a few years off your looks, regain that brilliant smile, or add to your family, it doesn’t matter what the reason is for your elective procedure. The truth is that medical professionals in Mexico can get these elective procedures done just as well and at a lower cost to you than if you had these procedures done back home. Be sure to keep that in mind when planning your next elective procedure!