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Thread: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

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    Gastric Sleeve Member Phoenixrise's Avatar
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    Exclamation San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    Anyone read about the women from San Diego, who had under went the Lap Band and died a few hours later? It was in the local paper, the Union Tribune. I thought PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE OF THE DOCTOR PERFORMING THE SURGERY. It seems like he possibly had two cases of death.

    TIJUANA — Cheronna Marie Williams, who worried about her weight for years, thought she had finally found a solution. Together with a friend, she headed to Tijuana for stomach-banding surgery, a procedure that normally takes less than an hour.

    Williams, a 33-year-old from Chula Vista, did not survive the May 26 surgery.

    This week, Williams’ family filed a complaint with the Baja California Attorney General’s Office against Dr. Pedro Kuri, a Tijuana physician with years of experience in Lap-band surgery who operates at a top private hospital. The office has launched an investigation.

    “I have never been explained what really happened to my daughter and why,” her mother, Phyllis Ackerman-Gainer, said from her home in the Eastlake community. Gainer said even though Kuri has delivered the news by phone and in person in Tijuana, she still wonders about the cause of death and how it could have happened.

    Williams’ death comes as Mexico is preparing a major campaign to promote medical tourism among U.S. and Canadian patients in search of lower-cost medical care. Baja California’s tourism secretariat said medical tourism generated about $89 million in revenue for the state last year as an estimated 455,000 foreigners came for a broad range of procedures, from bariatric surgery to dental work to LASIK eye surgery.

    Both the Mexican government and medical leaders have been trying to ensure a consistent, high-quality standard of care. Across Mexico, nine hospitals are now certified by Joint Commission International, a branch of the U.S. nonprofit Joint Commission that accredits and certifies medical facilities and services.

    Authorities in Baja California said they also are working to bolster patient’s rights by giving more visiblity to the state’s 15-year-old Medical Arbibration Commission, which takes up the cases of dissatisfied patients and negotiates solutions with doctors.

    At a Thursday conference in Tijuana, Yolanda Revetti, a 69-year-old cosmetologist from Escondido, praised the commission for fighting on her behalf after a dental procedure went awry. The commission arranged for another dentist to fix the damage.

    “Thanks to them, I am smiling again,” Revetti said.

    Several thousand U.S. patients — an exact number is not available — come to Baja California for stomach-banding surgery each year, according to health experts there. Kuri alone performed the Lap-band procedure 900 times in 2010, according to state health officials.

    Lap-band and similar procedures involve placing an adjustable device around the top portion of the stomach during laparoscopic surgery.

    Mexico’s death rate for stomach-banding surgery could not be obtained. The figure for the United States is about one in every 1,000 cases, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    Alan Wittgrove, head of the Wittgrove Bariatric Center in La Jolla and director of metabolic surgery at UCSD Medical Center, said “What patients need to do is their homework, and go to a place that has the right facilities, the properly trained doctors.”

    But ultimately, he added, ““Even good surgeons can have complications. There’s no question about that.”
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    Gastric Sleeve Member barrbdoll's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I've researched having WLS in Mexico for years and have never heard of this Doctor. This is a sad story but honestly.... the same thing could happen in the US...... I chose to go to Mexico for my surgery and it was an absolutely incredible experience..... No pain, no issues.... and definitely no regrets!!

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    Gastric Sleeve Member *Lindsey*'s Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I agree with you Emily. This is exactly why waiver after waiver after waiver is signed when you do any kind of surgery. There is always a risk of death, or other complications.
    I feel terribly for this woman's family, but ultimately, it was a risk that would have been taken even if she had done the surgery in the US.
    Cheers,
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I am very sad for her family. My heart goes out to them. It's too bad that this will be twisted to make sureries in Mexico sound more dangerous than in U.S. The truth is there is a certain amount of risk for any surgical procedure, regardless of the country it is performed in. People die every day in the U.S. (some from very minor procedures). I had my surgery in Mexico and would do it over in a heart beat. I was treated with the highest amount of care and respect.

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    Gastric Sleeve Member Phoenixrise's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I know about the risk but I wanted people to be more concerned about the doctor because he had two cases in which death occurred. I find it hard to believe any doctor is that unlucky. Since this is a site to help each other we should be informing one another of doctors which are not safe.


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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    Phoenixrise, I agree with what you are saying . This is about more than the surgery took place in Mexico. It is up to us as patients to do our homework on doctors and facilities. The surgeon my PCP referred me to here in the US actually had a sanction for negligent care that almost killed a patient....and I found that out thru research. I ultimately went thru a very reputable surgeon and hospital, and was sure to tell my PCP about their recommendation. Death is a risk of this surgery and it is up to us to be our own advocate and not increase those odds. This is an extremely unfortunate and very sad story. I feel her loss and my heart goes out to her family.
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I just came across your article. Medical procedures are a lot safer in Mexico and this woman probably had other issues, maybe even some she did not disclose. Dr. Kuri did my lapband back in 2004 and I never had any complications until last year when I just got tired of not losing weight with the lapband compared to having a sleeve. Some of you may not have head of Dr. Kuri because he is not one of those new young doctors but he is one of the nicest doctors I have ever met in my entire life time. He is highly qualified. I am so sorry he has had a patient die but I am CERTAIN that it was not because of him but because of health issues the patient had.
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    Gastric Sleeve Member Phoenixrise's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I'm not one to assume if it was her fault or his fault but I'm putting the information out there so people can be cautious and know that if it was his fault to be careful and if it was her fault don't lie on your questionnaire. There's no place where you can look online for someone who is not from the US and find out information on their medical license that is negative like this unless someone post it. It's not an effort to hurt the doctors reputation is in an effort to help people with their research and be well informed.
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I wish there was a database of surgeons with their number of surgeries classified by type along with associated complications. Transparency is key with medical decision-making. As we get more networked online and with more websites like this one and rateyourmds.com etc it'll get better. When patients demand disclosure, they will get accountability.



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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    That could happen anywhere. I am very blessed to still be alive. My lap-band, back in 2009, was done by 1-800-Get-Thin. They have since been under scrutiny including the doc, Dr. Atul Madan, who performed my revision surgery in 2010 for a detached port, and has 2 deaths under his belt. And this was in the good old U.S.ofA.



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    Gastric Sleeve Member AngelNP's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    What was the actual cause of death? Most do not die because of the surgery but due to complications with anesthesia. Was this the case? Was there a defect with the band? Also, lap bands have higher complications than any other WLS.
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    Gastric Sleeve Member Phoenixrise's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    I got that article from the local San Diego newspaper and I do not know what happened exactly that is the entire article I just copy cut and pasted it and that was from early-mid last year.


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    Gastric Sleeve Member euvette's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    Wow

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    Gastric Sleeve Member tawny's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    India, I worry that posting things like this without more info deters people from going to MX for surgeries. The article makes it sound like it happened because she was in MX. And if the cause of death was a comorbidity of HERS, and had nothing to do with the surgeon, anaethesiologist, hospital, then it's sad for this to get passed around and blacken the Dr's name and Mexico. If Dr. Quinones had a death while in surgery, that he didn't contribute to or cause, I would hate for people to chalk him up as a bad doctor - because we both used him, we know that's not true. His business would suffer for something he didn't have anything to do with. Even the most esteemed world-renowned doctors have had patients die in surgery. We should report these things if there is evidence of mistreatment or poor care.


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    Gastric Sleeve Member pieganjane's Avatar
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    Default Re: San Diego Women dies after Surgery in Mexico

    More info would be good, but I think when you leave the USA you have less access to a doctors records and I assume it is not as easy to check for board certification, medical school, internship, malpractice, etc. Is it possible that the patient went to MX because she was not considered healthy enough to have surgery in the US?


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