A 34-year-old mother of three has died after undergoing a wight loss surgery in Tijuana, Mexico.
Markita McIntyre who hails from Biloxi, Mississippi, USA, travelled to Tijuana for the procedure in order to save money but died from complications as a result of the surgery.
According to PEOPLE, Markita died on May 6 while undergoing sleeve gastrectomy surgery, a procedure that removes a large percentage of the stomach to limit food consumption.
Her friend, Francesca Moultrie, had also planned to have the surgery but changed her mind. She was in touch with McIntyre before the surgery.
“I talked to my friend throughout the entire process. We talked every day, and she was asking questions every day in the group, so she was very knowledgeable,” said Moultrie. “I asked her how she was doing, and she said she was ok…I was going to talk to her after surgery around 2 or 3 p.m.”
Moultrie told local news WLOX that the next call she received was from the patient’s husband, saying she had become unresponsive during surgery and had died.
Moultrie’s death sets another example of why it can be unsafe to travel to “medical tourism” locations–or other countries–to get medical procedures done.
Earlier this year, one woman died, and two others were hospitalized in Tijuana while undergoing plastic surgery.
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning in 2019 about health dangers that can come from undergoing plastic surgery in Mexico, which is often cheaper than the United States when it comes to medical procedures. The warning came after 11 Americans were left with antibiotic-resistant infections.
“There are many websites that advertise for these procedures,” Dr. Dennis Orgill, the medical director of Brigham and Women’s Hospital Wound Care Center in Boston, told The Chicago Tribune.
“Some surgeons in these countries are excellent, but sometimes it is hard for patients to tell the difference by looking on the internet,” he continued. “It’s that inability to properly vet international services, providers, and regulations that ultimately gives rise to a large public health issue.”