Cheaper doesn’t always mean better, especially when it comes to having surgery. A trip to Tijuana to save money on bariatric surgery ended with one Gulf Coast woman having complications and another losing her life.
In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning after 11 Americans who had weight-loss surgeries in Tijuana returned home with antibiotic-resistant infections; however, many people still decide to indulge in “medical tourism” due to it being a cheaper alternative for surgeries.
Unfortunately, friends and family mourned the loss of a Biloxi woman who died during surgery. Loved ones say 34-year-old Markita ‘Kiki’ McIntyre died while undergoing sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Sleeve gastrectomy is a bariatric surgery in which 80% of the stomach is removed reducing the volume of food a person can eat.
Many are still confused about what happened that day, including Francesca Moultrie, one of her best friends. According to Moultrie, they both were supposed to have the sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Moultrie ended up changing her mind, while Markita continued her process.
“I talked to my friend throughout the entire process,” said Moultrie. “We talked every day, and she was asking questions every day in the group, so she was very knowledgeable.”
She said she spoke to her hours before the surgery.
“I asked her how she was doing and she said she was ok,” said Moultrie. “I had posted something on Facebook and she laughed at it. I was going to talk to her after surgery around 2 or 3 p.m.”
However, she said she never received a call. Then, around 5 p.m., she received a call from her husband that Markita was unresponsive and had passed away.
“It was very devastating,” said Moultrie. “I just want to be a voice for these women about surgeries. Y’all are getting these surgeries and they are not healthy, and they’re not good for your body. Don’t do it. It was a wake-up call.”
With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Donald Balder, certified general surgeon and founder of the Mississippi Institute of Weight Loss Surgery in Gulfport said he’s never heard of a bariatric patient dying in the U.S on the operating table.
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SOURCE: WLOX, Akim Powell