The Best Mexican City for Plastic Surgery: Tijuana, Mexico

The Mexican border city of Tijuana has always been known for its mild, Mediterranean climate and proximity to San Diego. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortés, it’s one of the country’s best food cities, boasting popular dishes like chilaquiles, pozole, and tacos al pastor. 

Unbeknownst to some, Tijuana also is one of the top three medical tourism destinations in the world. Over 1,000,000 aesthetic procedures (surgical and non-surgical) are performed in Mexico every year. 

What exactly is medical tourism? It’s defined as consumers traveling across international borders with the intention of receiving some form of medical treatment. An estimated 14 million people each year travel internationally for medical treatment, including specialized surgery like aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. 

The most popular types of procedures performed in Tijuana are bariatric surgery, liposuction, and breast augmentation. Two of the primary reasons medical tourists choose Tijuana for cosmetic surgery procedures are cost and convenience. 



Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery Savings in Tijuana 

Medical tourists save anywhere from 20-80 percent on treatments when compared to undergoing the same type of procedure in the United States. The same procedure performed by plastic surgeons in Mexico, whether it’s reconstructive plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, bariatric surgery, or something else, can easily be 50 percent cheaper. 

For example, costs for bariatric surgery in the U.S. range widely from $15,000 to $35,000. At VIDA Wellness and Beauty, however, the cost for gastric sleeve surgery is around $5000, gastric bypass is approximately $6,600 and gastric band comes in around $5,500. 

Some plastic surgeons even offer all-inclusive plastic surgery travel packages that come in all shapes and sizes. These packages vary in price based on the cosmetic surgery procedure(s) and treatment(s) included. 

Because the cost of living is less in Tijuana, it allows plastic surgeons in Mexico to offer quality medical services at a significantly lower cost than a majority of those found in the U.S. and Europe.

It’s important to find out, though, what’s included in the price — i.e., fees for the plastic surgeons, anesthesiologists, anesthesia, and operating room. You also should not opt for the cosmetic surgery cheapest quote you find — safety is essential. 

Close to the Border Convenience 

Located less than an hour’s drive south of San Diego in the Mexican State of Baja California, Tijuana is home to General Abelardo L. Rodríguez International Airport, also called Tijuana International Airport.

For patients coming to VIDA from San Diego International Airport, we organize your relocation needs, so you don’t have to worry about procuring your own transportation. Plus, we provide each of our plastic surgery patients with a personal coordinator to assist them every step of the way in their beauty and wellness journey. 

When visiting Tijuana to undergo any of our myriad services with our plastic surgeons, patients can visit the city’s bustling main street, Avenida Revolución, which is lined with souvenir shops and lively bars. They also can take advantage of some of the city’s other cultural highlights, including:

  • Playas de Tijuana, (Spanish for “beaches of Tijuana”), the beachfront neighborhood of Tijuana.
  • Mercado El Popo, the colorful downtown market
  • Glorieta Cuauhtémoc, (“fallen eagle” in English), a large bronze statue to the last Aztec emperor 
  • Monumental Plaza de Toros, known in English as the Bullring by the Sea
  • Parque de la Amistad, a park featuring a manmade lake with boat rides, an open-air theater, and areas for exercising
  • Museo del Trompo, a popular museum with hands-on science and technology exhibits

The Advantages of Medical Accreditation in Mexico: Getting a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

In both the U.S. and Mexico, there are several medical organizations and societies that provide accreditation to physicians and medical facilities. Members of these groups have access to industry best practices and adhere to strict standards and guidelines. Choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon and accredited plastic surgery practice can help ensure you’re choosing the safest option for plastic surgery procedures.

At VIDA, we’re members of the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS), the leading professional association for board-certified plastic surgeons.

Our physicians are board-certified and members of some of the most important bariatric and laparoscopic medical societies in the region, including the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO), the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the Mexican College of Surgery for Obesity and Metabolic Diseases (CMCOEM). Many of them are also active in California’s medical associations. 

Having an internationally-accredited and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon is an essential part of what ensures your safety. Our board-certified plastic surgeons in Mexico offer a broad range of plastic surgery procedures to treat the face and body, and all of our medical specialists have undergone advanced training to be experts in their respective fields.


Checking Plastic Surgeons’ Credentials

If you’re considering coming to Mexico for any type of plastic surgery, we recommend that you research your prospective surgeon’s certifications. To confirm that they are a board-certified plastic surgeon, ask for their medical license number and the Mexican Association of Plastic, Aesthetic, and Reconstructive Surgery (AMCPER) certification.

In addition to verifying your board-certified plastic surgeon’s credentials in an online directory provided by AMCPER and checking for any suspensions levied on that doctor, you can visit Mexico’s National Registry of Professionals website, which lists physician credentials awarded by the country’s secretariat of public education. 

Where you choose to have your plastic surgery performed is almost as important as who does it. Few clinics in Tijuana are accredited by the AAAASF or the ISAP. These certifications, although not mandatory, indicate that the cosmetic surgery clinic to which you’re going exceeds international standards. 

The entire VIDA facility is accredited by the AAAASF — we were the first surgical center in Mexico to receive such accreditation. This accreditation ensures that our clinics are clean and comply with international standards. We have our own certified recovery beds, nursing staff with training, a post-procedure surgical center, and a Recovery Boutique that combines world-class surgical treatment with a luxurious place to recuperate. 

Read our 6 Myths About Plastic Surgery in Mexico for even more information about traveling to Tijuana for your procedure. We also recommend scheduling a free virtual consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon with whom you want to work and asking for a comprehensive, transparent, and itemized estimate for your surgery.