RenovateI found a doctor in Tijuana, Mexico who does PRP treatment for a fraction of the price in the U.S. I was quoted $1,200 per treatment in the U.S., and it Tijuana it is $200 per treatment if you buy a package of three. I did the treatments at Renovate Medical Center, which is walking distance from the border in California. The clinic is known for hair transplant and bariatric surgeries, but Dr. Charles Allesandrini also does PRP treatments.

I decided to try it on my face (the “vampire facial”). Heading by foot into Tijuana for a medical procedure is not for the timid. On the U.S. side you park at a border lot and walk under ominous metal sculptures and barbwire into Mexico, where you’re immediately met with beggars and taxi drivers trying to convince you into their cabs.

Renovate is about a ten-minute walk from the border, through a neighborhood that lets you know you’re not in San Diego anymore. The clinic is in an older stucco building painted green. At first my American sensibilities thought, this can’t possibly be it. But inside it’s clean and well appointed.

Dr. Allessandrini is a sweet doctor who gently reassured me through injections that feel like angry bee stings. Through talking with him I have learned people come from all over to him for budget PRP treatments, but mainly from Southern California.

Although I’ve had good experiences with the treatment, I did have problems with the staff not putting me on the schedule. So I’ve learned it’s important to call and confirm, maybe more than once. Due to this, I got a hurried treatment on one occasion and had one canceled entirely on a Friday afternoon, which meant more than two hours standing in line to get back in the U.S. Luckily I was there for work and could go back on Monday, when I got great service.

It sounds like they will be moving to a professional medical building, and three modern high-rise towers are under construction to serve the exploding medical tourism industry in Tijuana.

Does the treatment work? I don’t have a before and after photo and it’s not plastic surgery. I went primarily out of curiosity and to get over the medical tourism mental hurdle with something low-risk. As he’s an aesthetic doctor,  Dr. A doesn’t do PRP treatments for injured joints, like my ankle. I’m still hoping to find stem cell therapy for that purpose, as it’s more effective than PRP based on what I’ve read.

Since then, a friend of mine underwent stem cell therapy in San Diego for serious chronic back pain and said it was the most effective treatment yet, but the biopsy and treatment itself is pretty painful and felt invasive. Going to look into that more.

If you’ve had stem cell therapy, was it helpful? How was the treatment itself?