When Andy Dijak injured his right knee playing tennis, he wasn't surprised that he needed surgery. "It swelled up like a balloon," said the 50-year-old West Lake resident. ¶ The real shocker was the price tag: $12,000 to $15,000 to repair tattered cartilage. Dijak, a creative director for an entertainment company, has no health insurance, so he started shopping for a deal. ¶ He found it in the northern Mexico city of Monterrey at Christus Muguerza High Specialty Hospital, owned by Dallas-based Christus Health. Here, the staff treated him more like a big shot than a bargain hunter. An English-speaking employee picked him up at the airport. Dijak recuperated in a private hospital room with a flat-screen television and a view of the peaks of the Sierra Madre. His surgeon recorded the operation on video and gave Dijak a DVD copy for his peace of mind. ¶ Total cost, including airfare: $4,500. ¶ "I got better care there than I would have in the United States, unless I were a billionaire," he said. ¶ Americans have long been willing to leave the country for bargain face-lifts and cut-rate dentistry. But now the availability of top-notch medical services at low cost is enticing a growing number of U.S. patients to developing nations for more sophisticated procedures. Most, like Dijak, are obtaining elective surgeries for ailments that aren't life-threatening. Increasingly, they are seeking treatment for more serious conditions, including heart maladies and cancer.