Dr. Elias Ortiz, Chief Surgeon
- Professional License Number: 8684409
- Federal Taxpayers Registry: OIGJ810323D28
- CURP: OIGJ810323HBCRMS08
- View IFSO Certificate
- View License
(Swipe to view more)
*Individual results vary, results not guaranteed.
All Inclusive Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico
Starting at $4495
The price includes your entire stay with Elias Ortiz & Company including your travel companion and 5-Star hotel stay, no hidden charges.
Learn More About Gastric Sleeve Surgery
What is a gastric sleeve?
A gastric sleeve surgery, also referred to as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy or VSG, is a laparoscopic surgery performed to remove up to 80 percent of the stomach.
This leaves a small, banana-shaped pouch that can hold only a small amount of food. This restriction in food intake helps with weight loss. Additionally, the procedure also affects hormones that regulate hunger, making patients feel less hungry overall.
It is important to note that this bariatric surgery is not reversible, so it is crucial to discuss all options and potential risks with your healthcare provider before making a decision.
Unlike other weight loss surgeries that reroute the stomach and intestines to allow food to pass more quickly through them, this surgery works by significantly restricting the size of the stomach so that patients can no longer eat as much as they once could at each meal. Unlike some older weight loss surgeries, the sleeve gastrectomy is a one-step procedure that does not require any follow-up surgeries or adjustments in the future.
During the surgery, small incisions are made on the patient’s abdomen to allow the insertion of instruments. Once inside the abdomen, the doctor will staple and further suture a majority of the stomach shut to decrease the organ’s size. However, the stomach’s inlet and outlet remain in the same place. Once this step is complete, they will close the small incisions, and the patient will be sent to recovery. Because of the ease of this procedure, most VSGs take 45 minutes or less to complete.
Because each person’s stomach is a unique shape and size, the final size of this organ will vary among individuals. However, during the procedure, a measuring device is used to determine that the final size is healthy and ideal for the individual. Most people can fit from two to five ounces in their stomachs at one time following bariatric surgery.
Who is a good candidate for the gastric sleeve procedure?
Gastric sleeve surgery is typically recommended for individuals who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. However, each patient is unique and eligibility for gastric sleeve surgery will depend on various factors, including medical history, current health status, and your weight loss goals. It is important to speak with a qualified bariatric surgeon to determine if gastric sleeve surgery is a suitable option for you.
What are the benefits of gastric sleeve
The benefits of this bariatric surgery include significant and sustained weight loss, improvement or resolution of obesity-related health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, improved mobility and quality of life, and reduced risk of developing obesity-related diseases in the future.
The gastric sleeve reduces the space for food as well as the production of hormones that make you hungry
The gastric sleeve is popular for a reason with approximately 59 percent of people who receive weight loss surgery choose gastric sleeve surgery these days.
Of course the most noticeable benefit is weight loss. Studies have shown that nearly all patients maintain their exceptional weight loss over the succeeding years with many reporting long-term loss of at least 50 percent of their excess weight. Not only are patients no longer able to eat as much at each meal as they once were, but also they do not have as many feelings of hunger because the stomach cells that produced the hunger hormone known as ghrelin are removed. Most patients no longer feel the overwhelming urge to eat so often or so much at one time following surgery and instead finally feel full after eating only a very small amount.
It’s minimally invasive
The gastric sleeve procedure is minimally invasive as it is performed laparoscopically which leads to a shorter recovery time compared to other bariatric surgeries.
A reduction of certain existing diseases and risks for future diseases
However, tens of thousands of patients choose this weight loss surgery for more than just losing weight. Gastrectomy can significantly reduce one’s risk for a variety of dangerous diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and high blood pressure, and may even be able to resolve or decrease symptoms from diseases that coexist with obesity.
An improvement in one’s quality of life
This surgery can also significantly improve one’s quality of life by improving his outlook on life, one’s body confidence and future opportunities at work or in personal relationships. Many patients feel inspired to improve other areas of their health following surgery and find it easier to exercise regularly as well.
It is important to note that in order to receive the full benefits of bariatric surgery, you must consider it to be a tool to assist with weight loss. It should be accompanied by lifestyle changes such as healthy eating habits and regular exercise in order to maximize weight loss and reduce disease and other health risks of obesity.
What diseases can gastric sleeve bariatric loss surgery reduce or eliminate?
Gastric sleeve bariatric surgery has been shown to effectively reduce or eliminate certain obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint pain. However, it’s important to note that each individual case is unique and results may vary. It’s important to discuss your personal medical history and goals with a qualified healthcare provider to determine if gastric sleeve surgery is right for you.
Can gastric sleeve surgery help reduce prescription medications I take?
Another pro of this bariatric surgery is it can potentially help reduce the amount of prescription medications you take.
As you lose weight following the procedure, you may experience improvements in certain health conditions that were previously managed with medication. However, it’s important to discuss any medication changes with your healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective management of your health conditions.
After bariatric surgery, you may see the number on the scale get lower and start feeling great, but you never want to stop taking medications without the approval of your doctor or whoever prescribed the medications to you. Again, you are unique. Just because another patient was able to stop medication for their health condition does not guarantee that you can as well. You should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician prior to discontinuing medication as it likely requires lab work and other analysis to make the proper decision in your personal case.
Is gastric sleeve surgery painful?
Most patients report minimal pain and discomfort after the gastric sleeve Bariatric surgery which is one advantage of the surgery being performed laproscopically. You will be prescribed pain medication to help manage any discomfort you may experience. It is important to discuss any concerns about pain management with your bariatric surgeon.
How much weight will I lose after having the gastric sleeve procedure?
Following a gastric sleeve surgery, patients can expect to lose a significant amount of weight.
The amount of weight you can expect to lose with a gastric sleeve bariatric surgery varies from person to person. However, typically patients lose around 50-70% of their excess weight within the first two years after surgery.
It’s very important to keep in mind that the success of the surgery also depends on making lifestyle changes such as healthy eating habits and regular exercise.
As long as patients follow post-operative instructions, follow the recommended nutritional plan, exercise regularly and deal with any other hormonal or emotional issues that could also be affecting their weight and overall health, they have a high chance at successfully meet post-surgical expectations within two years following surgery.
Ultimately, the amount of weight one loses following gastric sleeve surgery depends on his or her weight prior to surgery and how well they follow their post-op instructions. All patients must have a BMI of at least 30 prior to surgery, and most patients are deemed to be severely obese with BMIs well over 40.
If I don’t lose enough weight with the gastric sleeve surgery, what can I do?
It’s very important to have an open and honest conversation about weight loss surgery with your doctor prior to surgery about your weight loss goals, health conditions, and any concerns you have related to your surgery. This allows your surgeon to pair the proper weight loss surgery with your specific needs.
That said, the gastric sleeve surgery is the most popular weight loss surgery for a reason: it is a highly effective weight loss procedure. However, in some exceptional cases where the desired weight loss is not achieved, revision surgery may be an option. The specific revision options will depend on your individual circumstances and the recommendation of your bariatric surgeon.
One example of a bariatric revision surgery that is possible after having the gastric sleeve is to convert a gastric sleeve into a Roux-En-Y (RnY) gastric bypass. Not every patient is a suitable candidate for a gastric bypass surgery via a revision like this so it’s important to have a detailed conversation with your bariatric surgeon to discuss your options.
What’s recovery like after having the procedure?
You will have a specialized diet and exercise program after surgery
Recovery after gastric sleeve bariatric surgery can vary from person to person, but in general, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for one to two days after the procedure. During this time, you will receive pain medication and fluids intravenously. Once discharged, you will need to follow a strict liquid diet for the first week or two, followed by a gradual transition to soft foods and eventually solid foods. It is important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions regarding diet and exercise after weight loss surgery to ensure a successful recovery. You may experience some discomfort and fatigue in the first few weeks, but most patients are able to return to work and normal activities within a few weeks. Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon and a registered dietitian are crucial to ensure long-term success and weight loss maintenance.
You will likely need to take vitamins
It is highly recommended to take nutritional supplements and vitamins to ensure that your body is receiving all the necessary nutrients. This is because this weight loss surgery reduces the size of your stomach, which limits the amount of food you can eat, and therefore, the amount of nutrients you can consume. The supplements and vitamins help to bridge the gap and ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients. The length of time you will need to take supplements and vitamins varies from patient to patient, but typically, it is recommended to continue taking them for the rest of your life. Your healthcare provider will provide you with specific instructions on which supplements and vitamins to take, in what dosage, and for how long.
You may lose a lot of weight quickly
Weight loss will begin quickly but will happen at a healthy rate. During this period of becoming used to major body changes, individuals may experience certain symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue and mood changes, that should level out within the first six months following surgery.
How much does the gastric sleeve in Mexico cost vs. in the USA?
Gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico is roughly 60% less than the USA
The cost of a gastric sleeve surgery with an inpatient hospital stay in the United States averages out at well over $25,000 for numerous patients although some can find it as low as $15,000 depending on where they live and what insurance provider they have. Costs depend on the following:
- Inpatient stay fees
- Surgical fees
- Physician fees
- Anesthesiology fees
- Laboratory work and x-ray costs
- Preliminary and follow-up appointment costs
This high cost is the reason that many Americans are turning to gastric sleeve procedures in Mexico rather than having them stateside.
Surgical costs in Mexico are significantly less with our all-inclusive Gastric Sleeve costing $4,495. This is due to economic reasons such as US dollar being worth many times as mcuh as the Mexican Peso and lower cost of living and wages in Mexico. The US also has inflated healthcare costs due to fighting between hospitals and the insurance companies.
This makes gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico up to 60 percent less expensive for most patients than the same procedure in the United States would be.
What are the risks
Severe complications are very low
Every surgery comes with some risks because of its invasive nature. While patients should certainly realize the risk for complications and side effects with this procedure, they should also be aware that severe complications happen with less than 1 percent of procedures.
If you’re concerned about the surgery or are interested in seeing what living with the gastric sleeve is like long-term, consider joining our Facebook support group to meet past patients who have lived with the surgery for many years.
The most common risks when undergoing gastric sleeve surgery include the following:
- Post-operative bleeding
- Complications from anesthesia
- Blood clots in the legs
- Breathing issues
- Leaking from the stomach staple line
However, some complications do not show up for some time following surgery. The most common long-term side effects from a sleeve gastrectomy include the following:
- Poor nutrition
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Stomach leaking
- Intestinal blockage
Why Mexico instead of the USA for gastric sleeve surgery?
Surgery in Mexico is cheaper and more affordable than paying out of pocket in the USA
First and foremost, the cost of the weight loss surgery in Mexico is typically much lower than in the United States, making it more financially accessible for Americans.
Gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico is becoming increasingly popular and has swiftly become the most popular out-of-country surgery for Americans. It is particularly popular among Americans who have no insurance coverage or whose insurance does not cover weight loss surgeries.
The surgeons and facilities are specialized for Bariatric surgery
Not only is gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico cheaper than the same procedure in the United States, but also some of the best and most highly educated weight loss surgeons practice in towns just across the U.S. border, specifically working with American men and women.
Additionally, many Mexican hospitals and clinics offer state-of-the-art medical facilities and highly qualified bariatric surgeons who have received extensive training and experience in performing weight loss surgery.
Bariatric surgeons in Mexico receive medical training and become specialists in a few select bariatric procedures instead of primarily performing general surgery and then additionally offering weight loss surgery.
For example, the chief bariatric surgeon of Elias Ortiz and Company, Dr. Elias Ortiz, has performed over 20,000 weight loss surgeries, with the majority of them being the gastric sleeve.
Elias Ortiz and Company has surgeons who specialize in only a few weight loss surgeries:
- Gastric Sleeve (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy)
- Gastric Bypass (Roux-En-Y)
- Mini Gastric Bypass (MGB)
- Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty (ESG)
- Bariatric revision surgeries where the surgeon is converting between previous weight loss surgeries to one of the above.
For more information about our bariatric surgeons including their certifications, credentials, and expertise please see each of their profiles on our website:
Ease of travel to Tijuana, Mexico just 30 minutes from downtown San Diego, CA
Tijuana, Mexico, located just south of San Diego, is a hot spot for medical tourism because travel to this city is usually quite simple and cheap. Travel to Tijuana is also incredibly safe, and most traveling there only need a passport card rather than a passport book for flying from the United States.
Much shorter wait times for surgery
Finally, the wait time to receive gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico is often much shorter than in the United States, and can be years shorter than Canada, allowing patients to begin their weight loss journey and receive the benefits of weight loss surgery sooner.
Is surgery in Mexico safe
It can be easy to second-guess an out-of-country surgical procedure, and it is certainly vital that potential patients carefully look into any doctors, clinics or hospitals that they choose in Mexico.
However, most people having gastric sleeve surgeries in Mexico have overwhelmingly positive experiences, are pleased with their outcomes and love the amount of money that they can save.
Despite all of the news about dangerous conditions in Mexico, most tourist areas remain quite safe. This is particularly true of Tijuana, which lies just over the U.S. border and which is only a 30-minute drive from San Diego.
How should I prepare for gastric sleeve bariatric loss surgery?
Before your gastric sleeve surgery, it is important to follow the pre-operative diet and exercise plan prescribed by your doctor. This may include reducing your calorie and carbohydrate intake, increasing your protein intake, and incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine. It is also important to inform your doctor of any medications or supplements you are currently taking, as they may need to be adjusted before or after the surgery. Additionally, it is important to have a support system in place, such as family and friends who can help you during your recovery period.
What should I pack for travel to Mexico
Those beginning their medical trips to Mexico with a brief tourism interlude will certainly want to bring warm-weather apparel, swimsuits, hiking shoes and other clothing and accessories appropriate for their desired daily excursions.
However, because this trip is about more than just exploring a new city, travelers will also want to bring certain items to keep them comfortable while in the hospital and for use during their trips home.
Some items are difficult if not impossible to find in Mexico. Therefore, patients will want to come prepared with over-the-counter anti-gas medication and anti-diarrheal medication to help with post-operative digestive concerns. Those who take other prescription medications at home should bring these with them because they will probably not have access to them at the surgical facility. A heating pad can also bring relief to the surgical area. If you use a CPAP machine, you need to bring this with you.
Other items that can be handy for traveling or for recuperating in the hospital include the following:
- Comfortable pajamas
- A refillable water bottle
- A neck pillow
- A sleep mask
- Flushable wipes
- Insect repellant
- Credit cards
- Some cash
Of course, patients should also remember to bring their medical records along because these can be invaluable to the surgeon providing the care. These records are particularly important for those who have preexisting conditions that could affect their surgeries and recovery times. Medical records should always be carried by hand and should never be placed in checked luggage.
Keep in mind that the weather in Tijuana is usually quite moderate with daily temperatures throughout most of the year ranging from a comfortable 65 degrees to 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, most people will feel comfortable in shorts or capris and may want to bring a pair of pants and a light jacket to cover up with during the evening. The most comfortable clothes to wear after surgery are stretchy, knit garments that have loose waistbands. For a short trip, most people will be able to fit everything they need into a carry-on and a personal item if flying.