Frequently Asked Questions

Bariatric Technology & Equipment

1. Does the doctor use absorbable stitches to close the belly incisions?

  • Yes. For all wounds or belly incisions, the doctor will use absorbale stitches.

2. What brand of surgical “stapler” is used?

  • For the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and mini gastric bypass surgery, the surgeon uses several brands to operate with confidence and to handle the broadest range of tissues.
  • Covidien’s revoultionary new stapling system (EGIAUXL Endo GIA Ultra Generational XL)

3. What bougie size does the surgeon use?

  • Generally, the surgeon uses 36Fr or 40Fr bougies. The bougie serves as a measuring device in the form of a long and flexible tube. Its inserted through the mouth, esophagus and stomach directly to the pylorus (opening from the stomach into the duodenum or small intestine).
  • The surgeon uses the bougie to create a bulge which helps guide the stapler when dividing the stomach. Once the new sleeve is created, the surgeon then removes the bougie.
  • Gastric sleeve bougies vary in sizes and the unit of measurement is called a French (Fr) where 1F = 0.333 mm (1/3 mm). To put this into perspective, a 40F bougie = 1/2 inch. In the United States, standard bougie sizes range from 32-50Fr.

4. What brand of surgical “staples” are used?

  • For the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass and mini gastric bypass surgery, the surgeon uses approximately 5 cartridges of COVIDIEN or ETHICON.
  • COVIDIEN Endo GIA Articulating Reload with Tri-Staple Technology 60 mm Medium/Thick
  • ETHICON Endopath Echelon Gripping Surface Technology 60 mm Staple Line


5. How much weight will I loose after bariatric surgery?

  • It depends on the procedure and it will vary among patients because each person has a different BMI (body mass index) due to different heights and weights.
  • For weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery, clinical studies show the following averages:
    - 65-80% excess weight loss per national averages over 18-24 months after sleeve gastrectomy.
    - 55.4% excess weight loss reported in 24 studies (follow-up periods were 3-60 months).
    - 66% excess weight loss reported in a clinical trial (follow-up period was 36 months).
  • Most gastric sleeve patients can expect to lose 25-30 pounds in the first month after surgery and reach their weight goal within 9 months post surgery.
  • For weight loss after gastric bypass surgery, clinical studies show the following averages.
    - Gastric bypass patients lose about 70% of their excess body weight after surgery (first 24 months).
    - Studies show gastric bypass patients are able to keep > 61% of the excess body weight off for up to 20 years.

6. How much does bariatric surgery cost?

  • Generally, the cost for bariatric surgery without insurance in the U.S. and Canada ranges from $9,000 to $35,000. And surveys show that the average cost is about $20,000.
  • This extraordinary high cost is the primary reason that most people choose to travel abroad to Mexico, because they can have the same procedure at a fraction of the cost (up to 70% cheaper).
  • For example, with Jet Medical Tourism the cost of bariatric surgery in Mexico ranges from about $3,999 to $7,500. The cost difference is due to several variables such as surgeon experience, hospital fees and location in Mexico.
  • If you’re on a tight financial budget, having bariatric surgery in Mexico could be a smart choice because the cost savings is significant. The fact is, Mexico has earned a reputation as a world-leader in providing low cost bariatric surgery.

7. Can bariatric surgery cure diabetes?

  • Yes. Whether you have bariatric surgery in Mexico or in your home country, reports show that over 50% of patients with type 2 diabetes experience remission and 90% experience improvement after weight loss surgery.

8. What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?

  • The greatest benefits of bariatric surgery are dramatic weight loss and improved health. Research supports the health benefits associated with with gastric sleeve surgery.
  • The following table shows obesity-related health problems that were resolved or improved due to vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) procedures.
  • Have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea?
  • If yes, undergoing gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico may help you resolve or improve these medical conditions.
Health Problem (Comorbidity) Resolved Improved
Type 2 Diabetes 56%1 37%1
High Blood Pressure 49%1 29%
High Cholesterol 67%2 38%
Obstructive Sleep Apnea 60%1 33%

†Medical terminology defines “resolved” as removing all known symptoms and signs of the condition or disease. Medical terminology defines “improved” as reducing the known symptoms and signs of the condition or disease.

9. What are the risks of bariatric surgery?

  • The risks of bariatric surgery vary by surgical procedure. Some risks that are common across all weight loss surgeries (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, mini gastric bypass, etc) include: acid reflux, chronic nausea and vomiting, obstruction of stomach and dilation of esophagus. Your bariatric surgeon will review the potential risks and complications with you before surgery.

10. Am I a candidate for weight loss surgery?

  • Qualifications for bariatric surgery in most cases include:
  • Body mass index (BMI) > 30
  • You attempted to lose weight with diet and exercise, but were not successful
  • BMI > 29 and suffer from negative health conditions related to obesity such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis or sleep apnea

11. What is bariatrics?

  • Bariatrics refers to the study, diagnosis and treatment of obesity and its causes. According to Wikipedia, the field of bariatrics includes dieting, exercise and behavioral therapy approaches to weight loss, as well as pharmacotherapy and surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Revision

12. I’m I a good candidate for a gastric re-sleeve?

  • You might be a good candidate for a gastric re-sleeve if you have the following 2 symptoms which indicate dilation of your stomach: 1) increase in the food intake, and 2) regaining weight.
  • The surgeon will perform a swallow test or endoscopy to determine if your stomach is in fact dilated. If yes, he may recommend a gastric a re-sleeve.
  • If the stomach is not dilated maybe you need a malababsortion procedure like gastric bypass or mini-gastric bypass.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery

13. What are the expected results of weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery?

  • It depends and it will vary because each person has a different BMI (body mass index) due to different heights and weights.
  • For weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery, clinical studies show the following averages:
  • Most patients can expect to lose 25-30 pounds in the first month after gastric sleeve surgery.
  • And reach their weight goal within 9 months post surgery.
  • 65-80% excess weight loss per national averages over 18-24 months after sleeve gastrectomy.
  • 55.4% excess weight loss reported in 24 studies (follow-up periods were 3-60 months).1
  • 66% excess weight loss reported in a clinical trial (follow-up period was 36 months).3

14. Does the surgeon reinforce the sleeve?

  • Yes. Surgeons most always will reinforce the sleeve with suture.

15. What are the risks of gastric sleeve?

  • The risks associated with gastric sleeve surgery are uncommon, but do exist. For example, difficulty swallowing may occur only temporarily due to having a narrow digestive tube.
  • However, it’s usually resolved between 1 to 3 months after gastric sleeve surgery. Gastro esophageal reflux is a minor complication and resolves with antacid medicine. It’s important to know if you had Gastro esophageal reflux or hiatal hernia prior to gastric sleeve surgery.
  • Other less common risks are: gastric sleeve leakage of the staple line (occurs in less than 2%), bleeding (occurs in less than 3%) and stenosis (occurs in less than 1%).

Patient Testimonials

16. Are there patient testimonials I can watch?

  • Yes, of course. Patient testimonials are posted to provide you with a representation of what our satisfied patients have to say about their experience.
  • Our dedication to customer service and high-quality patient care is what inspires positive patient reviews

Pregnancy After Bariatric Surgery

17. What vitamin and mineral supplementation is best for me and my baby?

  • Women who become pregnant after bariatric surgery may require additional supplementation to ensure proper nutrition for both you and your baby. Its a good idea to have your blood work checked throughout the year to make sure that you are absorbing sufficient levels of nutrients.
  • The most common vitamins and minerals for pregnant women after bariatric surgery are iron, calcium, folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin B12.
  • Talk with our Food and Nutrition expert and they can help you choose the right vitamin and supplements.

18. Do I need to continue to eat protein during pregnancy?

  • Yes. It is critical that you eat enough protein each day to support your baby’s growth and development. For some women, protein intake may be difficult because their body cannot tolerate many of the protein-rich foods post bariatric surgery.
  • Try your best to first eat food rich in protein before any other food. This will help increase your protein intake. Also, slow down at meal times by chewing your food slow and thoroughly.
  • If you need help with food and nutrition related topics, our Food and Nutrition experts will help you.

19. Can I get pregnant after bariatric surgery?

  • Yes. Weight loss surgery can actually help boost a woman’s fertility so they can start ovulating regularly. For some women, obesity can make it very difficult to become pregnant so bariatric surgery actually helps.

20. How soon after bariatric surgery can I get pregnant?

  • It is recommended that women wait 16 to 24 months after bariatric surgery before trying to get pregnant due to the dramatic weight loss and risk of nutritional deficiencies after surgery.
  • This provides your body enough time to adjust to the stressful changes while achieving a stable weight. Avoiding pregnancy during the period of “rapid and dramatic weight loss” will protect you and your new born baby from potential malnutrition.

Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

21. Should I take a laxative prior to bariatric surgery?

  • Yes. It’s recommended that you take a single laxative 2 days before having bariatric surgery. This will help with gas and constipation related to weight loss surgery.

22. Should I stop drinking carbonated beverages prior to bariatric surgery?

  • Yes. Stop drinking all carbonated beverages prior to having bariatric surgery.

23. Should I stop caffeine prior to bariatric surgery?

  • Yes. Stop all beverages with caffeine 14 days prior surgery to avoid painful post-surgery headaches. Caffeine is a diuretic and may contribute to some dehydration during and after bariatric surgery which is not desirable. Also stop all carbonated beverages.

24. Should I stop taking medications prior to bariatric surgery?

  • Your treating physician will likely recommend that you stop taking aspirin or related anti-inflammatory medicines (lbuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Aleve, etc) 14 days prior to surgery.
  • Anticlotting, also known as anticoagulant drugs should be suspended 5 days prior to surgery, unless otherwise indicated by the treating physician. This will help avoid bleeding.
  • All other prescription medications should be communicated to your surgeon’s team on your health questionnaire or your local physician prior to scheduling your surgery.

25. Do I avoid gaining extra weight prior to my surgery?

  • It is highly recommended that you not gain weight while preparing for bariatric surgery. The best course of action is to avoid late-night suppers and over eating.

26. Should I start to exercise?

  • Yes. It is recommended that you start walking for 30 minutes a day. If you have to, break this up into smaller time limits but create a consistent plan of physical activity. The goal is to start moving in order to promote blood flow circulation, prevent blood clots and improve your health.
  • The best advice is to find an activity that you enjoy and focus on frequency vs intensity. Remember, the goal is just to start moving your body parts. You can add a few extra minutes of time to each day of activity. Make sure that you first consult with your doctor before you begin an exercise program.
  • If you need motivation and support, please call Jet Medical Tourism and we help you.

27. Should I stop smoking before bariatric surgery?

  • Yes. You should stop smoking and using tobacco products 14 days to 2 months prior to having bariatric surgery. This will allow your lungs to better provide oxygen to your blood, which can help decrease the risk of infection and pneumonia. It also helps improve wound healing.
  • Reports show that smoking dramatically increases the risk of potential complications after weight loss surgery such as lung problems, promotes infection and interferes with blood flow to tissues that are healing. It also increases your risk for ulcers. When you stop smoking, it shows your commitment to a new and healthier lifestyle.

Revision of Previous Lap Band Surgery

28. Previous lap band removal and scar tissue?

  • If you had a previous lap band removed then wanted to have gastric sleeve surgery, this would be considered a revision procedure.
  • Yes. There will be more scar tissue on the inside. But on the outside, the scar tissue could be the same as the previous surgery.
  • The surgeon would try to enter by the same incisions, but there are occasions where new incisions are made. This creates 2 new tiny scars the size of the previous ones.

29. Can my existing lap band removed at the same time as gastric sleeve?

  • Yes. Most of the time, the surgeon can perform both procedures at the same time. 
  • However, you should know that if the surgeon discovers gastric erosion or very thick tissue, then it is recommended to perform the procedure in 2 steps:
    - 1st step – remove the lap band, and
    - 2nd step – wait 3 to 6 months then perform the gastric sleeve procedure
  • The surgeon can decide the best course of action at time of endoscopy, swallow test or during the actual surgery.
  • The chances of not having the lap band removed at the same time as the gastric sleeve procedure was reported at less than 5.0%.

Related lap band articles

  • Lap band revision surgery in Mexico
  • Lap band erosion: diagnosis, pictures, treatment and recovery
  • What is lap band removal surgery
  • Lap band slippage: causes, symptoms and treatment
  • Lap band removal after 10 years: everything you need to know
  • Gastric sleeve vs gastric bypass vs lap band
  • Should you consider lap band to gastric sleeve conversion surgery
  • Can my existing lap band be removed at same as gastric sleeve

Vitamins After Bariatric Surgery

30. What are some of the recommended bariatric vitamins?

  • Depending on the procedure, initial weight loss after bariatric surgery may occur fast, so it’s critical that your body gets all of the nutrition and vitamins it needs as you recover from the procedure. Your bariatric surgeon will prescribe the vitamins and supplements that your body needs. 
  • Multivitamins. Take high-potency chewable multivitamins or a liquid multivitamin that contains at least 15 mg of iron, 390 mcg of folic acid, selenium, copper and zinc. Take 2 tablets daily during the first 3 months after your bariatric surgery, then 1 tablet daily for life.
  • Calcium Supplement. Take 1,200 to 1,500 mg of a chewable supplement daily to prevent calcium deficiency and bone disease. To help increase absorption, take the calcium in “2 to 3 single doses” throughout the day. For example, take a 400 to 500 mg calcium supplement 3 times a day separated by at least 4 hours. Limit 1 dose to 600 mg which is the maximum the body can absorb at one time. Buy calcium supplements with Vitamin D – it helps the body absorb calcium.
  • Vitamin B12 Supplement. Take 500 mcg of vitamin B12 daily after your bariatric surgery to help prevent bone fractures. Patients who develop vitamin B12 deficiency often take shots of vitamin B12 to help with malabsorption following weight loss surgery.
  • Vitamin D Supplement. Take 1,000 to 1,600 International Units (IUs) of vitamin D daily to help stop bone loss.

31. Will I have to take vitamins after bariatric surgery?

  • Yes. One of the major commitments related to bariatric surgery is taking vitamins for the rest of your life. Vitamins are important after bariatric surgery because your stomach will be much smaller and you will be eating much less.
  • As a result, there will be fewer calories and nutrients for your body to absorb. To prevent nutrient deficiencies, you may need higher doses of certain vitamins or minerals (Iron, Calcium, Vitamin D and B12).
  • Most bariatric surgeons recommend that you have bi-annual blood checks to ensure that your body is absorbing sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals. Medical problems can occur if you do not take your vitamins daily.
  • Some problems include fatigue, dizziness, weak or broken bones, tingling of hands/fee and difficulty walking. Find a reputable bariatric vitamin and supplement brand and stick with it.
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Jet Medical Tourism®

Jet Medical Tourism® offers superior-quality weight loss surgery and plastic surgery at affordable prices to US and Canadian patients. Our highly-skilled surgeons manage every aspect of your care at surgical centers in Tijuana, Mexico and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Get started today by calling (855) 506-6188

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Tijuana, BC 22010

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