How do I know if I’m a candidate for bariatric surgery?

To quality for bariatric surgery, a person must be considered severely or morbidly obese. These conditions are typically defined by a BMI over 35, weight that is roughly 100 pounds more than the recommended body weight based on a person’s height and age, as well as associated medical conditions.

Potential bariatric candidates must also be able to show that they have tried, but have been unable to lose weight through a variety of diet and exercise programs. In general, patients should be between the ages of 18 and 65. For more information about candidacy and calculating your BMI, visit Am I A Candidate?

What are the benefits of bariatric surgery?

From improving mental health issues to reducing physical ailments, bariatric surgery can improve your health, lengthen your life span and potentially eliminate many diseases and health problems liked to severe obesity. As weight loss occurs following a bariatric procedure, patients are likely to experience improvements with many major medical conditions, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Venous Stasis Disease
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Depression
  • Liver Disease
  • Arthritis
  • High Cholesterol
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Chronic Headaches/Migraines

Bariatric Surgery

How much weight can I expect to lose after bariatric surgery?

The amount of weight a patient loses following bariatric surgery depends on a number of factors, including:

  • Type of procedure performed
  • Weight and health prior to surgery
  • Commitment to post-surgery diet and exercise program

More information about typical weight loss results for each type of surgery can be found in the Procedures section.

What are the risks of bariatric surgery?

As with any surgery or use of anesthesia, there is always a risk for complications. At Mexico Bariatric Team, we take precautions to ensure that these risks are minimized, by properly evaluating the physical and emotional health of all of our patients prior to undergoing a bariatric procedure. Some of the more common complications experienced by patients are typically minor in nature, such as urinary tract infections, abdominal wall muscle spasms and nausea. Contact us for more information on risks associated with specific bariatric procedures.

How long will I be in the hospital after surgery?

The length of time you’ll be required to stay in the hospital will vary depending on your type of bariatric procedure. Patients must stay in the hospital until their physicians feel they are functioning self-sufficiently. The average stay is 1-2 days for a laparoscopic band procedure, 2-3 days for laparoscopic gastric bypass and 5-7 days for an open gastric bypass.

How long will it take for me to achieve my desired weight after surgery?

Weight loss results vary from patient to patient and also depend on your type of bariatric procedure. Most patients who undergo bariatric surgery achieve amazing results, typically losing about 80% of their excess body weight within 1-2 years after their procedure. Surgery should only be considered if you are willing to make significant diet, exercise and lifestyle changes necessary to achieve your target BMI and maintain your weight loss.

After surgery, will I be in any pain? How long before I can return to my normal activities? 

As with any surgery, you can expect to experience some discomfort following your procedure. Our physicians make every attempt to control your pain following surgery to speed your recovery. Various methods of pain control may be used, including a variety of medications, depending on your type of bariatric surgery.

 Will I have a restricted diet after surgery?

You should not consider bariatric surgery unless you are committed to making drastic diet changes after surgery. Following your bariatric procedure, we will provide you with strict diet guidelines that will help you achieve the best results. Often times, you may be required to adhere to a liquid diet, followed by semi-solids for about 4-6 weeks after surgery to ensure maximum healing.

Once I lose my excess weight, will I be left with hanging, saggy skin?

Unfortunately, most people who qualify for bariatric surgery have already stretched their skin beyond its natural elasticity limits, making it very difficult for the excess skin to adapt after a significant weight loss. For these individuals, it is common that many seek to have plastic surgery to remove the excess skin. It is important to consult with your surgeon to discuss if you are a good candidate for skin removal surgery.

Cost and Insurance

How much does bariatric surgery cost? 

Price will vary depending on the type of bariatric procedure you need. Typically, patients who have bariatric surgery at Mexico Bariatric Team experience savings of 30-70% over standard U.S. prices, which can range between $12,000 and $35,000. This is why every year, more and more Americans and Canadians are traveling to Mexico Bariatric Team to receive world-class bariatric weight loss surgery at deeply discounted prices.

Will my insurance cover bariatric surgery?

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery varies greatly from policy to policy. Insurers typically have very strict criteria that a patient must meet to qualify for bariatric coverage. It is important for patients to consult with their insurance company prior to making a decision to pursue bariatric surgery, as not all insurers cover these procedures.

Medical Travel

Why is medical care more affordable in Mexico?

Operating expenses in Mexico today are much lower than in countries like the U.S. and Canada. We have lower construction and operating costs, which allows us to offer a high level of technology and quality medical care. Additionally, costs are typically lower due to the following:

  • Favorable exchange rates
  • Lower government taxes
  • Less administrative paper shuffling
  • Less expensive medical supplies/equipment/medications

I’m still not sure about receiving medical care outside of the U.S. How can I trust the quality of care at Mexico Bariatric Team?

Dr. Juan Arellano is Board Certified in General Surgery, just like surgeons in the U.S. and Canada. Mexico Bariatric Team and Dr. Arellano abide by international standards for quality health care and patient safety, and is an active member of several professional organizations and associations throughout the world that focus on obesity and surgery.

What type of travel documents do I need?

A valid passport is a must for travel to Mexico. Your passport should be valid for at least another 6 months from your date of travel. If it is about to expire, get it renewed before you travel. Bring important medical documents with you, such as x-rays, MRI reports and any important information that Dr. Arellano and his medical team should know.

What is the currency in Mexicali and do I need to exchange my money?

U.S. Dollars are accepted everywhere in Mexicali. ATMs are plentiful throughout the tourist areas. It’s very easy to withdraw cash at these locations or to pay with your credit card.