We offer a special “buddy” discount of $150 off each procedure for patients who schedule their surgeries together for the same date. To be eligible, patients are required to share transportation and a room at the hotel and hospital.
Yes, of course. Normally, all patients have difficult veins because they’ve been doing a special diet; you’re fasting at that time and traveling. Many of the patients are dehydrated, and the anxiety and nervousness about the surgery add to that. Normally it’s hard to find veins in that type of patient. We have personnel with a lot of expertise in getting an IV on difficult patients, so it’s no problem. We also have special vein finder equipment, and we do this all day so that getting your IV in won’t be a problem.
How to finance my medical expenses with personal loans?MBC Editor2023-05-26T18:59:53+00:00
A personal loan is a form of cash advance that can be used without limitations. Receiving funds is quick, and repaying the loan is expected in short to medium term. Some lenders give you better rates by considering your education, employment history, etc.
Avoid making too many loan inquiries in a short period of time, as it could affect your credit score.
For example, let’s say you need $4,000 to pay for gastric sleeve surgery and are approved for a 2-year loan at a 20.00% annual percentage rate (APR). Over two years, you’d pay back about $4,655 over 24 monthly payments at $193.95. You can compare personal loan financing options here.
Best places to secure a personal loan:
Partnership with SuperMoney.com
Banks (needs excellent credit history)
Credit Unions (lower rates and low credit scores)
Peer-to-Peer / Marketplace Lenders (average to fair credit)
Online Lenders (relaxed credit requirements and quick funding)
Due to COVID-19, visitors are not allowed to stay in the hospital. There is free complimentary breakfast in the hotel for your companion.
We currently do have hospital visiting hours so that companions can visit patients at the hospital. Transportation is included for these visits.
Besides that, there are still plenty of activities your companion can do to stay busy. There are many amazing restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. They can also visit nearby attractions like casinos, parks, shopping centers, and beaches. Keep in mind your companion will be in charge of arranging their own transportation (unless they are visiting the patient at the hospital during visiting hours), which can be easily done through Uber (affordable and popular in Tijuana), the free Hotel Shuttle, renting a Taxi, or with our drivers if possible.
Immediately after the bariatric procedure, the wound is closed using dissolvable, nylon sutures. The better you dress your wounds, the better the chance will be of avoiding infection or serious side effects.
Drains are used on patients to filter out the blood in the abdominal cavity and reduce the pain and the adhesions of the patient. Drains also help determine if the patient will have any surgery complications.
In order to schedule your surgery date, we first need a security deposit. The required deposit is $350 (non-refundable) or $500 (partially refundable). You can pay your deposit here. After you make your payment, please reach out to your patient coordinator to get your surgery officially scheduled.
If you need to change your surgery date, we do allow 1 reschedule. If you reschedule more than one time, we require an additional $350 (non-refundable) deposit which is also applied to your final balance. You must make your final payment or have proof (if cashier’s check or cash) 21 days prior to your surgery date!
The first question to ask is, “what is normal?” The average American is overweight or obese, so more than likely you never want to go back to “normal” eating habits. The key to long-term success is finding healthy eating habits that work for you.
After surgery, we have several steps. The progression of the bariatric meal plan starts by resting and hydrating the body with a clear liquid diet, then focusing on getting proper protein through thick liquids. Third, you focus on increasing calories with soft solids and lastly you create variety through whole foods. When you reach the solid phase, which will vary for each individual patient, you must find out which food works best for you.
In this last phase, with a lifestyle change, there is more to adapt besides food; social adaptation, and how to live outside your home. When you’re with friends, when you’re out for dinner; at this time you’ll have more chances to know what type of foods you can tolerate. The journey is in knowing what foods you can enjoy, normally six or seven months after surgery. It will be different if you’re trying to lose fat versus trying to maintain your current weight. Generally, by this time you will be comfortable with the foods you can eat and control portions.
Yes, we have a drain primarily to remove excess fluid and also to help identify “bleeding” complications. It will be removed before you leave the hospital. Our doctors use drains because it removes the blood in the abdominal cavity, which will reduce the pain and the adhesions of the patient. Ultimately, having a drain is an easy way to avoid post-surgery complications. Drains are removed on the 2nd day, which coincides with the period with the most complications. Most of the time, when the complications happen, we can be aware of that and help resolve them.
You can choose to pay a deposit of $350.00 (non-refundable) or $500.00 (partially-refundable) must be made in order to schedule your surgery. You can pay your deposit online > Make a Payment
Remaining Balance Deposit: Twenty-one (21) days prior to surgery, you need to pay the entire remaining balance of the surgery or if you choose to pay with a cashier’s check please send proof to your patient coordinator 21 days prior to surgery.
We always perform 3 leak tests to prevent any complications after surgery. There are two during surgery. The first is where methyl blue is injected into the stomach and with the scopes, the surgeons look for blue dye in the abdominal cavity. In the second, the removed stomach is inflated with CO2 and is observed for deflation. The patient is not consciously aware of this either of these. The next leak test is one day after surgery. The patient will drink a hydrosoluble contrast solution and any leaks will be detected by X-ray. A patient receives a copy of the results of this last leak test.
90% of leaks are identified within 24 hours. 97% within 72 hours. This is why the surgeons have patients spend 2 to 3 nights in Mexico after surgery so that if any complication arises, they can treat it immediately. 3% of leaks are not identified before a patient leaves, so only 1 in 97,000 patients statistically will have a leak discovered after returning home. It’s extremely rare but nevertheless a risk you must be made aware of.
You might think it’s silly to be on a pre-op diet before getting weight-loss surgery – but there is a very good reason for it.
The main reason is medical; it will assist in shrinking your liver before surgery, improving the safety of the operation as well as allowing better access to the surgeon. The liver size must be no greater than 25 cm for the surgeon to operate safely.
It helps you lose weight prior to surgery because the healthier you are going into surgery, the better.
The more you can change your behaviors and habits prior to surgery, the more likely you will keep the weight off long-term. Remember, surgery is just a tool to assist you.
All medications, ointments, and recommendations from both patients and surgeons can be found in our complete guide to reducing scarring after laparoscopic surgery. Make sure you keep your incisions clean and dry until the wounds are completely closed up. You can use a variety of products that can be purchased over-the-counter; such as Vitamin E Oil or Mederma to reduce scars. Nerium also has a product to help with loose skin as well.
What medications should I avoid post-op?MBC Editor2020-09-27T04:01:03+00:00
Avoid medications that may alter blood clotting for 1-week post-surgery. These include but are not limited to medications or drugs containing; NSAIDs, anti-arthritic medications, and blood thinners. Estrogen-containing medications should also be avoided for two weeks post-op. Please speak to your bariatric surgeon and ask questions. Always speak to your primary care physician before changing any medications.
Mild pain or discomfort may be experienced for up to 1-week post-op. After 1 week, the pain experienced is often caused by gas, commonly referred to as “gas pain”, and can be alleviated by walking or over-the-counter gas-relieving medications. Walking is one of the most important things you can do to improve post-op recovery and healing. Stay hydrated and walk!
It should not hurt to have the drain removed after your weight loss procedure. It may be uncomfortable feeling something moving inside of you – but it is typically not painful having the drain removed. You will be under the direct care of your bariatric surgeon at this time so there is no need to worry. You couldn’t be in better hands.
It is very uncommon for serious pain to arise/continue upon returning home from your surgical procedure. Please contact us immediately if such pain is experienced. Your bariatric surgeon will have recommendations to alleviate pain based on your symptoms and conditions.
We recommend that all patients have a primary care physician who supports the decision to undergo bariatric surgery in Mexico and is willing to provide aftercare treatment and follow-up as needed. If a patient requires a prescription after returning home, your Primary Care Physician will be able to provide one.
We treat nausea just before it starts. We use special drugs that are specifically designed to combat nausea. Nausea is one of the MOST common post-op symptoms/side effects. Maybe not immediately post-op, but definitely within the first week. It also depends on the procedure. For example, sleeve gastrectomy might have more nausea than lap-band or gastric bypass. We combat this by administering medication within the IV. If you continue feeling nausea, we will use a different medication or increase the dosage.
A variety of methods are used to ensure patients are comfortable after surgery. At the hospital, pain medication is administered via IV. Though it’s not common, if stronger medication for pain is required, your surgeon will alter your dose or change your medication. When discharged from the hospital, patients are sent home with medication for pain in tablet form.
What Can Patients Do To Minimize Discomfort?
Walk. Most of the discomfort is because of the gas right after surgery. So patients must walk and move around as much as they can right after surgery.
Yes, you should bring your own pain medication – especially if it’s prescribed. Many pain medications do NOT cause ulcers or bleeding. Surgeon’s request that patients bring their prescription pain management drugs.
One main reason it is critical that you follow the pre-op diet is that it shrinks your liver before surgery. The liver is lifted in order to surgically operate on the stomach, so following the pre-op diet significantly improves the safety of the operation as well as allowing better access to the surgeon. The liver size must be less than 25 cm for the surgeon to operate safely. Men have an average liver size of 10.5 cm while women have an average liver size of 7 cm.
Let’s face it; losing weight prior to surgery can benefit you for many reasons. The healthier you are going into surgery, the better. The more you change your behaviors prior to surgery, the more likely you will be able to continue healthier habits and keep weight off long-term. Remember, weight loss surgery is just a tool!
Mexico Bariatric Center accepts major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express. We also offer a variety of additional payment options like cash, wire transfer, money orders, and cashier checks.
(DEBIT/CREDIT CARDS ARE REQUIRED FOR INITIAL DOWN PAYMENT)
In Tijuana, we have an amazing relationship with the Hyatt Place Hotel. They are currently rated #2 out of 69 hotels in Tijuana on Trip Advisor. Hotel stay is included, although if you bring a companion, they will need to stay at the hotel during your hospital stay, given the COVID-19 pandemic. They offer top-quality service and consistently provide around-the-clock support for both patients and companions.
Here is the standard Travel Itinerary for our weight loss surgery packages. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, this may vary slightly based on your procedure. Please make sure you check with your patient coordinator. Once you schedule your surgery date and secure your deposit, you will automatically receive your complete booking details.
Day 1: Arrive in San Diego
One of our drivers will be waiting for you upon arrival at San Diego International Airport. Make sure your flight arrives before 12:00 pm PST (before noon). It is usually a 20-minute drive from the airport across the border using our medical lane pass. A few blocks across the San Ysidro border is our Hospital and Hotel. You will get pre-op testing and then be driven to check-in at the #2 rated Hotel in Tijuana. Our staff will help you check-in and answer any questions you have!
Once completed, our medical liaison and the requested surgeon receive an electronic copy. If you didn’t specify a surgeon, it will be reviewed by the surgeon that best fits your health and medical needs.
You will be immediately notified by email of your results or if there is any additional information needed. Your patient coordinator will then call, text, and email you to discuss moving forward as well as any recommendations the doctor(s) may make.
Step #2: Schedule Your Surgery Date
Once approved, you can book your surgery at this time or check availability for a specific date. Your patient coordinator checks the calendar for the selected doctor’s availability (we can usually accommodate your date of choice unless the time is already booked or the doctor is out of the office).
You will need to follow a pre-op diet based on your BMI (anywhere from 2 days to 8 weeks prior). This includes a 2-day clear liquid diet immediately before your surgery date. (The pre-op diet is protein-based and not difficult to follow. It is required primarily to shrink your liver).
Step #3: Prepare for Surgery Date
Once scheduled, you will receive a Booking Confirmation Email entitled “Your Surgery Date is Scheduled” and it will include specific guidelines that you will need to follow regarding booking flights, pre-op diet, and medications you may continue or discontinue before your surgery. (NOTE: Most medications for High Blood Pressure, Heart Issues, Hypo or Hyperthyroid, Diabetes, Depression, & Anxiety, etc., should NEVER be stopped or titrated down without specific instructions from the surgeon or your Primary Care Physician.)
We require you to submit the following documents. Instructions are within your Booking Confirmation Email to upload/complete ALL documents including;
Consent Form, copy of Flight Itinerary
Passport copy OR Drivers License & Birth Certificate
Final Payment or Send Proof of Cashiers Check 21 days before surgery
Sign a COVID Consent Form. Include information regarding potential accommodations you may need such as additional hotel reservations, use of a wheelchair or assisted device, your emergency contact person’s information and phone number, your flight itinerary, and signature at the bottom of the form.
Your coordinator will save all of the appropriate documents in your file (ie: FMLA paperwork, time off request for your employer if requested, copy of cashiers’ checks and consent forms in your file).
Step #4: Preparing for Surgery
Keep in touch with your patient coordinator for changes in your medications, health status, travel plans, or concerns.
Make sure your passport/travel documents are up to date, read the pre-op and post-op diet instructions, and stock up on the items you will need for the first couple of weeks when you return home.
Pack lightly, and make sure that any laptops, notepads, or electronic devices are in travel cases with your name clearly on them. The hotel and hospital have the standard U.S. outlets, free wi-fi, free phone while at the hospital, and a safe to lock up valuables.
Make sure to pack a loose, comfy nightshirt, the role of medical tape, gauze, or larger bandages for sensitive skin, also a soft “sports bra” and take any medications you take on a regular basis with you in the original prescription bottles. It is not necessary to bring any drinks or foods with you to Tijuana; you can buy any sports drinks or juices once you arrive at the hotel.
Step #5: Arriving in San Diego
The Tijuana patient process officially begins! One of our private drivers will pick you up take you directly to the hospital for prior testing and then the hotel, just 20 minutes from San Diego Airport, a few blocks from the San Ysidro border in Tijuana.
At the hotel you will meet the patient advocates/coordinators, they will assist you in checking into your room. Checking into any hotel will require that you have a credit card; it will not be charged for anything unless you charge something to your room number.
They will give you an information sheet with their phone numbers in case you would like to contact them while at the hotel. It is not necessary to dial the 011-521 numbers first because those are only the international numbers. Please give the Tijuana coordinator’s any cashier’s checks you may have taken to pay for the balance of your surgery. Periodically the coordinators will check in with you post-op to make sure you are doing great. They will also inform you what time to meet them in the lobby the morning of your surgery for a fun shuttle ride to the hospital.
Step #6: Surgery and Recovery
Once you arrive at the hospital, you’ll meet the patient advocate/coordinator, you might have a small wait in a general waiting room area and have a chance to talk and get acquainted with the other patients that are scheduled for surgery on that day.
Our patient advocate/coordinator will escort you to your hospital room, where you’ll be given a hospital gown, and have lab work done. The surgeons, anesthesiologists, and an internist will come in and do the pre-surgery consults. This is a very good time to ask any questions you might have for the doctors about restarting medication, vitamins, wound care, diet, and exercise. Then you will have your procedure done.
The process times will vary depending on which surgery you have, and you will be sleeping for several hours post-op. Make sure that you tell your family members back home that you will call them when you wake up, but you may be sleepy for several hours post-op. It is not customary for the hospital staff to call family members for you. You can use the phone for free at the hospital, just ask the nurse for the phone.
Make sure to walk, walk, walk post-op. The following day they will take you upstairs for a quick scan of the tummy to check for leaks. You will be given a small cup of contrast media (gastro graphene) to drink and also a CD of this scan to take home with you.
The doctor(s) or their surgical assistant will be the person checking in on you daily. The morning of your release, the physician(s) will check on you and depend on which doctor you have for your procedure; they will remove any drain tubes, but sometimes the surgeon may decide to leave the drain tubes in place for another day or two. The nurses will dress your wounds, and you will be given a bag with antibiotics, pain medication, the CD of your leak test, procedure verification along with the doctor’s names, and email addresses. Make sure that you receive this bag “Before” you leave the hospital because it is tough to obtain medical records once you leave the hospital. You will then take the shuttle back to the airport along with your new “surgery buddies.” Plan on booking your flight back home after 2 pm.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we want to reduce any risks of having you stay an extra night at the Hotel. Therefore, at this time (9/7/2020), we will return you to the airport in San Diego to fly home after you check out of the hospital.
The driver has an exclusive license and dual insurance which will allow him to take you through the border in a special medical tourism line that lets us “Hopscotch” to the front of the line, but depending on the day and the time it will vary on the amount of time it will take to cross back into the United States.
Step #7: Flight/Drive Home
Make sure whether you drive or fly back from San Diego to move your feet frequently!!! Stop and stretch out your legs or if traveling walk to the restroom often and make sure to keep hydrated.
Do not try to lift your bag into the car or overhead storage compartment, ask for assistance. Drink juice and water for the flight home. No coffee or tea.
Step #8: Post-Op Diet
A good rule of thumb for the post-op diet, starting from your surgery day; – 1st Week continues clear liquids – 2nd Week add to your diet with liquids – 3rd Week adds pureed foods – 4th week adds soft solid foods
Restart your medications as instructed by the doctors. If you are diabetic and use insulin, you may have to adjust the amounts as your dietary needs have changed. Make sure to sip fluids all day long.
Make sure to discuss with the doctor when to start daily vitamins, Hair, Skin & Nails (biotin), calcium chews, and sublingual B-12. Your stomach will be rumbly for several weeks!! Refer to the post-op diet plan for which foods to incorporate back into your diet.
Go slow when starting on solid foods again, remember you are trying to give your tummy time to heal and let the swelling go down. If you have any questions regarding your post-op diet you can email them to the Mexico Bariatric Center, Dietitian/Nutritionist who can be found on our staff page. Any medical questions should be directed to the doctor or their assistants. Your surgery coordinator can assist you in sending your questions to the physician.
Finally, make sure to schedule a follow-up appointment with your primary care doctor within ten days of returning home.
Yes, but we have been forced to make certain changes due to COVID-19. For the safety of every patient and hospital staff, companions are not allowed to stay in the hospital. However, we currently do have visiting hours so that companions can visit patients at the hospital. Transportation is included for these visits. This reduces the risk significantly for everyone, including you. You (or your companion) must pay an additional $245 to $390 for their entire stay at the hotel, depending on the surgery procedure.
Can I Come Alone?
Absolutely. Many patients would rather go alone than have to worry about their companion. We have staff that will guide you along the way from airport pick-up to airport drop-off. You can also meet friends on our Support Group with the same surgery date as you, so you will never be alone!
A $350.00 USD surgery deposit payment is due at the time of booking your WLS appointment. Finance companies DO NOT provide the deposit payment funds and will be your responsibility. Financing options include;
Personal Loan Multiple Lenders, including SoFi, Bank of America Apply Here
United Credit 855-503-1800 or 949-534-0599 UnitedCredit.com *Add a $150 processing fee for any loan secured through United Credit.
This is entirely up to you and your experience.. tipping and any extra things is completely optional but there is no additional expenses if you don’t want to pay for anything extra. The hotel provides you with your aftercare liquid diet. If you want, you can bring extra vitamin water, Gatorade, etc.
Approximately 24 hours before your departure, our driver will call you to confirm all of your flight/parking information. You should schedule your flight arrival before 12:00PM (noon) and departure flight after 2:00PM.
Victor Cabrera is our full-time driver who will coordinate all transportation from arrival to departure and everything in between.
Option #1: Flying in/out of San Diego International Airport
If you are flying into the San Diego, CA International airport, the driver arranges to pick you up at the airport and take you straight into Tijuana, Mexico.
Important Tips for Flying:
Make sure whether you drive or fly back from San Diego to move your feet frequently!!! Stop and stretch out your legs or if flying walk to the restroom often and make sure to keep hydrated.
DO NOT try to lift your bag into the car or overhead storage compartment on the airplane, ask for assistance.
Option #2: Driving to/from San Diego Airport
If you are driving into the San Diego, CA International Airport (or somewhere local within San Diego), here is a link that will guide you right into the airport: Driving directions to SD airport.
Traveling towards the Border – Our driver will cross you through the San Ysidro port of entry to Tijuana. You might want to check out BorderTraffic.com – where you can view the traffic (via live feed) of all the different entry points in Mexico.
Option #3: Driving yourself into Mexico
If you plan on driving into Mexico, certain vehicle documentation will be needed in addition to your passport; i.e. permits, Mexican insurance, etc.
Use a carry-on, wheeled suitcase (if possible) for traveling. If you must check luggage, use a wheeled suitcase to avoid unnecessary lifting. Do not lift anything greater than 30 pounds for 6-8 weeks post-op. Have someone assist you once you arrive at your home airport.
Leave jewelry (which must be removed before surgery as well as any metals, piercings, etc) and valuables at home.
Bring lightweight clothing (pajamas and a few outfits) with elastic bands, some slip-on shoes, personal hygiene items, and all your current prescription medications in their original bottles.
Audiobooks, a portable DVD player, a small laptop, or iPods are great lightweight items for your travel to/from Mexico and throughout your post-surgical recovery period. Most of the television stations in Mexico are all Spanish speaking programming!!
Only 1-2 smaller sized suitcases should be brought. You will be in the hospital for the majority of your stay. The drivers do not have extra room for excess luggage and packages.
Do NOT forget your Passport (Unless your Patient Coordinator authorized you to bring a Drivers License AND Birth Certificate instead)
A current passport is advised for all individuals in your party. If you do not have a passport or your passport is expired, we suggest ordering an expedited passport application/renewal in order to receive your passport prior to your departure to Mexico.
If you do NOT have a passport
If you are crossing the border, you may use one of the following instead of a conventional passport only upon approval from your Patient Coordinator.
Passport ID Card
Enhanced Driver’s License (Currently only the following states that provide these are: Washington, Vermont, Michigan, Minnesota, and New York)
Both a Valid Driver’s License/ID Card AND Original U.S. Birth Certificate (no copies). It is also highly suggested to bring your Social Security card as well as a recent utility/cell phone bill that matches your name and the address shown on your license/ID (in combination with License and original U.S. Birth Certificate)
The more documentation you have, the better off you will be, so be prepared!