Out of all the sweepstakes submission videos we received, Scarlett’s heartwarming video resonated with the entire Mexico Bariatric Center® team. We were inspired by her family’s story and her struggles with health. Her three daughters and husband of twenty years expressed how important the opportunity to get free bariatric surgery is. Scarlett has tried every diet in the book and exercised daily to lose weight, but it was ineffective. She wanted to get weight loss surgery for a long time but lacked the necessary insurance or funds.
With the surgery, her family believes she will be more confident in herself. Her children’s dreams of enjoying fun activities like going to the park, playing tag, jumping on the trampoline, and wearing matching clothes could come true. In the face of her husband’s heart condition, Scarlett’s transformation would also ensure she could be there for her daughters if he passed away. We chose Scarlett as the winner of the surgery prize because her need was undeniable, and we wanted to show her that self-love was within reach.
Arriving in San Diego
Day 1: As Scarlett and her husband arrived at the San Diego International Airport, they were picked up by our exceptional driver, who transported them to the Hyatt Hotel for check-in. Our MBC coordinating staff welcomed them and provided Scarlett with paperwork to complete. She was also treated to a delicious jello and savory chicken broth snack! Scarlett looked so happy to be there and very excited about her upcoming surgery.
Scarlett’s Surgery Day
Day 2: On the morning of July 8, 2023, Scarlett headed to Hospital Mi Doctor with the rest of the surgery group and our private MBC shuttle driver. She was greeted by the wonderful Karla, everyone’s favorite patient coordinator, in Tijuana, Mexico! Karla helps Scarlett and other patients get ready for their pre-operative testing. During pre-op testing, the nurses measure the patient’s starting height, weight, and blood work. Scarlett happily heads back into the main lobby area, waiting for everyone else to finish. Afterward, the patients treat themself to bariatric-friendly gelato as a cool treat to end the day off nicely.
Scarlett was escorted into her own patient room. She changes into her surgery gown and is greeted by Dr. Jesus Ceja, who reviews her gastric sleeve surgery procedure. She chose to get the gastric sleeve done because it is the most effective bariatric surgery for weight loss and has fewer risks. After a review, she is now ready for the operating room. The MBC staff took her in a wheelchair and led her to the surgery room, where Dr. Jesus Ceja and his medical team performed gastric sleeve surgery on Scarlett.
Dr. Jesus Ceja has been a bariatric surgeon at MBC since 2019 and is double-certified by CMCG and CMCOEM.
Recovering at the Hospital
Day 3: Scarlett goes through a quick tummy scan to check for any possible leaks and passes her drain test. The doctors or surgical assistants checked in on her daily while she stayed at Hospital Mi Doctor. She also walked around the hospital post-op and had unlimited ice chips. It’s important to walk post-op because it helps improve recovery time, gas pains, and healing.
Scarlett Leaves Tijuana, Mexico
Day 4: Scarlett gets ready to leave Tijuana, Mexico! She was given a bag with antibiotics, pain medication, the CD of the leak test, post-op paperwork, and procedure verification, including doctor’s names and email addresses. Our private Mexico Bariatric Center driver took Scarlett back to San Diego International Airport, and she flew back home to Georgia.
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Life After Surgery
Scarlett started her surgery at 245 lbs. During her pre-op diet, she had lost 35 lbs in 6 weeks! After surgery, Scarlett has gone on daily walks with her family. She also gave up diet coke, sugar, gluten, dairy, corn, and starchy vegetables. She usually does 30 minutes of walking and remembering to drink water and get her nutrients in. “I am doing phenomenal. Everything went awesome with surgery and so far awesome with recovery”, Scarlett says. This surgery did not just change her life but also her family’s life because her daughters and husband were walking with her and trying to live healthy. Scarlett feels a lot more confident now after losing 123 lbs. Scarlett’s latest gastric sleeve update was that she went from a size 30 to a size 18 in shorts!
Highest weight: 288 lbs
Surgery weight: 245 lbs
Current weight: 165 lbs
“Pinch me, because this can not be real! I went from a 30 plus size to an 18 in women’s. This must be a dream…But it’s not because MBC gave me life-changing gastric sleeve surgery”
Scarlett is excited to continue sharing her weight loss journey. You can follow her TikTok to see her post-op gastric sleeve updates.
See more patient success stories here