Gastric Sleeve for Weight Loss

Gastric Sleeve Anatomy ImageLaparoscopic Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy Sleeve (VSG) in Mexico, is one of the most innovative types of bariatric surgeries performed in the United Mexican States today. This surgery is the fastest growing bariatric surgery type in the world and is overtaking gastric bypass as the “gold standard” procedure for weight loss surgery. The sleeve gastrectomy surgery was the first step of a 2-stage operation to duodenal switch in patients with super high BMI (BMI of more than 59) in 1999. Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, like gastric bypass, changes the body’s metabolic thermostat (set-point) and is a durable and long-term treatment of obesity. Mexico Bariatric Center (MBC) patients with this procedure have had impressive results and have helped them to resolve many obesity-related diseases & illnesses.

Gastric Sleeve is not reversible like lap band surgery, however, it can be easily revised to gastric bypass, mini bypass or duodenal switch. Unlike gastric bypass, Sleeve Gastrectomy does not alter the antrum, pylorus, and vagus nerve innervation. The pancreatic juice and bile produced by the pancreas and liver still are mixed with the food you eat and is completely absorbed. Almost 95% of bariatric surgeries at MBC center is gastric sleeve as opposed to the United States where 80% of bariatric surgeries are gastric bypass.

See the Complete Guide to Gastric Sleeve Surgery.

Testimonials From Lauren

Left: 270 pounds, Right: 213 pounds. 57 pounds down! I was sleeved on 3/3/15. Hoping to be down to 170 before the end of the year.

Testimonials From Maria

Maria lost over 75 pounds in six months and looks incredible. With gastric sleeve surgery, many patients can expect to lose sixty pounds or more in six months.

Gastric Sleeve in Mexico (VSG) Overview

Mexico Bariatric Center is one of the most-respected companies in Medical Tourism for gastric sleeve surgery. We represent some of the most qualified surgeons in Mexico. We have an incredible track record of patient outcomes and success. MBC offers one of the highest quality and most affordable gastric sleeve packages in the world. Come see why you should contact us first!

The current price for Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico

Starts at $4,495 $4,195*

Inquire Today

Best Gastric Sleeve Surgeons

Mexico Bariatric Center has the most experienced and qualified gastric sleeve surgeons performing bariatric surgery in Tijuana Mexico. They are board certified by both Mexican College of General Surgeons as well as Mexican College of Bariatric & Metabolic Surgeons (CMCOEM & CMCG). Collectively, they have over 20 years of experience and over 10,000 surgeries with least amount of complications and best outcome. Meet MBC's Renowned & Board-Certified Surgical Teams:

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Details

Gastric Sleeve Surgery DetailThe normal human stomach can expand to hold around 1.5 liters of food. Once the food arrives in the stomach, it is blended with gastric secretion (digestive enzymes) to help break down the food to a more simple form so it can be more efficiently processed and consumed when it is in the small bowel.

During this Gastric Sleeve, otherwise known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), gastric sleeve resection or simply sleeve gastrectomy, the surgeon removes up to 85% of the greater curvature of your stomach laparoscopically, making it look like a tube or sleeve, thus the name “sleeve” gastrectomy. Laparoscopic or Minimally Invasive Surgery improves the healing process and has other advantages, such as less bleeding.

Here are the steps taken:

  • The patient is lying with the face up with the arms spread apart.
  • General anesthesia is administered by the anesthesiologist and a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) inserted into the windpipe.
  • The surgeon makes a small incision (normally 5) in the abdomen to access abdominal cavity.
  • Trocars are then placed through the incisions as a passageway for surgical instruments.
  • The abdomen is filled with carbon dioxide (CO2) gas to separate the stomach wall from the small intestine.
  • The surgeon would insert a probe equipped with a built-in specialized camera (laparoscope) along with other small pencil-like surgical instruments.
  • The liver is lifted off with a retractor.
  • The greater curvature is released starting from the antrum to approximately two inches of the pylorus.
  • Surgeon then finds and closes most Hiatal hernias if present to prevent Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • The endoscopic cutter/stapler then cuts and staples the stomach along the bougie inserted through the mouth as a guide.

Gastric Sleeve Procedure: Details of Mexico Travel

This procedure usually takes about 1.5 hours (start to end) with 30 min to 60 min for the actual surgery, depending on the skills and experience of the surgeon. The patient is required to stay in the hospital for one to two nights (depending on his or her condition and overall health). Healing is relatively fast, in fact, patients who have had sleeve gastrectomy usually return to work after only two to three weeks following their surgery.

Surgery Duration
1.5 Hours
Nights in Hospital
2 Nights
Nights in Hotel
2 (1 Pre-Op, 1 Post-Op)
Back to Work
2 to 3 Weeks

How we Perform Gastric Sleeve in Tijuana, Mexico

Gastric Sleeve Stapling

All of our surgeons performing gastric sleeve surgery adhere to specific techniques for the highest patient outcomes. The following 4 steps are exercised by MBC surgeons to ensure the highest level of safety for patients. The Mexico gastric sleeve procedure is performed laparoscopically, with low complication rates. Our safe, certified, and trusted surgeons perform the sleeve gastrectomy surgery. We ensure our patient's safety by doing both pre-op and post-op tests before the gastric sleeve procedure.

  1. First, three lines of brand name, like Johnson & Johnson or Covidien, Titanium staples (Tri-Staple) to close the new smaller stomach pouch.
  2. Second, a suture line after the staples is performed along the staple line (Inverted Gastric Sleeve or Double-Butress Gastric Sleeve), to make sure no stomach leakage takes place.
  3. Fluoroscopy after gastric sleeveWe perform three leak tests per patient. Two leak tests are performed the day of your surgery with blue dye and air. The next day we perform the last leak test, called a Fluoroscopy. Fluoroscopy is much like an X-ray movie that traces a special colored dye through the new stomach to detect any possible leak.
  4. MBC surgeons leave a drain in the abdominal cavity as a precaution for early detection of a leak.

signal_attentionRecent studies show that people with a weight problem have a higher chance of having the hernia. For a successful surgery, the surgeon needs to look closely to repair a hernia to avoid reflux symptoms. Mexico Bariatric Center Tijuana bariatric surgeons examine the patient during gastric sleeve surgery for the presence of Hiatal Hernia (HH) and repair it if it is needed.

All of this ensures that each and every patient of Mexico Bariatric Center will undergo safe and successful surgery. Currently, our gastric sleeve leak rate is close to zero.

Successful surgery depends on the technique of surgery, just as much as anything else. Mexico Bariatric Center requires its surgeons to use the best practices to ensure the highest outcomes. To learn more about our process of performing gastric sleeve in Mexico, please contact us today! Our caring and qualified patient care coordinators are more than happy to walk with you through this life-changing experience.

Mexico Bariatric Center gastric sleeve in Tijuana leak rate is close to 0%
The leak rate of gastric sleeve varies from 0% to 8% with a national average of 2.8%.

Bougie as a guide for sleeve surgeryBougie (pronounced boo-jee) is a guide for the surgeon to divide the stomach. Bougie size influences the size of the sleeve and comes in different calibers ranging from 32FR to 50FR. FR, called French, is the unit of measurement equal to 1/3 mm, for example, a 40FR bougie measures about 13.32mm or 1/2 inch.
Bougies do not always create the same stomach size as the finished sleeve size depends on how close the stapler gets to the bougie and whether the surgeon sutures the staple line (inverted sleeve).
There is no standard for an ideal bougie size and it varies from surgeon to surgeon and depends on the amount of weight loss. A smaller bougie results in a smaller sleeve and a greater restriction and a greater risk of leak and stricture rate. On the contrary, a larger bougie results in a larger sleeve, safer operation and not enough weight loss.

What Should I Expect

With Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico?

When preparing for gastric sleeve surgery, patients need to take into account four stages.

  1. Gastric Sleeve Pre-Op Diet
  2. Day of Gastric Sleeve Surgery
  3. Gastric Sleeve Post-Op Diet
  4. Gastric Sleeve Recovery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Pre-Op Diet

Sleeve Gastrectomy Surgery Pre-Op Diet

The pre-op diet after booking your sleeve gastrectomy surgery in Tijuana with MBC depends on your BMI (an indication of body fat based on height and weight). The higher your BMI the longer your pre-operative diet for sleeve gastrectomy surgery. For the pre-op diet, patients should take high protein, low-calorie nutrition, veggies, plenty of fluids and no tobacco. Laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy patients should have clear liquid and no sugar close (2 days prior) to surgery. Patients will stay in MBC Tijuana 4-star hotel on the night prior to LSG surgery.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Day

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Day

No food, no drink and no medications (follow the  surgeons order) 12 hour prior to surgery. Mexico Bariatric Center patient advocates will pick you up from the hotel to take you to the hospital where the patients with vertical sleeve gastrectomy stay for 2 nights. We recommend that patients who get gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico to bring their CPAP machine if they use it. Just relax and have positive thoughts for a successful surgery and outcome. At Mexico Bariatric Center, you are in good hands. MBC staff will put your mind at ease.

Gastric Sleeve Post-Op Diet

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Post-Op Diet

In order to prepare for gastric sleeve surgery, you need to understand what post-op is like. MBC keeps patients in the hospital for 2 nights to ensure there are no complications after sleeve surgery. Post-op tests will be administered before discharge. Like our patients say, “Sip, Sip, Sip - Walk, Walk, Walk - Breathe, Breathe, Breathe.” It is important to stay hydrated after gastric sleeve surgery. Staying active is key following surgery, although no heavy lifting or exercise should before for 6 weeks unless advised by your primary doctor. Abstain alcohol at least 3 months and ideally 6 months after sleeve gastrectomy surgery. Also, stay away from sugary drinks to avoid dumping syndrome and gain weight.

Recovery from Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Recovery

Make sure you take gastric sleeve vitamins after surgery (as early as one week after surgery). It is important for fast recovery, and to make sure your stomach heals properly. Patients may be sore, so take it easy but stay hydrated. After gastric sleeve surgery, joining a support group is helpful to stay involved and stay on track on weight loss goals. Stay connected to your bariatric aftercare support group. Don't miss any post-op tests given by your primary physician. Due to rapid emptying of the stomach after sleeve gastrectomy surgery, you get drunk faster and stay drunk longer. So, especially in women, there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Be active and follow the gastric sleeve post-op diet provided to you by MBC nutritionist.

Expected Weight Loss After Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Losing weight after vertical sleeve gastrectomy is variable and depends on factors like age, physical activity, race, diabetes, medication (for bipolar), smoking, and genetics. Some patients are super respondent; weight loss comes to them effortlessly and can reach ideal body weight. For other patients, the weight loss is harder and they do not lose as much. In general, the weight loss after gastric sleeve surgery can be divided into 3 periods:

First Year - Gastric sleeve patients lose an average of 65% of their EWL (Excess Weight Loss). This period is called a "honeymoon" since patients lose weight regardless of how compliant they are with their diet.
One Year Weight Loss Gastric Sleeve
Three Years - Gastric sleeve patients lose an average of 55% of their EWL. Genes become as important as the patient's environment in compliance with your sleeve post-op diet and physical activity.
Three Year Weight Loss Gastric Sleeve
Ten Years - Gastric sleeve patients lose an average of 50% of their EWL. The patient's weight loss is in their hands, as the environment and healthy habits play a much larger role than genes. Just stick to the gastric sleeve post-op diet.
Ten Year Weight Loss Gastric Sleeve

MBC Gastric Sleeve Results**:

Mexico Bariatric Center has done a study of their patients in 2015. MBC research survey comprised of over 100 former patients undergoing gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico. Our findings have been charted below:

Data from Internal Report (September 2015)
Data from Internal Report (September 2015)

Data on Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Survey

AVERAGE (lbs.)62.870.285.0110.1108.0
MEDIAN (lbs.)23.543709498.5

This survey was collected from March 2015 to July 2015, covering all of our bariatric surgeons. Please visit our page on how much weight you can expect to lose after gastric sleeve surgery. Weight loss results will vary; please review our disclaimer.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Costs

Gastric sleeve surgery costs will depend on a variety of factors and will persist on a multitude of things. For example, because of the high cost of healthcare in the United States, the typical self-pay cost will average nearly $20,000 - while, Mexico will typically cost between $5,000 to $8,000. Tijuana offers one of the most affordable prices for bariatrics, including gastric sleeve - the price is currently less than $5,000.

Mexico Bariatric Center offers gastric sleeve at one of the lowest prices in the medical tourism industry while maintaining quality. Mexico Bariatric Center has also partnered with several financing firms for those individuals seeking payment plans and to defer payments.

It's important to understand all of the costs of gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico - Learn more about gastric sleeve costs here.

Cost Table: Gastric Sleeve

CountryGastric Sleeve
United States$19,000
Costa Rica$10,000

Am I Eligible for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

The first step to determine if you're a qualified candidate for the gastric sleeve procedure is to contact us! We'll rush you a free informational packet, and our surgeons review your health questionnaire in 24 hours and answer any questions you may have. See our patient process:

  • Your BMI should be at least 30 (exceptions are granted if you have co-morbidities).
  • You should be between 16 and 65 years old (exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis).
  • Need to have tried losing weight with typical tactics without much success.
  • Need to have realistic expectations regarding the result of the surgery.

Not all of the requirements listed are set in stone. Our surgeons review each patient on their own to see if they could likely benefit from weight loss surgery. Learn more by contacting our staff now.

Benefits of Undergoing Gastric Sleeve with Mexico Bariatric Center

  1. Our aftercare program includes forums and support group access.
  2. We regularly host webinars on dieting and aftercare nutrition.
  3. The Medical Tourism Association certifies us.
  4. We have a full-featured support section, with patients can see videos and exclusive content.

Health Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Health Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery Infographic

The health benefits of gastric sleeve surgery are diverse and substantial. Obesity-related issues are resolved, along with a number of health problems. The comorbidities that are improved along with the affordable price make gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana, Mexico a viable option for everyone.

  • Asthma and Breathing Issues
  • Type II Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • High Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Infertility and PCOS Syndrome
  • GERD and Acid Reflux
  • Sadness and Depression
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Back Pain and Joint Pain

Non-Health Benefits of Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Non-Scale Victories

Non-health benefits of gastric sleeve surgery are almost as substantial and incredible as the health benefits are. Non-Scale Victories, known as NSV, are moments of inspiring confidence, happiness, and life changes that patients get to live out after gastric sleeve surgery.

  • Finally joined a gym
  • Go on long hikes with my family
  • Found purpose to change my life
  • Look in the mirror and feel happy
  • Go out with friends again
  • Smile and feel good about myself

See more Non-Scale Victories for the New Year 2018

Is Gastric Sleeve in Tijuana, Mexico Safe?

Fear of unsafe trip to Mexico, risky hospitals, and unqualified surgeons should NOT keep people from looking into this viable option for weight loss surgery. Safe gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico is something we pride ourselves at Mexico Bariatric Center. We use a closed network of drivers to ensure patient safety at all times. We pride ourselves on providing a qualified, certified company where patients can feel relaxed and safe.

Gastric Sleeve Complications

There are possible short-term, near-term and long-term complications associated with gastric sleeve surgery.

Short-Term Complications
(3 days or less)

  • Bleeding
  • Gastric Leak
  • Blood Clots
  • Wound Site Infection
Near-Term Complications
(3 days to 8 days)

  • Stricture*
  • Stomach Obstruction
  • Abdominal Abscess
Long-Term Complications
(after 8 days)

  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Gallstones
  • GERD
  • Delayed Leak

Here at Mexico Bariatric Center, we limit our gastric sleeve in Mexico complications by striving to follow these rules:

  1. We use top quality surgical equipment, and modern medical techniques.
  2. We represent only the best gastric sleeve surgeons who are board certified in Tijuana, Mexico.
  3. We limit the number of surgeries for each of the surgoens to 3 a day.
  4. We use a high-volume hospital, Hospital Mi Doctor, which has been shown to reduce complication rates and increase patient outcomes for bariatric patients.

Mexico Bariatric Center has the patient safety, security and peace of mind as a priority. MBC has teamed up with a medical tourism insurance company to offer affordable Medical Tourism Insurance.

* Stricture is a narrowing section that may develop as a result of scar tissue in the mid-body of the sleeve. It interferes with the normal movement of food and can cause pain after eating and vomiting. See gastric sleeve complications and risks.

Comparison of Gastric Sleeve to Similar Surgeries

Gastric Sleeve in Mexico, is just one of several surgical options we offer in Mexico. We also offer these popular bariatric surgeries in Mexico:

Surgery DurationNights in HospitalNights in HotelBack to Work
Gastric Sleeve Mexico2 Nights2 (1 Pre-Op, 1 Post-Op)1 to 3 Weeks
Gastric Bypass Mexico3 Nights2 (1 Pre-Op, 1 Post-Op)2 to 4 Weeks
Gastric Band Mexico1 Nights2 (1 Pre-Op, 1 Post-Op)1 to 2 Weeks
Duodenal Switch Mexico3 Nights2 (1 Pre-Op, 1 Post-Op)2 to 4 Weeks

Compare Other Procedures Here:

For the difference between expected weight loss, possible risks, and more detailed data, please visit these following guides to learn more:

Why undergo Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG)?

Gastric sleeve patients report minimal digestion problems compared to other types of weight loss surgeries. First, no foreign objects are placed within the body and secondly, since it is a purely restrictive procedure, it avoids an occurrence of malabsorption problems that can occur with other types of surgery. Moreover, since the remaining part of the stomach is composed of less elastic tissue, the likelihood of stretching and failing in the ensuing years is minimal. Finally, the gastric sleeve can be easily be revised to another surgery, such as the gastric sleeve (re-sleeve), gastric bypass, and duodenal switch.

Gastric Sleeve: Methods of Action

It is a known fact that to burn excess fat and lose weight, you have to eat less than what your body needs every day. Sleeve gastrectomy is a form of restrictive weight loss surgery; that, significantly reduces stomach size, the individual consumes less as his or her stomach is now easily filled. Other clinicians also theorize that by reducing stomach size, there is a reduced production of a stomach-produced hormone called Ghrelin (Growth Hormone Secretagogue Receptor) that induces hunger. Thus, with vertical sleeve gastrectomy, the individual becomes full quickly and is less hungry.

Recent set point theory states that gastric sleeve weight loss surgery decreases hunger and changes the body weight regulatory network. The weight loss is achieved by "physiologic" mechanism and not by "restriction."

Related: See Why So Many Patients Choose Mexico Bariatric Center for Mexico Sleeve Gastrectomy

Gastric Sleeve: Benefits vs. Risks

The benefits of sleeve gastrectomy go beyond simply having better looks and fast weight loss. For patients having trouble with weight, sleeve gastrectomy offers an opportunity to feel better as well as live longer and be more productive due to significantly reduced risks of acquiring any obesity-related conditions as a result of surgery. Even so, just like every other surgery, patients may have several complications such as possible leaking of stomach contents, the presence of blood clots, wound infection, and bleeding. Then again, living a healthier and more rewarding life is never going to be without risks. In the end, the choice is always yours to make. Whether you choose to have a sleeve gastrectomy or another weight loss surgery, or whether you want to exercise or just to go on a diet, the most important thing is that you lose weight. So to do that, all you need to do is — make a choice!

Is Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico Right for Me?

Gastric sleeve surgery has a proven track record to produce effective, significant and sustained weight-loss. To see if gastric sleeve surgery is the right choice for you, here are the things to consider:

  • Your BMI
  • Expected weight-loss
  • Reasons to do the surgery
  • Level of commitment
  • Fear of needles
  • Fear of unknown

Things not to consider:

  • Loose skin
  • Lowest price gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico

To find out if gastric sleeve surgery is right for you, contact one of our care specialists today.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery FAQs:

What Happens After the Post-Op Diet?

After your post-op diet, you'll be back on your regular diet. However, you'll be equipped with new dietary understanding - helping you make the right choices to accelerate your weight loss.

What are the Stomach Staples?

The staples are titanium and allow for an MRI and to bypass airport security.

Do Surgeons Remove the Staples?

No. After surgery, the three rows of titanium staples will remain in the stomach. The stomach will heal (just like other areas of the body) and will form solid stomach barrier.

Can I Drink Alcohol After Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Many patients wonder if they can drink alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery. The answer has a lot of variables. We recommend that patients do not drink alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery. However, if patients do decide to drink, be aware that your stomach size is a fraction of what it used to be. Be very cautious about drinking alcohol as the littlest amount can make you extremely impaired.

History of Gastric Sleeve Surgery

Although Gastric Sleeve Surgery was FDA approved in the United States in 2001, Mexico had performed sleeve surgery many years before that. In fact, the experience of Gastric Sleeve Surgery, also known as Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), started in Mexico after the Duodenal Switch Surgery originated in 1986.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Timeline

History of Gastric Sleeve Surgery Infographic

Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico

Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico has quickly become the top choice for travelers crossing the border for medical services. Mexico Bariatric Center offers upscale, affordable and safe gastric sleeve surgery in Tijuana, Mexico to help you achieve weight loss success. MBC facilities are strategically located in prominent areas of Tijuana (Zona Rio) close to the border of U.S. and Mexico. MBC all-inclusive Mexico sleeve gastrectomy packages with transparent pricing are the first choice for patients suffering from obesity.

More Resources:


* Prices are subject to change. Not valid on blackout dates. Prices depend on the surgeon, surgery, additional fees, and schedule. Prices may rise because of BMI level and previous abdominal surgeries.

** All of the testimonials are covered in our disclaimers. Individuals results will vary; there is no guarantee stated nor implied.

Last Updated: Jan 16, 2018 by Ron Elli, Ph.D.