Guide to Weight Loss Surgery Options

Find the best weight loss surgery for you. Every procedure is unique and offers varying weight loss results based on your health history and dedication to the post-op lifestyle. Learn how much weight you can lose and talk to a certified surgeon today!

Guide to Weight Loss Surgery

About Weight Loss Surgery

The obesity epidemic has invaded our people at an increasing rate. The invention of optoelectronic instrumentation, sophisticated staplers, and anesthesia techniques have made weight loss surgeries, also known as “Gut Cut,” available to patients with obesity disease.

Bariatric surgeries can be classified into three broad categories, depending on how the operation produces weight loss: restrictive, malabsorptive, and a combination of both. Learn More: Which Bariatric Surgery is Best for Me?

All the bariatric surgery options are done laparoscopically (minimally invasive) unless there are issues, like scar tissue from previous operations, that call for traditional open surgery. A variety of endoscopic procedures are also performed through the patient’s esophagus.


Restrictive procedures shrink the stomach capacity, thereby reducing caloric intake. The smaller stomach will induce the feeling of fullness quicker than normal, prompting the patients to eat less. This method is seen in procedures such as adjustable gastric banding, vertical sleeve gastrectomy (gastric sleeve), and the gastric balloon.


Malabsorptive procedures reroute, rearrange, or remove parts of the digestive system to reduce the body’s absorption of calories from food. They produce more weight loss than restrictive but also come with higher rates of complications and side effects. There are no stand-alone malabsorptive procedures being performed today, as all malabsorptive procedures are combined with restriction.


Combination procedures use both techniques, i.e., restrictive and malabsorptive. Restriction limits the amount of food one can eat and malabsorption reduces the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body. Combination procedures like RNY gastric bypass and duodenal switch produce ton of weight drop.

How Much Weight Can I Lose with Bariatric Surgery?

Weight loss surgery has become a proven way to fight obesity. After a bariatric procedure, the body’s set point, also known as a metabolic thermostat, is shifted, resulting in rapid and long-term weight loss.

For those trying to lose weight and keep it off, dieting and exercise may not be enough. Weight loss surgery can cure obesity and its related diseases, like hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart conditions. It also lowers the risk of virus exposure, such as COVID-19 Coronavirus. Weight loss results vary based on the type of procedure and the patient’s post-op lifestyle.

  • Gastric Sleeve: 50-70%* Excess Weight Loss (EWL) within 1 year
  • Gastric Bypass: 60-80%* Excess Weight Loss (EWL) within 1 year
  • Mini Gastric Bypass: 65-80%* Excess Weight Loss (EWL) within 1 year
  • Duodenal Switch: 70-90%* Excess Weight Loss (EWL) within 1 year

Comparing Common Types of Weight Loss Surgery

Below are the five primary weight loss surgery options that are typically accepted and practiced by bariatric surgeons in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Other countries, aside from the United States, like Europe and Mexico, are quicker to approve more experimental procedures.

Surgery Type

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Bypass

Mini Bypass

Duodenal Switch


Gastric Balloon

Procedure DiagramGastric Sleeve SurgeryGastric Bypass Surgery Schematic - Sleeve vs BypassMini Gastric Bypass Surgery Schematic - How it Works - Mini Bypass in MexicoDuodenal Switch Surgery SchematicLap Band - Adjustable Gastric BandGastric Balloon Weight Loss System - Mexico Bariatric Center
MethodRestrictiveRestrictive & MalabsorptiveRestrictive & MalabsorptiveRestrictive & MalabsorptiveRestrictiveRestrictive
Duration60-90 mins90-120 mins60-120 mins180-240 mins60-90 mins20-30 mins
Hospital Stay2 days3 days3 days3 days2 daysOutpatient
Average Weight Loss50-70%60-80%65-80%70-90%40-50%10-15%
Digestive AlterationNoYesYesYesNoNo
Risk of MalnutritionLowModerateModerateHighLowLow
Possible ComplicationsLeakage
Dumping syndrome
Nutritional deficiencies
Dumping syndrome
Vitamin deficiencies
Protein malnutrition
Band erosion
Candidate EfficacyBMI of 30+BMI of 35-55BMI of 35-55BMI of 40-45+BMI of 30+BMI of 27+

What Does the Bariatric Surgery Package Include?

Without insurance, weight loss surgery in the U.S. and Canada can start as high as $17,000. Luckily, you can find U.S. quality weight loss procedures in Mexico at a fraction of the cost. At Mexico Bariatric Center, our all-inclusive packages start at $4,395. We take care of everything from the moment you arrive in San Diego to the moment you depart, including ground transportation and hotel stay.

  • Private Ground Transportation
  • Accredited Hospital with ICU
  • Board Certified Surgeons
  • Hospital Stay & Fees (2-3 nights)

  • Nutrition Program
  • 1-Month Supply of Vitamins*
  • Online Support Group

  • U.S. Surgeon Liaison

  • No Hidden Fees

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Popular Procedures

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, RNY Gastric Bypass, Mini Gastric Bypass, and Duodenal Switch procedures are mainstream obesity treatment options. There is enough long-term data for its safety and effectiveness to cure morbid obesity.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Schematic - Bariatric Services in MexicoGastric Sleeve Surgery is one of the most innovative, popular bariatric surgeries performed in the Tijuana bariatric center today. It has overtaken gastric bypass as the “gold standard” for weight loss surgery.
In the Gastric Sleeve procedure, about 85% of the stomach is removed, restricting the amount of food you eat to make you feel full faster. Most of the “hunger hormones” are removed to decrease hunger. Gastric Sleeve is an excellent option as it doesn’t change your digestive tract and allows patients the widest possible dietary choices. However, as with any bariatric procedure, individual results may vary.


  • Quick, minimally invasive bariatric procedure
  • Short recovery time


  • Non-reversible
  • Not a great option for individuals with acid reflux

Expected Weight Loss (EWL) = ~65 % to 75%
Success Rate = ~80% to 90%

Gastric Bypass Surgery RNY Schematic

Gastric Bypass Surgery, also known as Roux-en-Y (RNY for short), was at one point the “gold standard” of bariatric surgery. The RNY Gastric bypass procedure is a very effective weight loss procedure by combining both restrictive and malabsorptive weight loss processes. The surgeon creates a new egg-shaped stomach (restriction) which reroutes the small intestines (malabsorption). RNY gastric bypass is a great choice for patients with acid reflux and metabolic diseases, such as diabetes type 2.


  • High amount of expected weight loss
  • Can improve medical conditions like type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea


  • Chance of dumping syndrome and vomiting
  • Higher risk of ulcers after the procedure

Expected Weight Loss (EWL) = ~70 % to 80%

Success Rate = ~80% to 90%

Single-incision gastric sleeve surgery, SILS

In the Single Incision Gastric Sleeve, only one incision is made through the belly button instead of traditional 3-5 incisions. Single-Port Sleeve Gastrectomy leaves little to no scars and is aesthetically pleasing. One incision site has added the benefit of reduced postoperative pain and faster recovery.

Patients with a BMI of less than 40 are good candidates for single-incision gastric sleeve surgery. SILS has the same expected weight loss and success rate as a regular gastric sleeve (VSG).

Expected Weight Loss (EWL) = ~65 % to 75%

Success Rate = ~80% to 90%

Mini Gastric Bypass Surgery - Gastric Bypass vs Mini Gastric Bypass

Mini Gastric Bypass (MGB) is similar to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. This procedure creates a new, small stomach pouch shaped like a tube, and only one anastomosis (Y connection) is formed to reroute the intestines, instead of two. Therefore, the operation is faster and results in less risk of complications and side effects.

This operation is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the safest and most efficient forms of bariatric surgery, surpassing the original Gastric Bypass surgery.

Expected Weight Loss (EWL) = 70 % to 80%

Success Rate = 85% to 90%

Duodenal Switch Surgery - How it Works - DS in Mexico

Duodenal Switch Surgery is a powerful bariatric and metabolic surgery with the highest expected weight loss of any procedure. The duodenal switch is composed of both restrictive and malabsorptive components, marking it as an excellent choice for those who are morbidly obese and in the highest BMI bracket.

Duodenal Switch can be the second step after gastric sleeve as it removes about 70% of the stomach similar to a sleeve; however, it reroutes a significant part of the small intestine. Single Anastomosis Duodenal Switch (SADI-S) is a newer version of DS surgery.


  • 98% of patients have been treated for type two diabetes
  • Patients lose an average of 50% to 80% of their excess weight in the first year


  • Extremely strict vitamins are required for life
  • Higher complication rate than other bariatric procedures

Expected Weight Loss (EWL) = ~75 % to 85%

Success Rate = ~70% to 90%

Mexico Bariatric Center Gastric Sleeve Revision

Mexico Bariatric Center Gastric Sleeve Revision

Weight loss surgery can and does fail at times for a variety of reasons. Revisional Surgery is needed to rescue and/or correct unsuccessful bariatric procedures. The most common procedure to fail and be revised is gastric band Surgery. Patients with failed Lap-Band can opt to get the gastric sleeve or gastric bypass; however, this can be a one-time or a two-time process depending on the condition of the Lap-Band.

If a sleeve patient does not reach the targeted weight, they can revise their gastric sleeve to gastric bypass / mini gastric bypass or duodenal switch. Some of the older surgeries, like Jejunoileal Bypass (JIB) and Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG), can be converted to gastric sleeve or gastric bypass / mini bypass. Gastric bypass patients have fewer options to alter their surgery:

  1. The pouch can be reduced laparoscopically or endoscopically
  2. The Roux limb can be lengthened
  3. Lap-band can be added or converted to Duodenal Switch.

Non-Surgical (Incisionless) Procedures

Only 1% of eligible individuals undergo surgical obesity treatment. Endoscopic Bariatric and Metabolic Therapies (EMBT) are developed to fill up the gap between diet/pharmacotherapy and the operation.

Gastric Balloon in Mexico - Meixco Bariatric CenterThe Intra Gastric Balloon (IGB) is a balloon that is endoscopically inserted and inflated in the stomach to reduce capacity. For patients who are not sure about undergoing bariatric surgery, a gastric balloon is an excellent non-surgical (via Endoscopic) option that allows patients to lose weight.

To get a jump start in losing weight patients can opt to IntraGastric Balloon and is NOT a permanent weight loss solution, and the balloon can only be in the stomach for up to one year.


  • Non-surgical
  • Reversible
  • Balloon usually stays in stomach for 6 months to 1 year


  • Lower expected weight loss
  • Discomfort and potential complications

Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty is a new procedure that aims to reduce weight without the need for invasive surgical options. The bariatric physician inserts a thin scope with a suturing probe endoscopically to accomplish a similar restriction as to the gastric sleeve surgery. Individuals interested in this non-surgical procedure must be considered obese with a 30 or greater body mass index (BMI). For sustainable weight loss after ESG, patients must establish an adequate diet, active exercise regime, and commit to a healthy lifestyle.

Experimental Procedures

Experimental procedures are either upcoming FDA approval or approved in another country other than the United States. These procedures could be promising, however, there is not enough data to support them like gastric plication.

Restrictive: Restrictive operations in the pilot study,

  • Nissen Sleeve Gastrectomy (N-Sleeve) - Nissen anti-reflux valve is added to a standard Sleeve Gastrectomy to control acid reflux
  • Primary Obesity Surgery Endolumenal (POSETM) Procedure
  • Transoral Gastric Volume Reduction (TGVR).

Malabsorptive: EndoBarrier Gastrointestinal Liner (on hold due to safety concerns)

Gastric Plication Surgery Schematic - How it Works - Sleeve Plication in MexicoLaparoscopic Gastric Plication (LGP) is a rather new bariatric surgery procedure that uses the restrictive technique to achieve weight loss. The operation is very similar to gastric sleeve surgery in the restriction of the stomach.

There is limited data to support long-term effectiveness and outcomes associated with this procedure. Due to the adverse effects, MBC surgeons are NOT supportive of this procedure at present.

Outdated Procedures

Outdated procedures have too many complications and have less expected weight loss, like Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG), Lap-Band (Gastric Banding), Jejunocolic Bypass and Jejunoileal Bypass.

Procedures like Jejunoileal Bypass was performed in the late 1960s after surgeons learned that patients who had lost a portion of their small intestine would lose weight. These surgeries are no longer performed due to their high complication rates and a slew of health problems including fatality.

Lap Band Schematic - Gastric Banding in MexicoLap Band is a surgical implant that restricts the stomach capacity. The inflatable silicone ring placed over the stomach creates a small pouch and limit food intake.

This procedure was once the most prevalent bariatric surgeries in the United States and Canada. However, the lack of long-term weight loss and its safety concerns has mostly declined its use. Most patients with faulty lap-band are undergoing correctional surgery, converting gastric band to another surgery type, typically gastric sleeve or gastric bypass.

The gastric band is still used, however, to rescue other failed surgeries like gastric bypass.

Expected Weight Loss (EWL) = ~40 % to 50%

Success Rate < 50%

Jejunoileal Bypass (JIB) Schematic - Mexico Bariatric Center

The Jejunoileal Bypass (JIB) was performed from 1950 to 1970 to cure morbidly obese patients with two variations: ES (end-to-side) and EE (end-to-end). The Jejunoileal Bypass is a malabsorptive procedure and bypasses most of the intestine.

JIB caused severe complications due to malabsorption, such as diarrhea, night blindness, osteoporosis, liver disease/failure, vitamin deficiencies, malnutrition, and death.

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VGB) Schematic New - Mexico Bariatric Center

Vertical Banded Gastroplasty (VBG) was performed as a restrictive or combination of restrictive and malabsorptive surgery, also known as ‘stomach stapling.’ VBG was designed to be a safer alternative to RYGBP and the JIB. In this procedure, a gastric band and staples are utilized to create a small stomach pouch to restrict the amount of food content traveling down to gastrointestinal tract.

Newer Procedures

The newer procedures, without proven long-term data, offered today are:

vBloc® TherapyvBloc Neurometabolic Therapy, or vBloc neurometabolic therapy, is a Neuro-Metabolic Therapy approved by FDA to treat obesity. A benefit of the vBloc procedure is that it is safe, reversible, and doesn’t alter patient anatomy.

A pacemaker-like device controls the hunger signals between the brain and stomach to feel fuller longer and reduce the amount of food you want to eat. The vBloc, or vagal blocking, works directly with hunger signals to the brain, ultimately blocking the receptors that make you feel hungry. The electrodes placed on the trunk of the vagus nerve are minimally invasive.

The company reports an average of 28% excess weight loss (EWL) experienced in one year. The outcome of vBloc works similarly to the effect of a gastric sleeve, as the vBloc makes you feel full throughout the day will decreasing the food intake.

Serious Adverse Events (SAE) related to this procedure includes neuro-regulator malfunction, pain at the neuro-regulator site, vomiting, collapsed lung and gallbladder disease.

Aspire AssistAspire, or AspireAssist, is also a newly developed, FDA approved tool for weight loss and obesity treatment. The benefit of AspireAssist is being a non-surgical, outpatient procedure. It is used as a more effective weight loss strategy to that of dieting or physical activity.

It is a middle ground between dieting and bariatric surgery. The AspireAssist is reversible with the procedure only lasting 15 minutes. The Aspire procedure is a stomach pump with a small tube that directly connects to your stomach and can be drained after eating.

It removes around one-third of the food contained within your stomach, therefore absorbing one third fewer calories within your body. This procedure is considered “disgusting” by some reviewers as you literally pump food after you eat into the toilet.

Bariatric Arterial Embolization (BAE) for obesity is a minimally invasive technique that trans-arterially embolizes the gastric fundus.

Do I Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery?

Each weight loss procedure has different requirements based on the complexity of the operation and the patient's health history. There are general guidelines to determine if you are eligible for weight loss surgery, such as your BMI and age, but the best way is to get a recommendation and approval directly from a professional, board-certified surgeon. You can fill out a free health questionnaire today to see if you qualify for bariatric surgery.

  • BMI of 30-40+ or with comorbidities

  • Ages between 16 and 65 (case by case basis)

  • Realistic weight loss expectations

Calculate Your BMI

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Open vs. Laparoscopic vs. Single Incision vs. Endoscopic

In the past, bariatric procedures were performed with an open abdominal incision. Nowadays, most bariatric surgeries are performed laparoscopically with excellent results. Qualified bariatric surgeons are quite experienced with laparoscopic surgery, producing surgeries with lower recovery time, lower surgical complications, and aesthetically pleasing results.

Open-Bariatric-Surgery in Mexico

Open Bariatric Surgery

Open surgery was done through a large incision in the abdomen for the entire surgery to perform. With the advancement of medical technolgies, open surgeries are rarely performed, due to longer recovery periods as well as higher risks of infection, adhesions, and cosmetic scarring.

Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery Mexico

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is performed with medical instruments that have built-in cameras allowing surgeons to view the abdomen on nearby screens. The result is that there are five to six small incisions, rather than one large cut in the abdomen with open surgery.

Single Incision Surgery

Single Incision bariatric surgery allows patients to undergo bariatric surgery with fewer scars. The patient's scars heal more aesthetically while speeding up the healing time. Single Incision bariatric surgery is only available on more simplistic surgeries such as the gastric sleeve surgery.


Endoscopic Surgery

The endoscopic procedure utilizes an endoscope, a flexible medical instrument inserted through the mouth, rather than making an incision in traditional surgery. In newer, experimental procedures such as such as Endoscopic Sleeve Gastroplasty, the endoscope is used to place sutures in the stomach and making it smaller.

Before and After

Why trust MBC for your weight loss surgery?

Mexico Bariatric Center® only offers weight loss surgery with the most trusted, board-certified surgeons in Tijuana, Mexico. Our team has performed thousands of gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and other bariatric surgeries, and we have the experience to handle even the most atypical cases. By choosing our qualified surgeons, you will also have your surgery done in a full-service, certified hospital specializing in bariatric surgery.

Stomach Banding vs. Stomach Stapling

Many individuals may conflate stomach surgery and stomach stapling as both are bariatric (weight loss) surgery. Both are essential components in weight loss surgery, but are different, and thus, necessary to distinguish.

Success is normally realized by losing 50% of excess weight (EWL) and it depends on the type of surgery, BMI before surgery, surgeon competency, and post-surgery diet & exercise.

Stomach Banding

The stomach banding procedure relies on a medical device to wrap around and 'band' the stomach, thereby causing restriction - vertical banded gastroplasty and gastric banding.

Stomach Stapling

This type uses medical staples to recreate permanently and close a smaller stomach for individuals - gastric sleeve surgery and roux-en-y gastric bypass.