Last fact-checked: 12 February 2020
If you’re unhappy about your weight and have a lot to lose, bariatric surgery in Mexico can help you slim down to a size you’re much happier with.
Using Medical Departures as a resource of information and booking platform, you can save up to 70% on the price of this life-changing surgery compared to if you were to have it done in the US or Canada.
Bariatric surgery is an umbrella term used for a variety of procedures which, essentially, restrict the amount of food your stomach can hold (so you eat less) and in some cases, restrict what your body absorbs.
If you are obese and have struggled for years with maintaining diet and exercise to reduce your weight loss, then you may be a candidate for bariatric surgery.
You will need to discuss with your surgeon what you hope to achieve, the possible ramifications of the various procedures and whether a permanent or non-permanent solution is best for you. The different types of bariatric surgeries are summarised below:
This is probably the one most people have heard of, with the “Roux-en-Y” the most commonly performed gastric bypass procedure. Essentially, the procedure divides the stomach, creating a smaller pouch through which food passes. The small intestine is also divided; the bottom end is joined to the pouch, effectively bypassing the larger part of the stomach and the rest of the small intestine.
The procedure is effective because fewer calories can be consumed (thanks to the smaller stomach size); and, secondly, fewer calories are absorbed because the small intestine has been shortened.
The sleeve gastrectomy works in a similar fashion to the Roux-en-Y bypass, but in this procedure, around 80% of the stomach is removed, leaving a small tubular pouch.
The gastric band is the only reversible bariatric procedure. The band is adjustable and is inflated over the top part of the stomach to section this section off from the stomach below. The band can be inflated to create a smaller opening; the smaller the opening the less you will be able to eat, and this will generally reduce the number of calories consumed.
This will depend on what type of bariatric surgery you have. Generally, most are performed laparoscopically (keyhole surgery) these days, which means you will not have large incisions, and the recovery time is far quicker.
Your surgery will be performed under a general anesthetic, and it typically takes several hours.
Again, this depends on the specific bariatric procedure you have. In the case of a gastric band, you will most likely be discharged within 24 hours, but for the permanent procedures, it could be two or more days.
You will need to give your digestive system time to heal, so you won’t be allowed to eat for a few days. After that, you will start on liquids, progressing to liquidized and soft foods and then eating normally. You will more than likely be given dietary guidelines, and a specific diet to follow for several months. You will need to be monitored frequently after your surgery, with blood tests to monitor your health.
You may experience aching, feeling tired and cold in the first few months after surgery as your body adapts to the rapid weight loss, but these should pass in time.
The cost of bariatric surgery in Mexico varies depending on the exact procedure, but on average it costs $5,000 (CAD $6,000; £3,000 GBP, €4,500, AUD $6,500) compared to an average of $20,000 in the United States (CAD $24,000; £13,000 GBP, €18,000, AUD $28,000).
Please note: These are approximate prices based on global averages at the time of writing. To see updated prices, as well as clinic photos, surgeon profiles, patient reviews and other information, take a look at these three leading clinics in Mexico for bariatric surgery:
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Zuckerman, Diana, Ph.D; Carroll, Jenna. Gastric Lap-Bands: What You Need to Know. National Center for Health Research. 2019.
What Is Gastric Sleeve Weight Loss Surgery? WebMD. 25 December 2018.
International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders (IFSO). Website accessed: 12 February 2019.