Frequently Asked Questions  Regarding Bariatric Procedures

1. Which is the best procedure for me: the sleeve or the bypass?

a. There is not a “Once size fits all” answer for this question, we will carefully review your patient eligibility form to recommend the best procedure, such as a sleeve, a gastric bypass, duodenal switch or any other weight loss procedure that will produce long-term results for you, there are some general guidelines.

b. The 35/35 rule; (age and BMI combo); if you are under the age of 35 and below 35 BMI, the gastric sleeve, mini sleeve or single incision gastric sleeve is the most likely procedure for you. Your metabolism is most likely still running at a good pace so the sleeve will help you achieve a healthy weight and reset your mind on your new habits towards a healthy and active lifestyle.

c. Patients above 35 and 45 of BMI will depend on the age and lifestyle of the patient. For example if a patient has 40 of age, 40 of BMI but he/she has always liked sporting and working out, but had a hiccup for the last few years. It's most likely that the gastric sleeve will “reset” the body and the mind for a balanced diet and an active lifestyle.

d. Sedentary lifestyle; we always encourage our patients for a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. However, there are some patients that just do not like to work out and the nature of their jobs is not to move often. If a sedentary patient gets a sleeve, after 2-3 years of surgery they have to make a double effort on their diet and calorie intake to maintain a normal weight. In this case we would recommend the bypass or mini bypass, the reason is because the sleeve is a restrictive procedure and the volume of the stomach could grow back over the years, but the bypass is a restrictive + malabsorptive procedure.

e. Inherited comorbidities; if a patient has a High-BMI (over 40) and history of chronic diseases or comorbidities in their family tree, we will recommend a bypass or even a duodenal switch.

f. Duodenal switch; It is the most efficient and has better long term results, we will recommend the duodenal switch for patients with HIGH BMI (>55) or revision from a previous gastric sleeve or bypass.

2. How much weight am I going to lose?

With the gastric sleeve you might lose between 60 to 100% of your excess weight. With the gastric bypass you might lose between 80 to 100% of your excess weight.

*Your new habits and behavior modifications will take a big part in these results.

3. When will I start seeing results?

With any bariatric procedure, you will see a reduction in your weight progressively even before surgery per your pre-operative diet one week before surgery. But your peak will be between the 12th and the 18th months post-op. Patients that follow and maintain all nutritionist recommendations say they are at their peak right after the 6th month.

4. What is the main difference between the gastric sleeve, the gastric bypass?

There are many surgical differences between the bariatric procedures and there is no comparison between them. But in easy words, a gastric sleeve is a restrictive procedure, this means that it will allow less food into your stomach before you feel full. The by-pass is a restrictive + malabsorptive procedure, this means you will eat less, but also will absorb less.

5. When can I go back to work?

We recommend 1 week after surgery.

6. When can I start working out?

We recommend cardio-vascular exercises after the 6th week. Heavy lifting (over 15 pounds) after the 8th week.

7. How is my diet after surgery?

Our in-house nutritionist will walk you through your diet:

a. 1st week: clear liquid diet
b. 2nd week: continue clear liquid but add more consistent solids, creams or soups.
c. 3rd week: move to yogurts, grinded foods or smoothies.
d. 4th week: you can eat anything in small amounts.

You will get an individual plan design just for you and will have access to our doctors and nutritionist.

8. When am I going to meet Dr Sandy?

Dr. Sandy will meet you in person before and after your surgery, she will be available to answer any questions or concerns in fluid english.

9. How long do I have to plan for my trip to Tijuana?

4 full days and 3 nights.

10. How is the international border crossing process? (between Mexico and USA)

We will pick you up at San Diego International Airport SAN (USA). One of drivers will take you to Tijuana, Mexico, you won’t even notice when you cross the border to Mexico. Remember that being a US citizen you have the right to cross the US-MX border without any special paperwork, a passport or a birth certificate and driver's license is sufficient.

11. How is the trip itinerary?

Even though some patients' schedules may vary, most are as follows:

a. Day 1: AM arrival to San Diego Airport + pre-operative tests in the hospital.
b. Night 1: Sleep in the hotel.
c. Day 2: Surgery date.
d. Night 2: Hospital night
e  Day 3: Recovery date.
f. Night 2: Hospital night.
g. Day 4: PM Trip back home

We will provide individual custom instructions for each patient.

12. Do I need to change currency from the USA to Mexican pesos?

Not necessarily, in Tijuana (even though it is Mexico) you will be able to pay with US dollars anywhere. Remember, Tijuana and San Diego are twin cities.

13. Are there any additional expenses that I could expect?

We offer an all-inclusive package, but certain things are not included:

a. Take Home medications
b. Additional hospital/ hotel nights.
c. Hiatal hernia repairs

Although complication are very rare they are not included on your all inclusive package

14. About prescriptions and home medications, how do I get them?

Plan between 80 to 120 dlls for taking home medication (depending on BMI).
Dr. Sandy Martinez at her office

Dr. Sandy Martinez

Dr. Sandy Martinez is a double board-certified bariatric surgeon in Tijuana, B.C. who helps patients achieve their weight loss goals by providing compassionate and high-quality care. She is affiliated with many organizations, including:

  • National Board of Surgery Mexico
  • National Board of Bariatric Surgery
  • Baja California Board of Bariatric Surgery
  • American Society of Bariatric Surgery
  • American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery
  • International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders

For more information on the services we offer or to request a consultation, we invite you to call our practice at (619) 484-9903.

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