Achieve a Healthier Weight with LAP-Band Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico

LAP-Band surgery, also called adjustable gastric banding, is considered one of the least invasive weight-loss options. This bariatric procedure first debuted in 2001, making it one of the oldest available surgical options. 

Some patients interested in the potential benefits of bariatric surgery may be concerned about treatment costs or committing to a permanent procedure. The Tijuana Bariatric Center offers the LAP-Band system in Tijuana, Mexico, as an affordable and safe way of reaching your weight loss goals.

Before & Afters Bariatric Surgery

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How Does the LAP-Band Work?

This surgical treatment works by controlling hunger and portion size, as the upper portion of the stomach created by the device only allows you to eat a small amount at one time. When the gastric pouch fills, that part of the stomach sends signals to your brain that you are full. The amount you eat also takes longer to pass through your stomach due to the small opening of the adjustable gastric band. Digestion occurs normally.

For gastric band weight loss to succeed, your lap band must undergo periodic adjustments, called a fill, usually performed in a doctor's office. The first adjustment takes place about six to eight weeks after surgery. During each fill, your doctor will insert a small needle through your skin into the access port to either add or remove saline fluid depending on several factors, including weight loss. 

Adding saline makes the opening between the stomach's two sections smaller, making the passage of food slower. The fluid goes into the band placed around the upper stomach for more restriction. Removing saline allows more rapid passage of food.

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How is LAP-Band Surgery Performed?

An anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia to make you sleep during the procedure. Your bariatric surgeon will make several small cuts in the upper abdomen to insert a laparoscope and surgical instruments to guide the gastric band into place and tighten it to make a small upper pouch. The fluid tube and the port will be placed under the skin and attached to the band. The procedure takes 30 to 60 minutes. You’ll spend one to two hours in the recovery room afterward so the hospital staff can monitor your vital signs.

What Does a LAP-Band Look Like?

LAP-band devices are made of hollow radiopaque silicone and look like donut-shaped balloons. They are able to absorb X-rays, so it’s important to tell other healthcare professionals that you have this device in place. The band has an inflatable inner surface as well as tubing and a plastic access port.

How Successful is LAP-Band Surgery?

LAP-Band results differ from other types of weight-loss surgeries. Patients who undergo LAP-Band often lose weight at a slower pace than with gastric bypass surgery or gastric sleeve. You can continue to lose weight for up to three years after surgery. On average, patients will initially lose 40% to 60% of their excess body weight.

That said, results vary widely depending on your motivation and compliance in eating and performing sufficient exercise. Most patients can expect to lose one to two pounds per week in the first year. The LAP-Band procedure may not provide the same results as more invasive bariatric surgeries. Superobese patients with a BMI of more than 50 may be better off considering another type of surgery.

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Why Choose Tijuana Bariatric Surgery for the LAP-Band Procedure?

With an outstanding 98% success rate across all our procedures and more than a decade of expertise, Tijuana Bariatric Center stands as a beacon of hope for patients seeking life-saving weight-loss solutions. The majority of our new clients come via referrals, which reflects the trust that patients place in our care. Our team upholds the highest international standards and safety protocols, further solidifying its commitment to excellence. With over 10,000 procedures performed, we are known globally as a leader in the bariatric field.

However, at Tijuana Bariatric Center, our core mission goes well beyond the act of surgery. We believe in a holistic and transformative weight loss journey that includes emotional, communal, and dietary components. We seek to ensure that every patient feels prioritized, valued, and included. By pairing our cutting-edge medical techniques performed in a state-of-the-art setting with our dedication to a compassionate and comprehensive approach, we aim to exceed expectations at every turn. Our vision is not merely that patients will lose weight. We want to see them thrive, living life to its fullest, exploring their dreams, and enjoying the freedom of a healthy lifestyle.

What to Expect After LAP-Band Surgery

Patients can expect soreness at the incision site for about a week after the operation. Most patients experience gradual weight loss that starts almost immediately. For the most part, the device cannot be felt except when eating. To lose the desired amount of excess weight, patients must commit to ongoing healthy habits, including eliminating junk food and increasing exercise.

In general, LAP-Band offers a shorter hospitalization and quicker recovery than gastric bypass or sleeve gastrectomy. Most people can return to work one week after surgery if their job is not physically demanding. Normal activity can resume after about six weeks.

What Can You Eat After LAP-Band Surgery?

The post-LAP-Band diet is similar to those for other bariatric surgeries, like gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. You'll find yourself gradually introducing items into your diet. You will need to eat slowly, starting with liquids and then progressing to pureed foods before you will be able to eat solids.

Eating too quickly can cause pain and vomiting. Some "normal foods" may cause gastric distress, so add new foods slowly to ensure that your system can tolerate them. To avoid weight regain, remember to follow a healthy diet for the rest of your life.

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What is Adjustable Gastric Band Surgery?

Adjustable gastric banding involves implanting a soft silicone ring with an expandable balloon around the upper part of the stomach, effectively creating two compartments.
The surgeon attaches the lap band via a soft tubing to an injection port under the skin. This device allows your doctor to periodically adjust the band's tightness. Adding saline to the band makes the orifice smaller between the pouch it creates in the top part of the stomach and the lower main section. When fitted correctly, the lap band helps patients feel full with less food, allowing them to lose as much as 70% of their excess weight.

Adjustable Gastric Banding Pros

  • Approved by the FDA for people with a BMI of 30 or higher, with one or more obesity-related risk factors
  • Minimally invasive
  • No intestinal rerouting, cutting, or stapling of the stomach or intestine
  • Reduced patient pain, hospital length of stay, and recovery time
  • Less scarring
  • Less chance of infection than gastric bypass or gastric sleeve
  • Lower risk of nutritional deficiencies
  • No risk of dumping syndrome typically associated with gastric bypass
  • Adjustable band allows customization of food flow during follow-up appointments to aid long-term weight loss
  • Adjustments performed without additional surgery
  • Approved for use during pregnancy
  • Reversible, allowing the stomach to return to its original shape
  • Improved health, as significant weight loss, alleviates weight-related health problems like hypertension, type II diabetes, and obstructive sleep apnea

Adjustable Gastric Banding Cons

  • Weight loss tends to be less than with gastric sleeve or gastric bypass procedures
  • Greater risk of postsurgical weight gain
  • Between 15% and 40% of patients require revision surgery
  • The band will eventually require a replacement
  • Band slippage or deterioration can cause digestive problems
  • Patients must go for regular adjustments, which some may find inconvenient

Laparoscopic Gastric Banding Complications and Side Effects

You may occasionally notice your access port, particularly right after surgery, when you are recovering and feel a little sore. Typical complications are often the same as with other types of abdominal procedures.

These include:

  • Bleeding and infections
  • Blood clots in the legs
  • Breathing problems from general anesthesia

Specific LAP-Band complications from surgery include:

  • Band slippage
  • Stomach puncture
  • Food not going into the stomach

Side effects include not being able to eat red meat, which can lead to anemia.

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Is Gastric Band Surgery Reversible?

LAP-Band surgery is reversible, but surgeons recommend not removing it because the device is meant to help you lead a healthy life, including encouraging the right diet and exercise regimen. Revision surgery is sometimes necessary when the band slips or erodes. More often, patients elect to convert the LAP-Band procedure to a gastric sleeve or bypass because they have not lost sufficient weight.

I went to have surgery 2 weeks ago. I had the best experience. The doctors, nurses, lab people and housekeepers were all professional. The hospital was clean. I was very impressed compared to some hospitals in the States. I would do it again! I also loved Google Translate, which the nurses had on their phones and I had on mine. The nurses were always in my room giving me medication and IV fluids. I’m a nurse myself and was very impressed.  I couldn’t have asked for better care from Dr. Garcia, Atallia and Linda. Also any questions I had prior to surgery were answered by Martha. I would definitely recommend the Tijuana Bariatric Center.

— Roxanne Weppner

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Who is Eligible for LAP-Band Surgery?

Those eligible for this operation are at least 18 years old. They should have a BMI of 40 or higher or are at least 100 pounds over their ideal weight. People with lower BMI are considered if they have serious health problems associated with obesity. Other candidacy factors include:

  • Repeated unsuccessful attempts to lose weight
  • Absence of other diseases that may have caused obesity
  • Willingness to make substantial changes in eating habits and lifestyle to improve overall health

LAP-Band surgery in Tijuana is not recommended for people with the following conditions:

  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Ulcers, severe esophagitis, or Crohn’s disease
  • Severe heart or lung disease
  • Conditions that cause severe bleeding
  • Abnormal stomach, esophagus, or intestines
  • Abdominal injury
  • Cirrhosis
  • Chronic pancreatitis
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Investing in Your Health – The Advantages of Medical Tourism

Bariatric surgery has helped thousands of patients to enhance their confidence, become more active, and improve or eliminate weight-related health conditions. LAP-Band surgery can be life-changing, but its high price means many American patients are simply unable to afford this weight loss solution. Fortunately, patients can take advantage of low-cost LAP-Band surgery in Tijuana. Our immaculate treatment center is held to the same stringent international safety standards as those in the U.S. and our surgeons are of the highest caliber, with decades of expertise.

The typical cost of the LAP-Band procedure in the U.S. can range from about $8,700 to $27,000. The average cost of LAP-Band surgery is $14,532.  The cost of LAP-Band surgery coordinated by the Tijuana Bariatric Center is around $5,000. For patients who do not have or are not using their medical insurance, these cost savings are substantial without compromising safety or quality. Patients can expect to undergo care at a center that is equipped with the latest cutting-edge technology, intensive care units with full certification, and in-house laboratory and radiology departments.

What Is Included?

For the patient’s convenience, treatment cost includes:

  • Ground transportation to and from the San Diego airport
  • Hotel fees
  • Hospital fees
  • Medical fees
  • Pre- and post-operative tests
  • Nourishment
  • Post-operative medication

Protecting Your Investment

Patients traveling for medical procedures often have concerns about how to ensure their safety and financial security. For this reason, the Tijuana Bariatric Center offers medical tourism insurance to patients, providing coverage for up to $3,000 against unforeseen events in the patient’s surgical procedure in Mexico. Patients have no deductible or coinsurance. Medical tourism insurance can give you peace of mind when undergoing a surgical procedure.

Making Weight Loss Sustainable

To help maintain their weight loss, Tijuana Bariatric Center patients will work with our bariatric nutritionist in the months after their surgery. This personalized counseling enables patients to plan healthy meals with sufficient vitamins, proteins, and minerals to support weight loss and overall health. Nutritionist Linda Cardona is also available to patients after they return home for support regarding diet, as well as counseling around obstacles that arise, and how to best make their lifestyle changes permanent.

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Is LAP-Band Surgery Right for Me?

Prospective patients should note that health professionals only recommend bariatric surgery when other options fail. Ideal candidates are severely overweight and have not responded to diet or exercise changes. Dr. Fernando Garcia can help guide you through the process of deciding which procedure is right for you. For more information about the substantial impact LAP-Band surgery can have on your life, reach out to schedule an appointment today or call 800-970-0577.

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