Best Tips on Preparing for Bariatric Surgery in Tijuana

Undergoing bariatric surgery in Tijuana, Mexico is an essential step in regaining control of your life. It's an exciting time for patients because of the incredible, life-changing results we are able to deliver. 

Properly preparing for weight loss surgery is essential, as it sets the stage for a successful recovery and a life-long weight loss journey. We'll take you through the necessary mental preparation and items you'll need for a comfortable post-op recovery.

Your Initial Consultation

The initial consultation with our bariatric team will involve discussing your health history and candidacy requirements for our procedures. During your virtual appointment, we will discuss your weight loss options to determine whether a gastric sleeve, mini gastric bypass, gastric bypass surgery or another procedure is most appropriate for you. We will also examine the relevant physical and emotional considerations before and after your surgery.

It’s important that you come to your appointment prepared on several different levels.

Gather medical files

Have medical records from your primary care doctor and any lab or imaging tests forwarded to our office. You may also need to undergo tests to confirm that you are a candidate for a particular type of weight loss surgery.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

Make sure you understand the pre-op diet program and the changes you will undergo as part of your post-op lifestyle. Although you may already know a lot about bariatric surgery, undoubtedly, more questions will arise as you get closer to the big day.

Involve your support network

Opting for bariatric surgery for obesity entails significant lifestyle changes that necessitate the backing of friends and family. Discuss your decision with your loved ones before your initial consultation because achieving successful weight loss is nearly impossible without their support. Seek guidance from your doctor on how to approach family members who may be anxious or indifferent about your choice.

Following the initial consultation, we will gather medical records so our bariatric surgeons can conduct an in-depth health analysis and discuss other necessary information to determine your candidacy. At this time, you should notify our medical team of any allergies, health conditions, or general concerns about factors that may affect your outcome.

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Top 5 Reasons to Choose Tijuana Bariatric Center

  1. A Pioneering team – Led by renowned bariatric experts, including Dr. Fernando Garcia, Dr. Marcela Ramirez, and general physician Dr. Paola Velazco, our team has successfully performed over 15,000 cutting-edge surgeries.
  2. A Passion for Safety – We employ the latest advanced techniques to minimize the risk of complications and accelerate recovery while following the most stringent international protocols for safety and cleanliness.
  3. A Holistic Philosophy – Our care extends beyond state-of-the-art surgical procedures. We offer comprehensive education, ongoing dietary counseling, access to a supportive Facebook group, and extensive follow-up via email.
  4. Affordable Excellence – Our life-saving services are provided at a fraction of the cost compared to the U.S. and other countries, making it possible for patients in urgent need of surgery to achieve their weight loss goals without long waiting times. Our included medical tourism insurance offers peace of mind and a hassle-free experience.
  5. A Compassionate Atmosphere – Every member of our team, from nurses and nutritionists to our highly skilled doctors, is dedicated to creating a nurturing, non-judgmental atmosphere where patients can genuinely heal and learn to thrive.

Words can't describe how happy I am. The service, staff were beyond amazing. Dr. Garcia is a fantastic choice for anyone considering sleeve surgery. He was warm and friendly, and took time to answer questions. 15 out of 5 stars! Thank you Dr Garcia!

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Mentally Preparing for Bariatric Surgery

Besides making sure your body is healthy enough for the procedure, monitoring your emotional state is just as vital for a successful surgery and the weight loss to come. Follow these five tips to achieve a healthier weight.

  1. Have Realistic Expectations – Bariatric surgeries like sleeve gastrectomy are merely tools for weight loss. You won't wake up thin but will have a smaller stomach to help you on your weight loss journey. Weight loss will take some time and effort. Follow doctor recommendations to start exercising, incorporate lifestyle changes, and begin eating a healthy diet. Having a clear idea of what lies ahead will play a significant role in your success.
  2. Don’t Do It Alone – Long-term support is everything for bariatric patients. Seek a family member or a close friend to help you set weight loss goals. Take advantage of any obesity support groups or our multidisciplinary team to help you plan meals with healthy foods and stay on track. Seek out your primary care provider who can help you set long-term goals for losing weight, stay motivated and keep track of your weight loss process. Educate yourself as much as possible.
  3. Recognize Food Addictions and the Importance of an Exercise Routine – Address any food addictions before surgery. Consult a mental health doctor to help identify what role food plays in your life and help you develop healthy alternatives. Work with a bariatric dietician to adjust your daily diet and develop an individualized meal plan for both before and after surgery. Many patients get discouraged by the amount of exercise needed to burn calories. However, proper eating helps improve mood and sleep, which aids physical activity. You can increase strength and muscular endurance without buying expensive equipment.
  4. Seek Help for Depression After bariatric surgery, you need focus and time to achieve weight loss success. Bariatric surgery patients suffering from depression have an even harder time staying on track, especially if food addiction is involved. Talk to a doctor or mental health care professional about ways to develop and maintain a positive attitude about your new lifestyle.
  5. Managing Other Habits – It's crucial to address other habits such as tobacco, alcohol, and substance use, as they can hinder your weight loss journey. Alcohol, for instance, is calorie-dense and can lower inhibitions, leading to increased food consumption. Additionally, patients often experience intensified alcohol effects after surgery. Smoking, on the other hand, elevates the risk of post-operative complications, respiratory issues, and ulcers. If you require assistance in quitting any of these habits, don't hesitate to consult your doctor for guidance on suitable programs and support.

Your Pre-Surgery Timeline

Prior to your bariatric procedure, closely follow your pre-op diet to lose as much weight as possible. The pre-op diet will help make surgery safer while also helping you get used to healthy foods rich in protein and lower calorie intake. You can find additional information on specific pre-op diets for gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery in our blog.

Do not use aspirin, blood thinners, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen, Aleve, or Motrin for one week before surgery, and stop taking Vitamin C and Vitamin E, as they all can cause excessive bleeding. Ask your doctor about what other medications you may need to discontinue temporarily.

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Three to Six Months Before Surgery

In the months before surgery, it is essential to get into the habit of eating healthy foods. Since your stomach will not accommodate as much food after the procedure, you must be able to provide your body with the nutrients it needs while consuming smaller portions. During this time, bariatric surgery patients should strive to:

  • Eat More Protein: Protein will help you feel full faster and will help preserve muscle once you begin losing weight.
  • Take Multivitamins: Multivitamins can complement your regular diet, so taking them should become part of your routine.
  • Avoid Alcohol: After surgery, changes to the digestive tract can cause patients to become intoxicated more easily. Alcohol not only contains empty calories, but consumption can also affect willpower and lead to unhealthy eating patterns.

Two Weeks Before Surgery

Adhering to a strict diet plan not only supports a successful surgery but also helps patients learn healthy eating habits to complement their postoperative lifestyles. During the seven to 14 days prior to the surgery, your doctor will prescribe a strict, liquid-only diet. Patients must adhere to the diet; otherwise, there is a strong possibility that the procedure will be canceled or rescheduled at a later date. Examples of various liquids that can be consumed during this time period include:

  • Clear broths
  • Meal replacement shakes
  • Protein shakes
  • Sugar-free beverages
  • V8 (vegetable Juices)

In some cases, you may consume thin cream of wheat or cream of rice, but patients should consult with their doctor first. Caffeinated and carbonated drinks are strictly forbidden, and patients should wait at least 30 minutes between meals and the consumption of liquids.

Readying Your Pantry

At this point, you can also stock up on essentials like easy-to-prepare meals for other family members and do any chores that require bending, stretching or heavy lifting, as you won't be able to do these for several weeks following your surgery. Place essential items in easy-to-reach places to aid your recovery. Full recovery from bariatric surgery can take up to six weeks, so make sure you have the proper assistance for childcare or other needs.

What to Bring to the Hospital for Surgery

Prior to your procedure at our Tijuana, Mexico surgical center, assemble some personal items to maintain your comfort. Think about bringing the following:

  • Pajamas or a nightdress, along with a robe and slippers.
  • Personal toiletries.
  • Underwear.
  • Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Flat shoes for your journey back home.
  • Reading material.
  • Your mobile phone or tablet.
  • A notepad and pens for jotting down questions.
  • Glasses and a protective case.
  • Earplugs.
  • Hairbrush or comb.
  • Moisturizing lotion.
  • Cozy, warm socks.
  • A captivating book to pass the time.

We encourage having a close friend or family member with you as much as possible during your hospital stay to provide support and to act as an advocate for anything you may need.

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Tijuana Bariatric Center is Committed to Preparing Patients for Bariatric Surgery

Following these guidelines on preparing for bariatric surgery will go a long way in helping you to have a more successful procedure and recovery experience. Our team will assist you every step of the way, including with your travel to Mexico and transfers from San Diego. We will answer any questions you may have, and connect you with a bariatric surgeon within our network that will help you achieve the results you desire.

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