Weight Loss Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

Weight loss surgery might not be the best choice for everyone, and undergoing any procedure should be carefully considered. If you want bariatric surgery but have a list of questions – we recommend you take them to your surgeon before you begin. Discussing your concerns, questions, or each surgery will help you prepare for this life-changing experience and better understand the process. If you are unsure what questions to ask, here is what we recommend you ask your weight loss surgeon when you consider bariatric surgery:

What foods cannot be eaten after bariatric surgery?

In order to allow the healing process, avoid stretching the new stomach, gaining extra weight or prevent any side effects or complications. It is recommended to eat smaller portions, while eating take small bites, shew well and don’t drink any kind of liquid until 30 min after.

Also avoid this kind of foods:

  • Foods with poor nutritional content and high in calories (i.e. chips, cookies, sweets, etc.)
  • Dry food (i.e. granola, cereals, rice, bread, pasta, etc.)
  • Carbonated beverages (i.e. sodas)
  • Sugary or high caffeinated beverages (i.e. sodas and juices)
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty foods (i.e. sausage, whole mild, butter, or fried food
  • Spicy of heavily seasoned food

Can your stomach grow back after gastric bypass?

No. In the gastric bypass your stomach it is not cut out. It is just changed to where a small pouch where food will pass is left and a larger part will be not functioning. The pouch can stretch a bit, or the union between the pouch and the small intestine can also stretch. Either will give you less restriction and the feeling that you are able to eat more.

Does Bariatric Surgery shorten your life?

No! Actually it will improve your general health states by controlling or alleviating chronic diseases, like diabetes mellitus , hypertension, dyslipidemia, Obstructive sleep apnea, coronary artery disease, etc. that will shorten your life. So, after bariatric surgery there will be an improvement of your quality and years of life.

Is the procedure reversible?

Not all bariatric procedures are reversible or adjustable. If you are not sure you want permanent surgery, research non-invasive options before committing to permanent weight loss surgery.

Are there any possible side effects will could experience after surgery? 

Like risks involved in the procedure, every surgery comes with possible negative outcomes. Many may be short-term, but bariatric candidates can often experience common side effects like nausea, vomiting, gallstones, or dizziness. If you experience anything above and beyond these symptoms or they last for a prolonged period – consult your doctor immediately.

Which bariatric surgery is best for me?

Your doctor should individually assess your unique needs and suggest the surgery that best fits you. Ask your doctor about every step of the process and discuss the pros and cons of each individual surgery. More than one bariatric surgery may work for your situation, so get informed about each one to make an educated choice with your surgeon.

Can you drink coffee after gastric bypass?

The fists month after surgery it is recommended to avoid any source of caffeine, coffee, tea, sodas, etc. But after yes, in moderation. Coffee it is a good source of antioxidants, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B3. It does not contain significant amount of fats or carbohydrates though is low in calories, however the addition of sugar, milk, cream or other sweeteners might affect the nutritional value and increase the caloric content.

How much does bariatric surgery cost?

Starting prices in Mexico: 

  • Gastric balloon: $5000
  • Gastric plication: $5000
  • Gastric sleeve: $5000
  • Revision surgery: $7000
  • Bypass: $7000
  • Duodenal switch: $9000

And the price is modified by very high BMI, comorbidities or health risk or medical history of each patient.

How much does bariatric surgery cost at your clinic?

At VIDA Wellness & Beauty, we have various low-cost bariatric surgery options for our patients. We can accommodate many budgets and unique surgery requests, from our gastric sleeve pricing starting at $4,790 to our sleeve revision pricing starting at $6,600. During your consultation, ask your doctor what surgery options are available and if any current specials are going on.

How much weight can I expect to lose, and how long will it take?

With some bariatric procedures, you can start seeing weight loss within a few weeks after the procedure – but in others, it can take a month or more. Speak with your doctor about your specific procedure and what realistic weight-loss expectations you should set. 

How long is the recovery process?

The length of recovery can vary depending on your surgery, current health, and your bariatric surgeon. Speak with the doctor of your choice and ask for estimates on how long the recovery should take and what you can expect after.

What are the main types of bariatric surgery?

  • Gastric sleeve
  • Gastric bypass
  • Mini gastric bypass
  • Revision surgery

Who qualifies for bariatric surgery?

To find out if you are a candidate you can calculate your body mass index, people above 35 BMI and who have comorbidities (pre-diabetic, hypertension, glucose problems, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, obstructive sleep apnea, Polycystic ovaric syndrome, etc.) could be candidates for metabolic or bariatric surgery. Books or standards say patients with a BMI over 40 are already candidates for metabolic surgery. Or if you are a male with over 20% body fat or women with more than 30% body fat. Obviously considering that these patients have already tried to lose weight with diet, exercise and have failed, that’s when they are recommended metabolic surgery. It is important to mention that we could operate a patient with a BMI less than 40, considering the patient health state and comorbidities, each patient is different.

What type of medical tests do I need before surgery, and can your facility provide them? 

Before the surgery can occur, there are both psychological and physical prerequisites and evaluations before the procedure. These tests ensure that you are ready for the surgery and are prepared for the results. In addition, your doctor should provide you with the specifics of the pre-surgery needs and if their facility offers them.

Why come to Mexico for bariatric surgery instead of the US?

When your insurance doesn’t cover a bariatric procedure, because it is considered to be experimental or elective, would you think about giving up on it? Or, if your home state doesn’t have trained laparoscopic bariatric surgeons who have experience with patients like you, what can you do to keep costs affordable? See more reasons here.

Safety, affordability, and convenience.

Choosing a certified surgeon and a hospital that exceeds international safety standards means ensuring your safety. Mexico has some of the most qualified surgeons, but it also boasts a very convenient location for North American patients, care in their language, and an unbelievably affordable price tag.

What’s the education differences for bariatric surgeons in the US vs Mexico?

Actually, in years of education none. But since Mexico and specially Tijuana gas become one of the world capital for medical tourism, especially in bariatric surgery there are surgeons with more expirience ( number of cases) in Mexico that in the US.

What will my post weight loss surgery recovery be like? 

Everyone recovers differently. Depending on your surgery, current health at the time of operation, and how long you give yourself to recover – there isn’t a set time on when you will “feel normal” again. However, most patients stay in the hospital for less than 24 hours and are recovered enough to get back to normal activities in 1-2 weeks.

Read this post: What is the long term success rate for weight loss surgery?

How many days do I need to take off work to recover?

The timeline for this type of recovery depends on the type of job you are returning to. Mentally and physically, your body needs to recover from the surgery and the effects of the anesthesia and any pain medication that was given. Patients will be unable to drive or operate other heavy machinery during this recovery period, so you definitely cannot return until at least 48 hours later. Speak to your doctor and discuss your specific job and how long you should take off before going back to work.

Will your facility provide medical transportation and lodging?

Not all facilities will provide transportation and lodging – so do your due diligence and ask what is included in the pricing and additional costs. When you book your trip and your procedure with us at VIDA Wellness & Beauty, we ensure our patients are provided with transportation to and from the airport and lodging after the surgery for a safe, monitored recovery environment. 

How do I know which bariatric surgery is the best for me?

Something very important, is not to see this type of surgeries as the definitive way to lose weight and to be well. It is more a tool to learn to eat well, learn new habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle, lose weight and enjoy a better health for longer time.

Things to consider are:

  • Amount of excess body weight
  • Health status
  • Comorbidities
  • Lifestyle
  • Expectations
  • Procedures
  • How it works
  • Possible complications
  • Long term care for a specific procedure
  • What can I expect from it?

Why can’t I have caffeine after bariatric surgery?

Our surgeons advise patients to avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks after their surgery. However, we don’t believe in just saying ‘no’ to our patients, because we understand how drinking coffee and tea is normal for everybody. We want to help you understand why you should avoid caffeine after bariatric surgery:

  • Bariatric surgery changes the way your body digests food and drinks. Some of the surgeries are malabsorptive, which means they limit the vitamins and nutrients your body absorbs. Since we need to prioritize proper nutrient absorption, avoiding caffeine is the best idea. Caffeine makes nutrient absorption more challenging for your body, and being a bariatric patient means having to pay special attention to this!
  • Caffeine also increases digestive issues such as diarrhea and gastric reflux. While these are uncomfortable for the general population, they can create serious after-surgery complications for bariatric patients.
  • Caffeinated drinks are acidic, which can irritate your stomach. Following bariatric surgery, it’s important to avoid irritating foods to avoid gas and vomit.
  • Caffeine is a diuretic. Drinking too much caffeine increases urination, which can lead to dehydration. Following any surgery, you don’t want to risk dehydration!

What are the lifestyle changes that I need to incorporate?

After your bariatric surgery, you must make changes to your lifestyle. From diet to exercise schedule, all of these must be adjusted to accommodate the “new you.” Your doctor should have information to help guide you to success, and you can also use support groups or close-to-home professionals to help with nutrition and exercise plans.

Should I consult my primary care physician before I have bariatric surgery?

You should always consult your primary care physician (PCP) before undergoing any surgery. Your PCP takes care of your health and wellness and should be kept in the loop with any procedures. Also, it is your PCP who you will see during your aftercare, so make sure they are aware of your surgery and are ready to support you with the proper tools when the time comes.

What will the aftercare look like after returning from Mexico?

When you leave our facility in Mexico, you must see aftercare at home when you arrive. Since many of our patients do not reside close to our facility, we offer virtual check-ups and recommend they find a local support system and doctor at home to help with follow-up plans.

How long does the actual bariatric surgery itself take?

By procedure:

  • Gastric sleeve around 30 min.
  • Gastric bypass around 120 min
  • Revision surgery 45 to 120 min