Weight Loss Surgery in Tijuana

Tijuana has proven to be the location of choice for Weight Loss Surgery like the popular Gastric sleeve 

About Tijuana

Despite misconceptions fueled by overblown media coverage in the past years, Tijuana now stands out as a key player in global medical tourism, drawing over 1.1 million visitors each year with its cost-effective medical solutions. The city’s healthcare infrastructure has evolved impressively, boasting state-of-the-art facilities and advanced medical technology. It is home to highly skilled, certified medical professionals who bring a wealth of experience in serving a diverse international patient base. These experts are well-versed in the latest procedures and are committed to providing the highest standards of patient care. Tijuana’s medical services not only offer an unparalleled blend of safety, quality, and success but also provide personalized care plans designed to meet the unique needs of each patient. This comprehensive approach ensures that Tijuana often outperforms healthcare services found in the US, making it an ideal choice for those seeking superior yet affordable healthcare options abroad.

For over 15 years, our dedicated team at Bariatric Mexico has been welcoming patients from around the globe to Tijuana, ensuring a safe and seamless experience from start to finish. Our expertise in coordinating every aspect of the journey, from pre-surgery consultations to post-operative care, has established us as a trusted leader in international medical tourism. We prioritize the well-being of our patients, implementing rigorous safety protocols and providing continuous support throughout their stay. This commitment to excellence and safety has made Bariatric Mexico a preferred choice for those seeking reliable and effective bariatric surgery abroad.

Tijuana's FAQ's

Do I need a passport to have surgery in Tijuana?

  • U.S. Citizens: A state-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, is typically sufficient for crossing the international border into Mexico. However, for re-entry into the United States, a passport book, passport card, or other WHTI-compliant document is required.
  • Non-U.S. Citizens: A valid passport is mandatory for entering Mexico. Ensure your travel documents are up-to-date and allow for entry into Mexico and return to your home country.

Is Tijuana safe for medical tourists?

  • Tijuana has become a safe destination, especially for medical tourists. The city, recognized as a hub for international medical tourism, prioritizes tourist safety. While Tijuana experienced some challenges back in 2008, it has since undergone significant improvements and now thrives as a center for tourism and specialized medical care.

Where should I stay in Tijuana?

  • We arrange accommodations for all our patients at The Grand Hotel Tijuana on the night before the surgery. The hotel offers comfortable lodgings and convenient proximity to medical facilities.

To have surgery in Tijuana, where should I fly to?

  • You should book your flights to and from San Diego, California. From there, transportation will be arranged to take you across the border to Tijuana.

Will someone pick me up at the San Diego International Airport?

  • Yes, our dedicated transportation team will greet you at the airport and provide transport to Tijuana. After your procedure and recovery, transportation back to the airport is also included in your surgery package.

Will I need to bring money for take-home medications?

  • Yes, please bring $85 in cash for your take-home medications, as credit cards are not accepted for this purpose. Our patient runner will handle the purchase and delivery of your medications, so you won’t need to leave the facility.

Where can my companion(s) eat in Tijuana?

  • Tijuana offers a diverse range of dining options. Our patient runner can assist your companions in obtaining any type of food they desire, though they should be prepared to cover their own meal expenses.

What types of weight loss surgeries are available in Tijuana?

  • Tijuana offers a range of bariatric procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, lap band, and revision surgeries. These are performed using the latest technologies and techniques by highly trained and experienced bariatric surgeons.

What language is spoken in the medical facilities? Do I need a translator?

  • The primary language spoken in Tijuana’s medical facilities is Spanish, but many doctors and medical staff are bilingual in English. Most reputable clinics catering to international patients will ensure that translators are available if needed.

Who is the Patient Coordinator for Dr. Sergio Verboonen & Dr. Jaime Ponce de Leon in Tijuana?

  • JC Urrea serves as the Lead Patient Coordinator for both surgeons. He is your point of contact for any needs or questions you may have during your stay.

These FAQs are designed to ensure your medical journey to Tijuana is as smooth and comfortable as possible, providing you with peace of mind throughout your transformative experience.

Travel Agenda

Day 1: Arrival Day

Upon your arrival at San Diego International Airport, expect the following:

  • Transportation: A private driver will meet you at the airport and transport you directly to the Grand Hotel Tijuana. If your surgery is scheduled for the same day, you will be taken directly to Obesity Goodbye Hospital. (Note: If arriving the night before surgery, please fast starting at 11 PM to prepare for next day’s lab work.)

Day 2: Surgery Day

  • Morning: Our patient coordinator, Carlos, will meet you at the lobby of the Grand Hotel at 8:30 AM to transport you to Obesity Goodbye Hospital.

  • Pre-Surgery Preparations at the Hospital:

    • Admission and completion of all consent forms.
    • Final balance payment and a $100 fee for take-home medications.
    • Pre-surgical lab work, EKG, and chest X-ray.
    • Full consultation with the surgical team to answer any last-minute questions.
  • Surgery:

    • The procedure will be performed using a laparoscopic approach. Surgery duration varies by patient.
    • Post-surgery, patients will spend one to two nights at Wellness Obesity Goodbye Hospital.
    • Patients will be encouraged to walk a few hours post-surgery.
    • Recovery rooms at Hospital are private, and a family member or companion may stay overnight in a cozy recliner chair next to the bed. 

Day 3: Rest & Recovery

  • Activities:
    • Dedicated to rest and recovery. Patients are expected to walk every one to two hours for 15 minutes.
    • Patients who underwent Lap Band or Gastric Plication surgery will be discharged this day after a 24-hour stay. They will meet with the surgical team to discuss nutrition and post-surgery care.
    • Discharged patients will be driven back to the hotel for an additional night’s stay before their departure.

Day 4: Recovery & Departure

  • Discharge:
    • Lap Band and Gastric Plication patients are transported to the airport for their return journey.
    • Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, and Full Gastric Bypass patients undergo post-operative testing (fluoroscopy exam) and a final meeting with the surgical team to discuss weight loss goals before being driven to the airport for their return home.
  • Follow-up Care:
    • All patients are required to follow up with their general practitioner six to eight weeks post-procedure to ensure optimal recovery and progress.

What to Pack


One of the symptoms of Gastric Surgery is Gas. Even though you’ll be purchasing prescribed gas meds to take back home from Mexico, lots of patients have found these strips to be helpful .

2) Extension cord

Most people bring their smart devices to keep in contact with friends and family back home but sometimes the charging cord for the device is not long enough. This extension will help keep charged all the time .

3) Mouthwash or Breath Spray (travel size)

Your breath will be stinky. You won’t want to get up and brush your teeth and you’ll probably have visitors. Bring a small breath spray so you aren’t worried about offending anyone with bad breath. Remember, you’ve just changed your digestive system and even if you’re not prone to get bad breath, you will probably have bad breath and want a quick fix.

4) Small Toothpaste & brush

It’s always good to take care of your teeth but it’s up to you .

5) Nail file

Ladies, completely optional but there will be lots of time to get occupied .

6) Imodium

Sometimes you can develop diarrhea on the flight back.

7) propel zero/flavored water packets

We have found that a lot of patients love this product during the pre operative diet to flavor your water.

8) Your Favorite Pillow

You will be uncomfortable and you’ll be in and out of sleep. Its great to have your preferred pillow with you. For those who are driving to Mexico you can use it for the ride home in the car (especially if its a long ride). If you’re someone that can sleep on any pillow, then bring a pillow case. The pillow cases at hospitals tend to get washed in lots of bleach and they become scratchy and hard. But don’t forget to bring your pillowcase home with you.

9) Makeup removable toilets

Ladies, completely optional but its recommended but lots of past patients .

10) Baby wipes – did not use

Completely optional.

11) Hair ties

Ladies, completely optional but its recommended but lots of past patients .

12) makeup

Ladies, completely optional.

13) book to read

If you a reader please do bring your favorite book.

14) Journal

Lots a patient’s bring a journal, totally optional.

15) Laptop or smartphone

Even though you’ll most likely be groggy and in and out of sleep, you will want to stay connected. Bring your Smartphone so you can let your friends and family know that you are doing great. An iPad or a Kindle Fire is a great way to watch movies or surf the internet. Download a trashy novel or a good book from your favorite author.

16) heating pad

Most patients find these pads very very helpful.

17) light clothing

Very recommended!

18) gentle bra

Completely optional.

19) shampoo and conditioner (travel size)

Completely optional but most patients like to bring their own.

20) Airplane pillow

Completely optional.

21) Medical Liability Insurance – (Optional)

50% of patients that come down to Mexico purchase this insurance. $200 to $400 will cover you as a travel insurance and incase you’re one of the 1% of patients that develop a complication, you’ll be completely covered and not have to pay expensive medical bills after.

22) Spray Neosporin

Completely optional.

23) Comfy cloths

You doctor will most likely want you on your feet shortly after surgery and you may even be able to shower the following morning. But the bending required to get into normal clothes will be painful. Get yourself some comfortable clothes that are easy to slip on or off as needed. You won’t care about fashion, trust me!

24) robe for walking

Completely optional.

25) Something comfy to fly home in

Completely optional.

26) Chapstick and Lotion

After weight loss surgery you are typically not allowed to eat or drink anything for a period of time. On top of that, your body reacts to surgery like it’s being attacked and when the body is attacked it shunts most of its fluids to vital organs. This leaves your skin and lips especially dry.

27) Room Fragrance

You might find that you are a little ‘gassy’ after surgery and the smell may surprise you! If you’re someone that doesn’t want everyone that walks in the room to share the aroma, bring a bottle of air freshener.

Dr. Sergio Verboonen

Bariatric Surgeon
Dr. Sergio Verboonen Board Certified Bariatric Surgeon in Mexico with 20+ years of experience.

Dr. Jaime Ponce de Leon

Bariatric Surgeon

Dr. Jaime Ponce de Leon Board Certified Bariatric Surgeon in Mexico with 20+ years of experience.









Drs. Verboonen and Ponce, the pioneers of weight loss surgery in Mexico, have founded a highly esteemed program that now boasts over 50 years of combined experience in bariatric procedures. Operating out of our state-of-the-art hospital dedicated to obesity treatment in Tijuana, Mexico, these distinguished surgeons have set the gold standard in their field. The facility is equipped with the latest medical technologies and staffed by a team of experts trained in the most advanced bariatric techniques. Together, they have transformed the lives of thousands, making them leaders in effective and safe weight loss solutions in the region.

Tijuana — Home of TWO Bariatric Pioneers

Certified Bariatric Surgeon
Certified Bariatric Surgeon

Tijuana — Mexico's Medical Tourism Hub

Welcome to Tijuana, the heart of Mexico’s booming medical tourism industry. Renowned for its cutting-edge medical facilities, world-class surgeons, and affordable healthcare services, Tijuana has become the top destination for patients seeking high-quality medical care. Despite its security and safety stigma, Tijuana is actually considered 100% safe for medical tourists. Whether you’re considering bariatric surgery, dental procedures, or cosmetic treatments, Tijuana offers exceptional medical expertise combined with the vibrant culture and convenience of this bustling border city. Discover why thousands of international patients trust Tijuana for their medical needs and experience the perfect blend of healthcare excellence and cultural richness.

Let’s Talk About Tijuana

We understand that Tijuana may not have the best reputation due to stigmatization associated with insecurity. However, as professionals who have been involved in the medical tourism industry locally for over 15 years, we can assure you that the reality for medical tourists is very different.
Tijuana is now considered the hub and mecca of medical tourism, despite any negative publicity. We completely understand your concerns, and we share them with you. Our experience has shown that Tijuana offers a safe and welcoming environment for medical tourists, with world-class facilities and highly skilled professionals.
Rest assured, your safety and well-being are our top priorities, and we are committed to providing you with the best possible care.

Tijuana - San Diego California

Two cities intertwined with each other