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Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery in Tijuana, Mexico

OCC is a premier destination for safe and effective mini-gastric bypass and other bariatric surgeries with over 20 years of experience and more than 25,000 successful procedures with an industry-leading safety rating. We were one of the first clinics in the world to safely and effectively conduct bariatric surgery on teenagers. When many doctors shied away from treating teens who suffer from excess weight and related health conditions, OCC stepped in to fill the gap, and we are now a world leader in weight loss surgeries for adolescents and teens. Our international team of surgeons and physicians offer a wide array of surgical weight loss solutions and support services, including gastric lap-band, plication, and sleeve procedures.


Helping Adolescents with Weight Loss

Obesity, an issue historically linked only to adults, has been growing at alarming rates among teens and adolescents. Currently, nearly a quarter of American teenagers are overweight or have obesity. As little as ten years ago, weight-related diseases, previously almost unheard of in teens, are becoming increasingly commonplace. The rate of diabetes in adolescents has also increased by 33% in the last decade alone.

In our experience, and after scores of minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries performed in our Mexico-based hospital on teens, patients can expect a 60% to 70% loss of excess weight. This can be maintained in the long-term by choosing the right procedure, proper education, and follow-up support. Teen weight-loss surgery is a life-changing experience for young adults who are developing their self-image and beginning the socialization process. There is no reason why a teen should struggle with their appearance or rejection issues as a result of obesity.

Obesity Risk Factors for Children

There are many reasons why obesity is growing among young people. Many researchers see genetics as the primary cause, as specific genes and traits make kids more likely to overeat and gain excess weight. Portion sizes increasing and ingredients worsening are two other causes. The standard size of a bottle of soda has grown, and the meal you get from any restaurant is more than an adult needs to eat in one sitting, let alone a child. Without effort, kids are getting more food and sugary drinks than they need or should be consuming. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and salt are in more products and in larger quantities than they once were. These ingredients are not only high in calories, but they also make kids feel hungrier, causing them to eat more.

Research-Backed Safety for Adolescents

Weight loss services among teens have quadrupled in the last few years, according to a recent report published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. Researcher Thomas Inge further suggests that bariatric surgeries performed early in adolescence “could more effectively reverse complications of obesity” that might appear later as an adult.

The renowned surgeon-in-chief at New York-Presbyterian Children’s Hospital, Dr. Charles Stolar, recently added: “Adolescent obesity continues to be under-treated. We know that 14 to 18-year-olds who have obesity are at risk for significant and even fatal conditions as they grow older. In cases where medical therapy doesn’t work, surgery is an effective treatment option.”

Unfortunately, few other treatments are available to help teens who are unable to lose weight and are already suffering from obesity-related health problems. Weight loss surgeries provide hope for young lives struggling with obesity during one of the most challenging times in their lives. To learn more about weight loss surgery for teens, visit

Why is Teen Weight Loss Surgery Beneficial?

As with any disease, treating it right away always provides better outcomes than waiting. When obesity begins in adolescence, the health risks it poses also start, taking a toll on a child’s health that can affect them into adulthood. Bariatric surgery not only helps with weight loss, but it can cure metabolic disease, diabetes, and help balance hormones. Caring for a child’s health with a bariatric procedure means setting them up for a healthier, more fulfilling life. 

Not only can weight loss services reduce their risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other health issues, but it can also significantly improve their self-esteem and allow them to lead everyday lives. They won’t have to feel concerned about daily situations like tying shoelaces, fitting in clothes, roller coaster rides, or airplane seats. The kids and teens who are part of the #OCCFamily have newfound hope and excitement for their futures thanks to their bariatric procedures.

Criteria for Teen Bariatric Surgery

There are no hard and fast criteria for eligibility for bariatric surgery, as everyone’s health concerns and lifestyle are different, but a few basic qualifications for bariatric surgery include:

  • BMI above 39 or being more than 100 pounds overweight
  • BMI above 34 and one or more obesity-related health issues such as type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, lipid abnormalities, gastrointestinal disorders, PCOS, or heart disease
  • BMI of 30 or more with high body fat percentage or comorbidities may qualify as well
  • BMI below 30 if body fat is high or metabolic syndrome is present

Dr. Ortiz and Dr. Martinez are happy to meet with any adolescent interested in bariatric surgery to determine if it’s right for them.

Obesity Control Center has published the most extensive series of adolescents in literature. Call 1 866-893-8005 or email us here to start the weight loss journey for your teen. Our US-based coordinators can lead your family through the process and help your child get on the right, healthy track.

Obesity Control Center DIFFERENCE from other Weight-Loss Surgeons

  1. A quarter-century specialized in the weight loss surgery field. We were some of the first to perform bariatric surgical procedures.
  2. Three Master Bariatric Surgeons caring for every patient. You’re always in the hands of a world-renowned and highly-trained surgeon. We are the only international team of bariatric surgeons, offering globalized bariatric healthcare and the best of the best to our patients.
  3. Fully accredited as an SRC Center of Excellence in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery. We have also obtained the Golden Seal awarded by the Joint Commission International that signifies that we met the highest standards in patient safety and quality available globally.
  4. Pioneers in the field, including several registered techniques, patented devices, and many “firsts” in the field like teenage obesity treatments, the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®, the Stomach Sparing Gastric Sleeve, the Double-Buttress Sewing Technique and more.
  5. Faster recovery and better outcomes. Shorter times under anesthesia and a less-invasive abdominal wall preservation techniques.
  6. Unique patient pre-surgery education and preparation and 5 years follow-up program, an industry first!
adolescent weight loss surgery in mexico

Adolescent Weight Loss Surgery FAQS

Who is an ideal candidate for adolescent gastric surgery?

This procedure is ideal for teens who are mentally, physically, and nutritionally prepared for this life-changing procedure. If you’re overweight and above a 30 BMI or 30% body fat, you are a candidate.

Can my child have a normal life after surgery?

Most teens require several months to adapt to the procedure. Our nutritionist prescribes a nutritional regimen that is easy to follow, which allows patients to gradually move up to the next stage. Patients start with a liquid diet for a few days, then move on to liquids including the Bariatric Protein Meals, slowly moving into mushy food and, finally, into a normal diet.

Daily exercise should also progress at the same rate. The surprising fact is that most patients recover much quicker than they think. Energy levels are usually higher than expected when the nutrition plan includes the Bariatric Multivitamin and Bariatric Protein Shakes recommended by our team of experts.

The only thing you can’t do after surgery is overeating. This will cause severe discomfort, nausea, even vomiting. Ideally, most patients will return to three normal meals a day and three snacks between meals.

How safe is the gastric surgery for adolescents and teens?

OCC’s complication rate is one of the lowest in the published bariatric literature. Add that to the benefits of the New Improved Gastric Sleeve, and suddenly the results are more promising than ever.

Is it safe for my child to go to Mexico for gastric surgery?

We are at the heart of the commercial district, less than half a mile away from the international border to the U.S.A. Tijuana is now the second busiest medical destination for the traveling patient. At OCC, we are glad to be an essential part of this great reputation. You’re always in safety and safe hands with Obesity Control Center.

What about gastric surgery complications for teens and adolescents?

At OCC, we have your back. With over 25,000 procedures, we have streamlined not just the technique but the whole process of weight loss surgery. So preparation is key to a successful outcome and we will be holding your hand all the way. Our complication rate is one of the lowest published in the literature. In fact, our leak rate is 0%, and with the implementation of the new techniques designed at OCC, our patients are experiencing substantial and permanent weight loss without the undesirable symptom of heartburn.

Anesthesia-related symptoms include sleepiness, dizziness, and nausea. Others directly associated with the gastric sleeve itself are cramping, abdominal tenderness, and vomiting. Fortunately, these effects are kept to a minimum and medically treated early so most patients can be up on their feet in a couple of hours and discharged the morning after. At OCC, we have adjusted the technique to let the body heal properly and avoid uncomfortable and sometimes frequent symptoms months after the surgery is performed.

Can a procedure ‘fail’ as a child grows?

OCC surgeons use innovative techniques that prevent leaks, pouch enlargement, and failure.

This includes our patented Double Buttress Technique. This is when a thin vertical sleeve of the stomach (approximately eight inches long) is created using a stapling device, and the rest of the stomach is removed. Food passes through the digestive tract as usual and is fully absorbed into the body.

It is actually common in any type of weight loss surgery to re-gain weight. The trick is to perform a procedure that limits the amount of weight that can be regained. This is done by design. At OCC, our procedures are performed to be safe and effective, preferably permanent weight loss. Weight loss has to do with a structured bariatric program, it’s not just another surgery!

Schedule your Adolescent’s Bariatric Surgery Procedure Today

Call us at 1 866-893-8005 to start the weight loss journey for your adolescent. Call one of our US-based coordinators and learn how your child can get the life they’ve always wanted with the help of the Obesity Control Center in Tijuana, Mexico.


  1. G F Paulus, L E G de Vaan, F J Verdam, et al. Bariatric Surgery in Morbidly Obese Adolescents: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Obes Surg (2015) 25: 860. 

Click here to see how OCC compares to other facilities in terms of surgical rates, infection rates, mortality rates, and more.