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OCC EXCLUSIVE - THE IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®

IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®

The OCC-Exclusive IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®was created from years of experience and research in weight loss surgery. This is the safest and most advanced bariatric procedure on the market today! Obesity Control Center holds the world's highest safety standards from the Joint Commission and is a Certified International Center for Excellence. These designations put OCC in the highest class of health and safety, exceeding many American hospitals.


The IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®is a new weight loss surgery technique that is exclusive to OCC. 

Over 20 years of experience and more than 24,000 patients give us a unique advantage in innovation and safety. Dr. Ortiz invented the OCC IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® for exclusive use at OCC. The IGS is the result of years of experience and research in weight loss surgery revision surgeries. We have addressed the safety issue (staple line leaks) with The Double Buttress-Over-Sewing Technique*. The reinforcing of the staple line with this proprietary technique further enhances the durability of the procedure. The most common undesirable effect is heartburn symptoms (reflux disease and hiatal hernia). We have effectively diminished the problem with particular attention placed on the GEF Triad (Gastro-Esophageal-Fundus Triad). These are not just medical terms we throw around. These are the critical components of an IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® with the numbers and data to back it up. 

How Does the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® Work?

Gastric sleeve surgery, offered in our Tijuana, MX weight-loss hospital, is a procedure in which a surgeon creates a vertical sleeve within the stomach through surgical stapling. The sleeve itself is thin and approximately eight inches long. Sleeves can be used in bariatric revision surgery to rescue a sloppy sleeve or other failed procedure. As doctors make the sleeve, they staple the rest of the stomach off of the body. Food passes through your digestive system as it usually would and is fully absorbed into the body. However, the capacity for food within the stomach is now smaller. Over time, this will lead to healthy and sustainable weight loss that will solve the host of metabolic disease problems. To learn more about gastric sleeve surgery, visit

The IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®


IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® vs. Regular Gastric Sleeve

We created the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® to correct known issues of the regular gastric sleeve, such as its 30% failure rate and its tendency to cause acid reflux. These improvements include:

  • Higher safety standard: We developed the Double-Buttress Technique, a crucial step of over-sewing the long-staple line and creating a leak-proof seal.
  • Fewer side effects: We perfected micro-calibration, a technique that creates a sleeve that is more uniform and less prone to undesirable symptoms while also enhancing weight loss.
  • Fewer complications: We redesigned the technique based on anatomical and physiological studies and created the Fundic Anchoring Technique that has effectively reduced the risk of herniation and severe chronic acid reflux after surgery.
  • Perfect for revision surgery: One of the greatest innovations of the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® is that it is perfect for those who need a revision or tightening surgery. It solves the problems of a “sloppy sleeve” and is a more permeant alternative to the Lap-Band procedure.

The IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® procedure is the gold standard in weight loss surgery. It provides excellent results and metabolic disease improvements, all while decreasing the risks of stretching, leaks, and failures.

VSG Surgery vs. Gastric Bypass

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) is another way to refer to a regular gastric sleeve procedure. A VSG dramatically differs from a gastric bypass procedure. In a sleeve procedure, a surgeon permanently removes a large portion of the stomach, whereas, with the bypass technique, we “bypass” most of the stomach with the creation of a small stomach pouch. The entire stomach remains, but now the body only uses the pouch portion. When we perform a sleeve surgery, removing part of the stomach is the only change. As we create the pouch during bypass surgery, the surgeon bypasses a portion of the small intestine by attaching the stomach pouch further down the small intestine. This way, your body uses the small intestine’s acid and digestive enzymes but not the small intestine portion that absorbs calories, limiting the total number of calories your body can consume.

The OCC team has experts in both gastric sleeve and gastric bypass procedures, so our surgeons can tailor your surgery to your precise needs to achieve your weight loss goals.

Your Journey

We know any medical procedure can be a stressful one. Therefore, it is our priority to treat you with care at every turn, making sure you return home relaxed, restored, and ready to face the new, happier, and healthier life that’s waiting for you. The Obesity Control Center, located just minutes across the border from San Diego in Tijuana, Mexico, has thoughtfully designed an experience that ensures both comfort and success. Here’s how your journey with us will unfold:

  • Reaching Out – It all begins with a text message, email, phone call, or video call with one of our on-staff US-based Patient Coordinators. Our Patient Coordinators will connect you to our global community support group and address all your questions and concerns.
  • Prepping for Surgery/Booking – Our nutritionists and Patient Coordinators will work with you to prepare you for your surgery. Depending on your unique criteria, you may be fast-tracked for surgery in as little as 4-6 weeks.
  • Travel – Upon arrival at the San Diego airport or the border crossing, you will be met by our private driver. You will be driven to either of the five-star accommodations we recommend, the Marriott or Real Inn, to prepare for your weight loss surgery. We will provide a suggested packing list before your arrival date.
  • Surgery – Our surgeons perform bariatric and metabolic surgeries using the most state-of-the-art and minimally invasive approach. Most patients are up and walking within a few hours of the surgery. Learn more about bariatric metabolic surgery by visiting
  • Follow-Up – You will join one of the most extensive and comprehensive Follow-Up programs in the world. With our US-based Patient Coordinators, our education program, and a support network of thousands of patients, you’ll become a member of the #OCCFamily for life.

Start Your Weight Loss Journey Today

Call 1 866-893-8005 or email us HERE. One of our US-based coordinators will answer all of your questions and guide you in making the best and healthiest decision so that you can live a happy and fulfilled life.

The “The Double-Buttress Sewing Technique”?

Think of the Double-Buttress Technique like the zip-lock® philosophy. Two seals are better than one. Not only does our over-sewing the staple line avoid leaks, it actually reinforces the area which is prone to dilation that leads to failure and weight regain. This over-sewing creates a more even, uniform and symmetrical sleeve that avoids the kinks and narrowing of the stomach that frequently leads to undesirable symptoms like nausea, vomiting, varying degree of food intolerance, heartburn and reflux disease, and later on obstruction. This is reported by up to a third of the patients undergoing a sleeve revision & tightening surgery. It addresses all the major potential side effects and complications and effectively mitigates them before they happen.

The OCC IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® is the result of years of experience and research in weight loss surgery. The IGS is the safest and most advanced bariatric procedure on the market today!

The OCC Difference

Here are some unique features only found at Obesity Control Center:


  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.
  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! To learn more about the OCC Difference, watch a detailed patient testimonial here

Patient Testimonial Videos

IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® FAQS


What is an ideal candidate for gastric sleeve surgery?

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

How do I prepare for the gastric sleeve surgery?

Like in life, preparation is essential for a successful outcome, mental, physical, and nutritional. Additional requirements may be suggested depending on your specific case.

Pre-operative weight loss will detox your liver, make it lighter, and result in a quicker, safer weight loss surgery with less impact on your overall status. Even 5% of total body weight loss will result in a dramatic improvement in your ability to respond to surgical stress.

Nourishment at a cellular level will require you to compensate for the deficiencies you have accumulated over the years and the deficiencies expected after weight loss surgery. Research has proven that the only way to replenish these deficiencies is through Bariatric Supplementation. This means that a Bariatric Multivitamin and a Bariatric Protein source prior to the gastric sleeve surgery will enormously increase your safety profile and a successful outcome. Mental preparation includes looking at the way we relate to food and being proactive at a healthier diet and lifestyle.

What’s the price for a gastric sleeve?

Depending on the type of gastric sleeve surgery requested, prices can vary from around $6,500 to $9,000 dollars. We suggest you look into testimonials online, talk to other patients, and don’t be misled by price. The savings by coming to OCC is around 50% of the cost in the US, so don’t risk it by looking for the lowest price weight loss surgery. Your health and wellbeing are very valuable.

Included in the cost of your gastric sleeve surgery:

  • 1 night stay at our world-renowned hospital
  • 1 night stay at a local 5-star hotel
  • Luxury transportation to and from the San Diego International Airport
  • Team of three board-certified surgeons, including two anesthesiologists
  • All operating room costs and surgical materials
  • All pre-op evaluations and follow-up care

Which is better, the gastric sleeve or bypass?

These are different procedures and work differently. They both have their pros and cons and this question is the one you would definitely want to discuss with the surgeon doing the procedure. We prefer the least invasive procedure that can get you the best results. This is why we always recommend a sleeve surgery before the bypass. You can always move up to a bypass from a sleeve, but not the other way around.

Why is the Gastric Sleeve called ‘Metabolic surgery’?

In the fight against obesity and excess weight, the only proven method that outlasts common methods is bariatric surgery. Recent advances in the field have proven that weight loss surgery not only dramatically influences the excess weight a patient carries, it also balances out the metabolism of an individual, especially the insulin and blood sugar levels. This is why weight loss surgery is now called ‘Metabolic surgery’. How exactly surgery regulates insulin, blood sugar, diabetes, cholesterol, lipids, and sleep disorder (sleep apnea) is not completely understood but, it is a fact that it directly impacts, controls, and often, cures these life-threatening diseases. 


Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Mexico, really?

At OCC, we have seen 22,000-24,000 patients travel to our center, many from the United States, with no major security incidents to report. We are at the heart of the commercial district, less than half a mile away from the international border to the United States. Tijuana is now the second busiest medical destination for the traveling patient looking for a weight loss surgery. At OCC, we are glad to be an essential part of this great reputation of safe surgery in Mexico as we have four full United States-based accreditations for health and safety in gastric sleeve surgery.

How safe is the gastric sleeve surgery?

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

Is gastric sleeve surgery painful?

Our process at OCC includes a gentle but short procedure that results in a quick recovery. The OCC difference includes specialized pencil-thin instruments, bladeless abdominal wall trocars, and localized abdominal wall blocking agents that diminish the cascade of mediators that cause pain and inflammation. We use half the amount of gas pressure, where others use 20mm/hg, we use 10 to 12mm/hg. This results in less of the dreaded “gas pressure pains” associated with laparoscopic surgery. Our operating time is a fraction of the typical time reported in the literature. We’re in no hurry, we have simply streamlined the process. Less time under anesthesia means quicker recovery times for your gastric sleeve surgery.

What about gastric sleeve complications?

Our patented Double Buttress technique is one of the safest procedures in published literature, with a 0.0% leak rate. However, like any surgical procedures, complications can happen like staple line leaks, bleeding, hernias, and chronic heartburn. At OCC, we have your back, with over 23,000 procedures, we have streamlined not just the technique, but the whole process of weight loss surgery. So preparation is key to a successful gastric sleeve surgery 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.

Heartburn and reflux seem to be the predominant complaint after sleeve gastrectomy. At OCC, we have adjusted the technique to let the body heal properly and avoid this uncomfortable, and sometimes frequent, symptom months after the surgery is performed.

There are symptoms after having any type of surgery that are related to anesthesia (sleepiness, dizziness nausea, etc.) and others directly associated with the gastric sleeve itself (cramping, abdominal tenderness, vomiting). Fortunately, these 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. Many actually are out shopping the day after gastric sleeve surgery!

What is the mortality rate for gastric sleeve surgery?

We can say very proudly that our mortality rate is zero percent. We value health and well being and we will never perform a procedure on someone who is either not well prepared medically or has a risk higher than acceptable.


Can you have a normal life after surgery?

Most patients require several months to adapt to the procedure. This is usually predictable so our nutritionist will always prescribe a nutritional regimen that is easy to follow and will allow the patient to gradually move up to the following stage. Starting with a totally liquid diet for a few days, you will then start with liquids including the Bariatric Protein Meals, and slowly move into mushy food and, finally, a normal diet.

Daily activities and exercise should also progress at the same rate, but the surprising fact is that most patients recover much quicker than they thought; in fact, 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 gastric sleeve surgery is overeat without having severe discomfort, nausea, even vomiting. Ideally, most patients will return to three normal meals a day and three snacks between meals.

How much weight should I expect to lose?

The gastric sleeve surgery can produce a substantial amount of weight loss in a relatively short period of time. A 65% EWL (excess weight loss) at 18 months is reported in general in the literature. For example, a patient that needs to lose 100 pounds (100 lbs. excess weight) will lose at least 65 pounds. Other factors that influence the total weight loss include how well prepared the patient is before bariatric surgery. Preparation not only includes mental and physical preparation, but nutritional preparation as well, and it seems to be one of the most important determining factors for success. Pre-operative preparations include supplementation and protein intake. This is why, at OCC, you will see that all patients undergo pre-surgery preparation and are followed for 5 years after the procedure. OCC Wellness is an online program that helps you achieve your goals.

What do you eat after gastric sleeve surgery?

It starts with liquids during the first days then gradually progresses to mushy food, moving on to semi-solid foods, and finally, to full solids. All this happens during the first couple of months. The good news is massive weight loss occurs during this time and all the health indicators dramatically get better during this period.

Can you drink alcohol after gastric sleeve surgery?

Like any bariatric surgery, there is a recovery time and our nutrition team recommends not drinking for the first trimester. (Although a glass of wine has benefits!)

How much can your stomach hold after gastric sleeve?

Gastric sleeve surgery patients will notice, once they are past the liquid phase and eating full solids, that the restriction level will result in around a third of the original meal volume. Eating a third of your typical meal will definitely induce weight loss and better overall health.

How long does it take for your stomach to heal after gastric sleeve?

Recent studies show that the inner lining of the stomach can start healing in as little as 6 hours! It is important to follow all the guidelines that we teach our patients prior to bariatric surgery. If followed exactly, recovery will be uneventful and you will enjoy a good outcome.

How about failures and weight re-gain?

Our advanced OCC surgeons use the double-buttress technique that prevents leaks, pouch enlargement, and failure.

In this procedure, 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 gastric sleeve surgeries are performed to be safe and effective, and preferably a permanent weight loss solution. Weight loss has to do with a structured bariatric program, it’s not just another gastric sleeve surgery!

Can you have your gastric sleeve tightened?

Yes, thankfully! This is what we have named “Sleeve Rescue”. OCC is considered one of the top facilities for gastric sleeve revision and tightening surgery (re-do surgery) and is frequently asked to treat patients that have regained weight or have heartburn symptoms after sleeve surgery. In fact, many of the popular cheaper centers are a constant flow of patients that have “sloppy sleeves” that fail over time.

Can you stretch your stomach after gastric sleeve?

Yes, sleeves will stretch over time and they will fail. This is why we created the “Double-Buttress” technique to oversew and reinforce the staple line providing a more durable double-sealed gastric sleeve.

Gastric sleeve, Lap-band or Gastric Plication procedures have the common purpose of a restrictive “pouch”, meaning the stomach´s limited food capacity. Under some situations the pouch can be stretched to the point where there is less restriction.


  • Do not combine solids with liquids. This increases the volume at the pouch. Drink liquids 5 min before a meal and resume drinking 45 min later.
  • Avoid drinking carbonated drinks as sodas, mineral water, champagne, beer. Any “bubbles” will add air, therefore volume to the pouch.
  • Do not force liquids. Sipping throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated. After bariatric surgery, you´ll need to drink 1oz every 15 minutes and after a week you can slowly increase the amount you can drink. Once healed, ½ cup is what you´ll most probably can tolerate.
  • Avoid forcing the feed. At the early stages before bariatric surgery most patients feel full with 2-3 tablespoons; the pouch will slowly adapt to its final size and about 7 months post-surgery, most patients will be able to eat about ½ cup of food. You should only eat what you can tolerate, stop eating once you feel satisfied, not full. If you feel discomfort, or have P-Bing you are eating too much.
  • Do not use a straw. You´ll pull air in to your pouch. Same thing happens if you chew with your mouth opened (gum, or food).
  • Avoid junk food. Some patients eat junk food and then food, doing so easily doubles the portions.

Will cutting off the part that produces the hormone make me less hungry?

Unfortunately, the latest research has non-conclusive evidence. A gastric sleeve will reduce the size of the organ and also the part that predominantly produces the Ghrelin hormone that has also been referred to as “the hunger hormone”. When the procedure is performed, this hormone tends to decrease weeks after the procedure.

Medical studies have also seen this pattern in patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery as well as gastric plication (the stomach sparing variety of the gastric sleeve). In these cases, no stomach tissue is removed, but the same hormonal effect is observed

Can I guzzle water after my Improved Gastric Sleeve?

All patients are reminded of the importance of keeping hydrated before and after their bariatric surgery, but it’s important to advise how much and when to intake those liquids.

After bariatric surgery patients will have a very dry mouth. After all, they have been fasting for several hours. However, it doesn’t mean that they should drink a bottle in a minute. Instead, we give patients liquids in 2 forms: ice cubes and small (8 oz) water bottles.

The ice cubes are an excellent way to keep patients hydrated and to rationalize the amount of water intake. By giving a patient an ice cube, and just letting it melt in his or her mouth, it’s a very small but very important amount of water that the patient drinks. If a patient intakes too much liquids, too fast, their stomach is very susceptible to inflammation in the first few hours, leading to extreme discomfort and even vomiting.

After tolerating ice cubes, the next step is to start with small water bottles, and start educating the patient on the amount of water to be taken with each sip of the bottle. It’s a very critical step, due to the fact that most people have the tendency to intake water in enormous gulps, and think that a lot of water at a time is good. So by teaching about the correct amount of water intake, we can prevent for the most cases any problems with inflammation that can lead to a difficult recovery process, more medication and a prolonged hospital stay.

In a world where the mentality of “more is better”, patients after a gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico benefit from the idea of “Slower is faster” as in slower intake equals faster recovery.

Schedule your IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® Surgery in Tijuana Mexico Today

Call 1 866-893-8005 or email us to start your weight loss journey. Call one of our United States based coordinators and learn how you can get the life you’ve always wanted with the help of the top weight loss service, Obesity Control Center in Tijuana, Mexico.


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