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OCC EXCLUSIVE - THE IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®

Gastric Sleeve Tijuana, Mexico

The famous gastric sleeve surgery has been enhanced. The OCC-Exclusive IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®was created from years of experience and research in weight loss surgery. Obesity Control Center in Tijuana, Mexico 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 25,000 patients give us a unique advantage in innovation and safety. Dr. Ortiz invented this unique gastric sleeve surgery for exclusive use at Obesity Control Center, and now all our expert surgeons use this technique at our weight loss surgery center in Mexico. This state-of-the-art gastric sleeve surgery is the result of years of experience and research in weight loss surgery revision surgeries.

By restricting the amount you can eat thus kickstarting the main issue most patients have with weight loss; the overconsumption of calories.

preview image for video about the Improved Gastric Sleeve surgery from OCC in Mexico

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 our innovative gastric sleeve surgery with the numbers and data to back it up. 

How Does the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® Work?

Gastric sleeve surgery, offered in our Tijuana, Mexico weight-loss hospital, is a procedure in which a surgeon creates a vertical sleeve within the stomach through surgical stapling. This ensures the following:

  • Fewer complications post-surgery (see study)
  • Fewer organs affected
  • More effective long term weight loss
  • Faster weight loss
  • Less expensive than most bariatric surgery options

The IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®


Gastric Sleeve Surgery Benefits

A properly done gastric sleeve can provide the following benefits:

  • A large decrease in appetite – this means that you will consume far fewer calories and you will feel more full despite eating less. Feeling more satiated with less food helps ensure that overconsumption, a large contributor to obesity, is not likely to happen.
  • Enhanced quality of life – most of our patients have reported a holistic improvement to life. Shedding off weight has allowed our patients to live in such a way that brings happiness, fulfillment, and more.
  • Improved health –  bariatric surgery has had a proven track record of reducing conditions associated with obesity, such as diabetes.
Jeremy Wekell before & after image of him shedding 146 pounds

Jeremy Wekell – 146 Lbs Lost – Read His Story – “This has been the best decision I have ever made.”

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Details

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.

IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® vs. Regular Gastric Sleeve Surgery

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 by 64%. (see study)
  • 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 among other gastric sleeve surgery. It provides excellent results and metabolic disease improvements including remission of Type-2 diabetes in 84% of patients, all while decreasing the risks of stretching, leaks, and failures.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery vs. Gastric Bypass

Gastric sleeve surgery is also known as a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG). 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 surgery and gastric bypass procedures, so our surgeons can tailor your surgery to your precise needs to achieve your weight loss goals.

What Your Improved Gastric Sleeve Surgery Journey Will Look Like

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.

Additional details about the procedure itself can be found here.

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.

What is the “The Double-Buttress Sewing Technique”?

Think of the Double-Buttress Technique like the zip-lock® philosophy in weight loss surgery. 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 subsequent obstruction.

Up to one third of the bariatric surgery patients undergoing a sleeve revision & tightening surgery experience these symptoms. It addresses all major 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 surgery procedure on the market today!

The Obesity Control Center Difference:

As medical tourism increases the need for a safe, credible, and accommodating medical center has only increased. We accept the challenge.

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

  1. 25 years specialized in the weight loss surgery field. We were some of the first surgeons 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 of bariatric surgery, 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 after bariatric surgery. 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!

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Patient Testimonials

“I feel like a new person, inside and out. Before my surgery, I was tired and angry at the world having suffered for so long. I’m about to start college to study film production and have a long, healthy, and happy journey awaiting my participation every day.”

Michael Strawn – 140 Lbs Lost – His Story

“We’ve easily lost 2,000 lbs accumulated… for my friends that had many more problems it’s been truly life-changing for them.”

Terri Hickman: 80 lbs lost after a Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Has referred 12 people to OCC

“If you see old photos, really, that’s another person. It gives you like youth, it gives you energy, it is an ultra-recommended operation. If you can and want to have the operation I recommend that you go to the Obesity Control Center & have it done because your life will change.”

Linda Naitze Ruiz, a TV Host, Vlogger, and Art Director: 79 lbs lost in 6 months.

“I have not had any of the issues such as reflux, the belching that I had prior. It was basically resolved after the surgery within 3 months. No symptoms whatsoever. I’m very happy about my energy levels.”

Board certified family physician: Acid Reflux problem resolved after 3 months post surgery

“I come in here and you get educated from the day you make your appointment… you’re gonna learn how to do everything different. There’s no hiccups.”

Sandra Peek: Registered Nurse at a U.S. Hospital

“Don’t let fear hold you back. Life is too short. I wasted too many of my years being overweight and sad and just not happy with my life. Then, I decided to come here and my whole world changed.”

Krysta Clark: 88 Lbs lost post surgery – See her story

Gastric Sleeve Pricing/ Costs

Depending on the type of weight loss surgery requested, such as sleeve gastrectomy or gastric banding, prices vary from around $6,500 to $9,000 dollars.

We suggest you look into testimonials online, talk to other gastric sleeve patients, and don’t be misled by price. When you undergo gastric sleeve surgery in Mexico, your savings are significant.

At OCC in Tijuana, Mexico, gastric sleeve surgery is around 50% of the average cost in the US. Instead of searching for the lowest price possible, choose the correct venue that provides the actual medical services you need for your bariatric surgery.

Included in the cost of your gastric sleeve surgery:

Our weight loss center is centrally located for your convenience. If you’re traveling with friends or family, consider visiting one of the popular destinations in Tijuana and San Diego near our facility.

IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve® PRE-SURGERY FAQ

What is an ideal candidate for gastric sleeve surgery?

Someone who is mentally, physically, and nutritionally prepared for this life-changing bariatric surgery is an ideal candidate. If you’re overweight, have a body mass index (BMI) of 30, and are ready to lose weight, you are a candidate for sleeve gastrectomy surgery.

How do I prepare for the gastric sleeve surgery?

Like in life, preparation is essential for a successful bariatric procedure outcome. Your bariatric surgeon at our Tijuana, Mexico medical facility may suggest additional requirements based on your specific case.

Rest assured that pre-operative weight loss will detox your liver and result in a quicker, safer weight loss surgery. Even 5% of total body weight loss will result in a dramatic improvement in your gastric sleeve recovery.

Nourishment at a cellular level requires you to compensate for deficiencies accumulated before and expected after weight loss surgery. Research has proven that the only way to replenish these deficiencies is through Bariatric Supplementation. A Bariatric Multivitamin and a Bariatric Protein source prior to the gastric sleeve surgery will increase your safety profile and for significant weight loss.

Mental preparation includes looking at the way we relate to certain foods. For successful weight loss surgery in Mexico that results in long-term weight loss and life-changing results, it’s important to reduce your calorie intake by consuming less food and increase your activity level.

Which is better, the gastric sleeve or bypass?

These bariatric surgeries work differently. They both have pros and cons and you would definitely want to discuss this with your surgeon. We prefer the least invasive bariatric procedure that offers the best results, so we always recommend a sleeve gastrectomy before gastric bypass surgery. At our medical facility in Mexico, gastric sleeve patients can always upgrade to a bypass or gastric band at a later date if you find that it’s a better choice for your long-term weight loss goals. However, your bariatric surgeon cannot perform a sleeve gastrectomy after a bypass.

Why is the Gastric Sleeve called ‘Metabolic surgery’?

In the fight against obesity, the only proven method to lose weight that outlasts temporarily limiting your food intake and increasing your activity level is weight loss surgery. Recent advances prove that weight loss surgery not helps many patients lose weight, it also balances out the metabolism. This is why weight loss surgery is now called ‘Metabolic surgery’. How surgery regulates insulin, blood sugar, cholesterol, lipids, and other health concerns is not completely understood. However, it does directly impact, control, and often cure serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea for improved quality of life.


Is Gastric Sleeve surgery in Mexico safe?

Rest assured that weight loss surgery in Tijuana, Mexico is perfectly safe with OCC in your corner. Our medical staff has seen over 25,000 patients travel to our medical facility with no major security incidents. Less than one mile from the U.S.A. border, our medical facility performs every bariatric procedure in the heart of the commercial district.

Surgery in Tijuana, MX is now exploding with medical tourism, especially for many patients traveling abroad for weight loss surgery. At OCC, we are glad to be among the top medical facilities performing gastric sleeve in Mexico. We have four full United States-based accreditations for health and safety in sleeve gastrectomy procedures.

How safe is the gastric sleeve surgery?

OCC’s complication rate is one of the lowest among bariatric procedure medical facilities in 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?

At OCC, our bariatric procedures result in a quick recovery for our actual patients. Suffering through pain and discomfort to lose weight is not our goal. Every OCC healthcare provider uses 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, (10 to 12mm/hg vs. 20mm/hg), resulting in fewer dreaded “gas pressure pains” associated with laparoscopic surgery. Our relatively minimally invasive techniques take a fraction of the typical reported time thanks to our the process. Less time under general anesthesia means quicker recovery after your sleeve gastrectomy weight loss surgery in Tijuana, Mexico.

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,  complications can happen with any surgical procedure,  including staple leaks, bleeding, hernias, and chronic heartburn.

With over 25,000 bariatric surgery procedures, we have streamlined entire weight loss surgery process. Our complication rate is significantly lower than the averages in America or Canada. Preparation is key to a successful sleeve gastrectomy outcome and we will guide you all the way. Our complication rate is one of the lowest published in the literature.

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, symptoms months after bariatric procedures are 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 treated early so many patients are up on their feet in a couple of hours and discharged the morning after. Many actually feel great and are out shopping the day after gastric sleeve surgery!

What is the mortality rate for gastric sleeve surgery?

We can say very proudly that the mortality rate is zero percent at our medical facility. We value a strong physician patient relationship and will never perform bariatric surgery 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 after a sleeve gastrectomy. Our nutritionist will prescribe a nutritional regimen that is easy to follow and will allow the patient to gradually move up to the next stage. Starting with a totally liquid diet for a few days, including the Bariatric Protein Meals, you will slowly progress to mushy food and, finally, a normal diet.

Daily activities and exercise should also progress at the same rate, but many patients are surprised that they 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 a bariatric procedure like a sleeve gastrectomy is overeat without having severe discomfort, nausea, even vomiting. Ideally, most patients will return to eating a normal amount of food, like 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 influencing total weight loss include the preparation of  the patient before bariatric surgery. Preparation not only includes mental and physical preparation, but nutritional preparation as well. Pre-operative preparations include supplementation and protein intake.

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, gradually progressing 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 weight loss 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 to ensure recovery is 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 common in any type of weight loss surgery to regain weight. The trick is to perform a bariatric surgery that limits the amount of weight that can be regained. 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 pouch volume. Drink liquids 5 min before a meal and resume drinking 45 min later.
  • Avoid drinking carbonated drinks like 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. After a week you can slowly increase the amount you can drink. Once healed, ½ cup is likely what you´ll be able to 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 about 7 months post-surgery, when most patients will be able to eat about ½ cup of food. You should only eat what you can tolerate and 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, also referred to as “the hunger hormone”. When the bariatric surgery is performed, this hormone tends to decrease weeks after the procedure.

Medical studies have also seen this pattern in patients undergoing gastric bypass surgery and 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 to keep 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. However, it doesn’t mean that they should guzzle water. 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 liquid too fast, their stomach may become inflamed in the first few hours, leading to extreme discomfort and vomiting.

After tolerating ice cubes, patients can move to small water bottles.  We will instruct patients on the amount of water to be taken with each sip of the bottle. By teaching about the correct amount of water intake, we can prevent most 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 Mexico Today

Call 1 866-893-8005 or email us to start your weight loss journey. Call one of our US-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, MX.


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