Ariel Ortiz, MD® with a patient

Welcome to Obesity Control Center

We are an innovative and industry-leading metabolic weight loss center of excellence that has been fully accredited by Joint Commission International. We help people from around the world achieve their weight loss goals using lifestyle changes and the most modern and safe techniques in bariatric surgery. Because of our international UCSD collaboration, we are able to bring collaborations from international surgeons to our patients.

Find out more about OCC

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Over 25,000 successful surgeries

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Over 50 years' combined experience

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Over 250,000 pounds lost forever

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The OCC Difference OCC Patients Lose More Weight and Keep It Off

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Highest Safety Standards

Obesity Control Center is fully accredited and follows the highest US medical safety standards and has the lowest complication and infection rate with a 20+ year track record of successful surgeries.

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Cutting-Edge Innovation & Experience

We have pioneered multiple techniques used around the world, such as the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®. We also co-developed the gastric balloon & The OCC Double Buttress Technique™, and have performed over 25,000 successful procedures.

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Comprehensive 5 Year Post-Op Care

OCC guides you through five years of post-op care through our app, online support groups, and US-based on-call patient coordinators. You become part of the #OCCFamily for life.

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All-Inclusive Concierge Service

Includes service to and from the airport, guidance over the border, and five-star accommodations. OCC is your partner from initial consultation to five years of post-surgery follow-up.

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International Certification

OCC has been fully certified by the Joint Commission International (JCI) three times by adhering to a strict set of international standards. OCC is licensed to provide care and treatment as a hospital and offers a complete range of acute care clinical servicesdiagnostic, curative, and rehabilitative.

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UCSD Partnership

We are proud to announce our formal partnership with the Department of Surgery at the University of California San Diego, USA. We share an enviable global reputation for high-quality, cost-effective surgical care, as well as world-class global surgical education.

Patient Stories

Jordan's patient journey before
Jordan's patient journey after

Jordan

-90 lbs

I knew many people that had surgery with Dr. Ariel Ortiz®. They loved him and loved their results. I was a bit hesitant at first. Let me tell you – it was the best thing I have ever done!

I could never lose the weight. I tried every fad diet, every pill they came out with, and nothing worked. I was giving up on myself. I wouldn’t get out of bed or talk to anyone. I was depressed, and disgusted with myself. When I heard about this surgery, I was scared at first. I looked into... Read More

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Kelly's patient journey before
Kelly's patient journey after

Kelly

-94 lbs

After spending 25+ years of fad dieting and losing and gaining the same weight, I came to the realization that I was spending the majority of my time sitting on the sidelines and letting life just pass me by.

I was saying “no” to so many things in life because of my extra weight, causing not only myself, but my husband and my children to miss out on opportunities to live life to the fullest and make amazing memories. I’m also genetically predisposed to a long list of health issues including diab... Read More

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Lily's patient journey before
Lily's patient journey after

Lily

-108 lbs

After surgery, I worked very hard and was able to get to my current weight by the time I got married. It felt amazing to be in a dress I bought off the rack, and feeling beautiful on my wedding day was 100% worth having surgery.

I struggled with my weight since I was in elementary school and it really escalated when I got to college, where I had access to fast food 24/7. I had previously dieted and exercised 5-6 times a week for a couple of hours to lose a significant amount of weight, but any time a bump in the road of ... Read More

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Todd's patient journey before
Todd's patient journey after

Todd

-102 lbs

I chose OCC because of its Surgeon & Hospital Accreditations. The standards to which they follow are high and high for a reason. There wasn’t really even a choice of other places to choose from. OCC is rated the best and has the best real personal reviews.

I have struggled with weight for the last 15 years. Up, down, up, down – you all know how it goes. Hey, I’m happy – let’s eat. I’m sad – time to eat. Let’s celebrate – let’s eat. What should we do now – I don’t know, but let’s eat. ... Read More

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Kylie's patient journey before
Kylie's patient journey after

Kylie

-112 lbs

I had a close friend that told me about OCC and seeing her success was very inspiring! So I started reading about OCC and made the decision that it was the right thing for me too!

My name is Kylie and thanks to OCC, I’ve successfully lost 112 lbs and kept it off. Before finding OCC and making the decision to have the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, I tried weight loss programs, doctor-led diets and supplements, trainers, and various fitness programs with minimal success... Read More

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Nicole's patient journey before
Nicole's patient journey after

Nicole

-94 lbs

I had many friends who chose the OCC and they all had such amazing results. I did lots of research and quickly learned that Dr. Ariel Ortiz was one of the best for surgery. I had absolutely no hesitation when booking. I knew I was making the right choice.

I wasn’t always a bigger girl, but I went through a terrible breakup when I was 20. It led to me becoming an emotional eater and consuming a lot of alcohol. I quickly packed on the weight. When I got to my heaviest, I went through another nasty break up, and I finally decided I needed to do... Read More

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Joe's patient journey before
Joe's patient journey after

Joe

-94 lbs

Seeing others progress.

In December 2013, I had decided enough was enough. I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back now, I feel as though I had hit rock bottom. And let me tell you – once you’re there, you will start coming to the realization that something needs to be done. It started a few year... Read More

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David's patient journey before
David's patient journey after

David

-127 lbs

My friend told me all about what OCC has to offer. I did it, and it was amazing.

All I can say is if you are considering changing your life, don’t think about it too much, and do it with the pros. The whole OCC team helped me a lot and the day I got the surgery, I was born for the second time. Read More

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Cristy's patient journey before
Cristy's patient journey after

Cristy

-136 lbs

I was ready to take control of my life so I started researching bariatric surgeries online.

I confirmed that my health insurance did not cover bariatric surgeries, so I started to research affordable options, and saw that there were all kinds of options in Tijuana. I looked carefully at several different clinics that offered Gastric Sleeve surgery, read tons and tons of testimonials, and reviews of the doctors and clinics. I decided to go with the OCC because all of the stories I read were positive. I am so happy I went with the OCC! I’ve been moderately overweight my whole life, but when I was 30 years old, I got out of a serious relationship, and my weight really packed on. Even though it was my decision to end the relationship, my self-indulgence in eating, drinking, shopping, and spending, spending, spending went co... Read More

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Our Bariatric Surgery Procedures

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Gastric Sleeve

At OCC, we have enhanced the traditional Gastric Sleeve. Our approach resolves the issue of leaks in the surgical staple line with a proprietary technique called “Double Buttress-Over-Sewing” technique that creates a leak-proof seal. This specialized technique has fewer complications, is lower cost, and leads to faster weight loss and reduces the side effect of chronic acid reflux by 64%.

Read more about Gastric Sleeves
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Revisional Surgery

Many people come to OCC for revision surgery to correct a failed bariatric surgery. Our world-renowned bariatric surgeons have developed groundbreaking revision surgeries for people who are not achieving the results they expected or are suffering unpleasant side effects. The original surgery may have been performed with an outdated technique, was not properly performed, or over time, the stomach pouch stretched, and the weight regained.

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Mini Bypass

The mini-gastric bypass procedure, also known as “single anastomosis gastric bypass,” is a bariatric surgery option that consists of creating a smaller stomach pouch and attaching the terminal part of the small intestine to the new stomach. The body’s normal digestive process is altered, restricting food intake and the number of calories the system can absorb. As a result, food bypasses a large part of the stomach and most of the small intestine. This procedure may be ideal when you need to revise a failed sleeve or other failed bariatric procedure.

Read more about Mini Bypass Surgery
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Gastric Bypass

The surgeons and physicians at OCC are among the leading authorities on the gastric bypass procedure, having performed this surgery over a significant number of years. It is often recommended for the morbidly obese and, with our exclusive Dual Long Limb (DLL) procedure, it is also curing diabetes in a qualified group of patients.

Read more about Gastric Bypass Surgery
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Gastric Plication

An OCC exclusive, the newest weight-loss procedure to be introduced is known as the Stomach Sparing Gastric Sleeve. It involves creating a sleeve within the stomach that helps patients feel satisfied by food much faster and consume smaller amounts of food.

Read more about Gastric Plication
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BariClip

The “BariClip” has dramatically advanced bariatric surgery. Rather than removing or altering the digestive system, a simple, 20-minute surgery to place the BariClip device reduces the size of your stomach, so you feel full and satisfied with less food. The procedure is simple, reversible, far less invasive, and one of the most exciting breakthroughs for treating obesity.

Read more about Bariclip
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Lap Band Surgery

At OCC, Lap Band surgery does not alter stomach anatomy. The procedure involves placing the Lap Band around the upper section of the stomach to create a smaller pouch to achieve a feeling of fullness with much less food. Dr. Ortiz has improved the Lap Band procedure, developing an exclusive stitching procedure called the “Ortiz Anti-Slip Stitch Procedure” for long-term weight loss success.

Read more about Lap Bands
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Metabolic Surgery

Metabolic syndrome refers to the health conditions associated with obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, sleep apnea, and others. At OCC, we treat people who are suffering from these conditions to regain improved health through safe, effective, long-term weight loss. The surgery is performed laparoscopically for a faster recovery and shorter incisions.

Read more about metabolic surgery
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Meet Our Surgeons

At Obesity Control Center in Tijuana, Mexico, our surgeons are world leaders in the field of bariatric surgery. They have developed proprietary techniques for improved surgical outcomes, a faster recovery time, and success in long-term weight loss.

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Ariel Ortiz, MD®, FACS

Medical Director / Director of Bariatric Surgery

Dr. Ariel Ortiz is a board-certified bariatric surgery specialist who has dramatically advanced the field of bariatric surgery, and he has performed bariatric surgeries in over 100 hospitals in the USA. His accomplishments include educating surgeons on how to safely perform advanced bariatric surgeries. He has the honor of being named an SRC “Surgeon of Excellence in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery.”

Learn more about Dr. Ariel Ortiz
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Arturo Martinez, MD

Bariatric Surgeon / Chief of Surgery

Dr. Martinez is honored to be named as a Surgeon of Excellence in Bariatric Surgery by Surgical Review Corporation (SRC), an extraordinary distinction, reflecting his meticulous surgical approach and the success he achieves performing a range of bariatric surgeries. Dr. Martinez serves as an Assistant Professor of General Surgery at UABC and is a highly respected bariatric surgeon with a remarkable record of successful weight loss surgeries.

Learn more about Dr. Martinez
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Santiago Horgan

MD, FACS, FASMBS

Dr. Santiago Horgan is an internationally recognized expert in robotic surgery and a range of minimally invasive surgical techniques. He is an educator who serves as the Director of UC San Diego Center for the Treatment of Obesity. A leader in the field of robot-assisted surgery, he performs less invasive surgical techniques that have a faster recovery and long-lasting weight loss results.

Learn more about Dr. Horgan
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Dr. Diana M. Pintado

Bariatric & Robotic Surgeon

Dr. Pintado is an acclaimed bariatric surgeon with an impressive background in the most advanced, complex weight loss surgeries. Since 2012, she has served at private and public institutions, as a member of a free government program for bariatric surgery, where she performed more than 2000 surgeries in 10 years, and is known for her precision, advanced techniques, and exceptional results in a range of weight loss surgeries.

Learn more about Dr. Pintado
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Our FacilitySafe, effective weight loss starts here

Obesity Control Center is located just a few miles over the USA border and is widely recognized as a world-class weight loss surgery hospital. This sparkling facility has achieved the honor of being listed as a Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and has achieved a Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission International, an honor rarely found in an international hospital. Patients can be confident that they are being treated in a world-class weight loss clinic, with the highest safety standards, lowest complication rate, and an unmatched 5-year follow-up program.

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The OCC Difference

Obesity Control Center

  • 50 years combined experience
  • Proven and published safety track record
  • Trademark innovations and techniques
  • Safest and most effective procedures
  • No brokers or middleman

Other Bariatric Centers

  • Less experience
  • No independent verification
  • Conventional or dated procedures
  • Unverified claims
  • Broker fees up to 30%, a low-budget surgical team
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The moment I met the staff at OCC, I knew I was in a very special place. The staff are true professionals with good hearts, and they are very service oriented. The facility was very beautiful and clean.

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What to expect on your weight-loss journey

Reaching Out

Your journey to a healthier, happier life starts with a private phone conversation with one of our US-based patient coordinators, who can answer all of your questions. With over 20 years of experience and more than 25,000 successful surgeries, Obesity Control Center is a worldwide leader in safe, innovative bariatric surgery. Our patients lose more weight – and keep it off! Our team will guide you through preparing for surgery, the details of your trip, your surgery, and at every phase of your recovery. Our goal? To help you enjoy improved health and a happier, more confident life. OCC offers assistance in English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and Tagalog. Let’s talk!

Start your journey
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What to expect on your weight-loss journey

Prepping for Surgery/Booking

Our nutritionists and Patient Coordinators will work to prepare you for surgery, and depending on your unique criteria, you may be fast-tracked for surgery in as little as 4-6 weeks.

Start your journey
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What to expect on your weight-loss journey

Travel

Upon arrival at the San Diego Airport or at the border crossing, you will be met by our private driver and be driven across to the border to your five-star accommodations to prepare for surgery.

Start your journey
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What to expect on your weight-loss journey

Surgery

Your procedure is performed using the most state-of-the-art and minimally invasive approach. Most patients are up and walking within a few hours of the surgery

Start your journey
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What to expect on your weight-loss journey

Follow Up

For your after-care service, you will be treated to one of the most extensive and comprehensive Follow-Up Programs in the world. With our US-based Patient Coordinators, our custom app, and a support network of thousands of patients, you’re a member of the #OCCfamily for life.

Start your journey
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Featured Reviews

Average Rating: 4.9 from 328 Reviews

I made the right decision.

With no hesitation, I would highly recommend OCC to anyone considering Bariatric Surgery. I just had surgery on March 30, 2022, and everything from scheduling to pre/post diet with their awesome dietitian, to the actual surgery and recovery was smooth. They take care of their patients; the NEW facility is very modern and extremely clean. I did my research thoroughly, and in the end, I kept coming back to OCC and Dr. Ortiz as my surgery choice and I made the right decision.

My research said Dr Ortiz and Dr. Martinez with OCC in Tijuana are the best.

I started doing my research on the best doctors for weight loss surgery at the beginning of 2021. I live in the US, but my research said Dr Ortiz and Dr. Martinez with OCC in Tijuana are the best. From the moment I contacted the clinic I was very well taken care of, and my questions were always replied to and answered quickly. I traveled alone and was never afraid. Would I recommend OCC? Absolutely 1000%! Would I do it all over again? Without a doubt I have zero regrets!

An amazing, hassle-free experience!

What an amazing, hassle-free experience! This surgery is life altering in a positive way. I was a 210 lb. diabetic on five medications with my numbers going through the roof. I met a lady who rescues dogs and she told me about OCC. I finally had surgery and the NEXT DAY I no longer needed the medications. I am almost 4 months out- have lost 44 pounds, I feel great and amazing, and am off all diabetes meds. I love Dr. Ortiz but every single person at OCC works together to make this a seamless process.

I’m telling everyone about my wonderful experience…

This surgery was the most incredible experience. I NEVER had any pain. I kept asking the doctors why I didn't have pain!!! The clinic was spotless, and the staff extremely helpful. I was a little apprehensive traveling for such major surgery by myself, but I was able to easily get up and down within a few hours post-surgery! And I was out shopping at the Tijuana Walmart two days post-surgery! I am telling everyone I know about my wonderful experience ‘over the border’!!

…the best doctor I have ever gone to.

My daughter and I went to Dr. Ortiz on Jul 4th. He was the best doctor I have ever gone to. He and his staff were the BEST!!!! I would recommend him to anyone. My daughter is my world, and I would not just have her have surgery with just anyone, so I did some checking around and found nothing but GREAT things about him. When we got there, he came over and spoke to me. He was singing to my daughter and just made us feel good. I relaxed and just went with it. He gave us his cellphone number and told us to call anytime we had a problem or just a question. He lives in San Diego and travels every day to Mexico to perform the surgery. He is just the BEST!!!!!

We were treated like guests at a spa.

I applaud Dr. Ortiz and his professional staff at OCC! I'm a registered nurse, and was thrilled to see an immaculate surgery center, universal precautions and sterile technique being used without fail. We were treated like guests at a spa, and the procedure itself went smoothly. I will have no reservations about referring my friends and family to OCC for the gastric plication. Looking forward to a smaller me and better health!! Blessings!

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Get on the path to full vitality

Imagine feeling energetic, inspired, and healthy, and free from excess weight! At Obesity Control Center, we can help you achieve your weight loss goals for the long term. We are focused on ensuring you are comfortable, cared for, and are treated with the most advanced surgical procedures in the world, a fast, comfortable recovery, and life-changing results.

Schedule your consultation

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Our Facility, Located in Tijuana, Mexico

OCC is located in Tijuana, Mexico, just blocks from the San Diego International Border. Redefining the meaning of “state-of-the-art”, our facility employs a one-of-a-kind, 360-care concept. Every area has been designed to exceed your needs during your short stay. Flow dynamics have been incorporated to facilitate patient care at every level. Other essentials include specialized medical equipment from operating room tables, lights, and surgical equipment to specialized beds, monitors,  and other equipment.

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@obesitycontrolcenter

OCC’s epidemiologist is closely monitoring the COVID-19 status and is actively issuing updates as they are available. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization are the most trusted sources online.  While the CDC has announced new mask protocols for vaccinated individuals, there will be no changes for our office protocols for patients, guests, and staff members as the announcement does not apply to hospitals or medical facilities. Masks are still a requirement for all patients, guests and staff at our facility.

As we reinitiate weight loss surgery, we are constantly adapting and installing new and updated safety measures.

Weight loss surgery is medically necessary.

Bariatric Surgery and the clash of two pandemics.   

Major metabolic and bariatric surgery Societies and colleges globally are now calling for the safe resumption of bariatric and metabolic surgery before the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over. 

The sooner bariatric surgery can be safely performed, the quicker obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases can be reduced or resolved as they are not only chronic they are also progressive.  Obesity is also linked to more than 40 diseases including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and at least 13 different types of cancer.

A recent statement from the ASMBS says “Before COVID-19 began, it was clear that patients with obesity were ‘safer through surgery.’ In the era of COVID-19, ‘safer through surgery’ for patients with obesity may prove to be even more important than before.” Obesity and Metabolic syndrome have been identified as an independent risk factor for adverse outcomes including death among COVID-19 patients.

See here for full COVID-19 update. 

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