Using the most modern technology, innovative techniques, and comprehensive post-op support, and following the highest US safety standards, OCC helps people from around the globe achieve their weight-loss goals and become members of the #OCCfamily for life!

Top Stats


Successful Surgeries


Years of Combined Experience


Non Critical Complications


Pounds Lost Forever!

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More about the Obesity Control Center

  • 26,000 successful bariatric procedures
  • Zero mortality rate
  • Less than 0.2% complication and infection rate
  • Multiple accredited and board-certified surgeons from across the globe
  • US-based Patient Coordinator team
  • Home of the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®
  • Revision surgery experts and innovators (bypass, sleeve, band rescue)
  • 3 master surgeons, all board-certified and Fellowship-trained bariatric surgeons
  • Trademarked innovations and techniques

A Weight Loss Patient's Journey To Life-Changing Results Obesity Control Center

Dr. Ortiz speaking with female patient at Obesity Control Center

Obesity Control Center The OCC Difference: OCC Patients Lose More Weight & Keep It Off

We are an innovative, industry-leading metabolic weight loss center of excellence. Fully accredited by the Joint Commission International for the third time, we are able to safely and effectively help people from around the world achieve their weight loss goals using lifestyle changes and the most modern and safe techniques in bariatric surgery.

Highest Safety Standards

Fully Accredited and follow the highest US medical safety standards. Lowest complication and infection rate with a 20+ year track record of successful surgeries.

Cutting-Edge Innovation & Experience

Pioneered multiple techniques used around the world, such as the IGS Improved Gastric Sleeve®. Co-developed the gastric balloon & The OCC Double Buttress Technique™. Performed over 25,000 successful procedures.

Comprehensive 5 Year Post-Op Care

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

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.

Fast Track Surgery

Work with patients to get them safely prepared from consultation to surgery in as fast as 4-6 weeks.

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A Look at Our State of the Art Facility

Doctors performing bariatric surgery

Comparing OCC to Other Weight Loss Surgeons

OCC Others
50 Years combined experience New to the industry
Proven/published safety track record Hearsay
Trademark innovations & techniques Conventional
Safest Most effective procedures Unverified claims
No brokers / middlemen Brokers fee up to 30%, low budget surgical team
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Obesity Control Center is considered one of the best facilities for weight loss surgery — not only in Mexico, but the world. Our award-winning team of bariatric surgeons has a combined 50 years of experience with over 26,000 successful bariatric surgery procedures to our credit. We were one of the first centers to perform bariatric surgery anywhere in the world. Because Obesity Control Center holds itself to the most rigorous medical and safety standards found anywhere in the world, patients from Mexico, the United States, and every corner of the globe seek care from our weight loss surgeons. We are fully accredited by the Joint Commission International and have also been awarded their Golden Seal a distinction recognizing the highest standards of safety: a complication rate of less than 1%.

Three master bariatric surgeons — Dr. Ariel Ortiz®, Dr. Arturo Martinez, and Dr. Santiago Horgan — care for every patient. That means that Obesity Control Center patients are always in the hands of a world-renowned and highly trained surgeon. Our surgeons are pioneers in the field, with accomplishments that include being the first to provide teenage obesity treatments and creating the IGS Improve Gastric Sleeve®, the Stomach Sparing Gastric Sleeve®, and the Double-Buttress Sewing Technique. At our state-of-the-art facility, our surgeons offer several types of weight loss surgery, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, lap band surgery, and gastric plication. During the consultation phase, the weight loss surgeons will evaluate each patient individually to create a customized surgical plan that considers the patient’s goals, concerns, preferences, and medical history. Dr. Ortiz, Dr. Martinez, and Dr. Horgan received their advanced education in bariatric surgery at elite educational institutions and have been invited to instruct the next generation of weight loss surgeons as professors and guest lecturers.

In addition to changing their patients’ lives with bariatric surgery, they are innovators in their field who have developed safer and more efficient ways to perform weight loss surgery. The entirety of Obesity Control Center’s staff in Tijuana is just as beloved by patients. We offer five-star accommodations to our medical tourism patients, with round-the-clock concierge service. It is our pleasure to ensure that you travel to and from our weight loss center safely and comfortably.

Another reason patients choose Obesity Control Center is that our surgeons and staff care about our patients’ well-being well after they return home from bariatric surgery. We commit to providing five years of postoperative care, including a personalized nutrition and exercise plan, so that patients meet their goals and feel adequately supported during their weight loss journey.

Accreditations We are proud to be one of the most accredited hospitals with certified surgeons in the world.

Hospital Accreditations:

Joint Commission International (JCI)

Obesity Control Center has been awarded the Gold Seal of Approval® and joins the rest of our accredited organizations—all sharing a commitment to achieving the highest quality, patient-safe care possible. Only a handful of the world’s most prestigious and recognized hospitals undergo JCI’s comprehensive on-site survey and evaluation process to determine if they meet our demanding quality and patient safety standard.

Please click on the link and then search Mexico and then choose Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and you will see Cyntar, that is the name of the company that owns Obesity Control Center, if you click on the link provided there, it will take you back to Obesity Control Center as a confirmation.

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Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (COEMBS)

Designated by the letters COEMBS, the Center of Excellence in Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (COEMBS) program is a global patient safety and quality improvement program available to all Bariatric Surgeons and facilities in the United States and the rest of the world. The COEMBS program reflects the specific needs of obese patients and the unique roles and responsibilities of bariatric and metabolic surgery providers that are crucial to the patients’ safety and outcome.

Please click on the link and then for location search Tijuana and then choose: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico from the drop-down menu. Dr. Ortiz, Dr. Martinez, and Obesity Control Center will show in the search results.

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Global Healthcare Accreditation (GHA) Program

The Global Healthcare Accreditation® (GHA) Program is an independent accrediting body that seeks to improve the patient experience and excellence of care received by patients who travel for their medical care and treatment, whether within their own country or internationally. GHA’s goal is to share professional norms and set the standard for organizations serving medical travel patients. With a focus on the entire medical travel care continuum, patient experience, and sustainable business practices – GHA seeks to provide both short-term and long-term value to our clients, whom we view as strategic partners.

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ISO 9001:2015 - Quality management systems

ISO 9001 is an international ISO standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that applies to the Quality Management Systems of public and private organizations, regardless of their size or business activity. It is an excellent working method for improving the quality of products and services, as well as customer satisfaction. The quality management system is based on the ISO 9001 standard, companies are interested in obtaining this certification to guarantee their customers the improvement of their products or services, and these, in turn, prefer companies committed to quality. Therefore, standards such as ISO 9001 become a competitive advantage for organizations.

The main objective of ISO-9001 is to increase customer satisfaction, thanks to continuous improvement processes. It is ideal for all those organizations with the ability to offer products and/or services that meet the demands of their clients, as well as being backed by an international certification that provides prestige, security, and guarantee.

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ISO 27001:2013 - Information Security Management System

ISO 27001:2013 is the international standard that is recognized globally for managing risks to the security of information you hold. Certification to ISO 27001 allows you to prove to your clients and other stakeholders that you are managing the security of your information.

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General Council of Health Accreditation (CSG)

This accreditation is a facility and practice specifically. It can be seen as The Mexican version of the Joint Commission Accreditation, in fact, it uses the same standards to review a facility and the medical practice. It has only been bestowed upon a handful of Hospitals in Mexico and has been recently awarded to the Obesity Control Center having met the stringent requirements of this certification. It is required that any licensed Bariatric Surgeons in Mexico practice his specialty in a CSG Accredited facility in order to receive Surgical Board recognition. Only Bariatric Surgeons with CGS General Health Council Accreditation have listed in the Mexican College of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgeons website as fully accredited to practice Bariatric Surgery. In early 1999, the Ministry of Health convened representatives of the main institutions involved in the provision of health services and training of professionals to integrate the National Certification Commission under the responsibility of the Secretary of the General Health Council, with the intention to design a model for the certification of healthcare facilities to support the improvement of the quality of the National Health System. This accreditation follows the model of the Joint Commission Standards and is updated accordingly. National Certification Program for Health Care Establishments hereinafter called National Certification System of Health Care Establishments, aims to “assist in the ongoing improvement of service quality and security that is provided to patients, so that allows participating institutions maintain competitive to achieve, sustain and improve its position in the environment “advantages.

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Surgeon Accreditations

Board Certified in Bariatric Surgery: Mexican Board of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery (CMCOEM)

The Mexican College of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery (CMCOEM) is the Board that evaluates, examines, and certifies individuals who meet all the legal and academic requirements as well as meet the standards of excellence in the field of bariatric surgery. Surgeons desiring to practice Bariatric Surgery can only be certified by the CMCOEM in collaboration with the Mexican Board of Surgery. Additionally, the Mexican Board of Bariatric Surgery was charged with improving and broadening opportunities for the education and training of surgeons. The CMCOEM is an independent non-profit organization with worldwide recognition. Dr. Ariel Ortiz is the Past President of the CMCOEM and was elected by his peers in 2003, recognized as a distinguished surgeon in education, research, and practice.

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Board Certified in General Surgery: Mexican Board of General Surgery (CMCG)

Board Certified General Surgeon means that The Mexican Board of General Surgery has granted the academic distinction and is the only academic certifying organization in Mexico that regulates, standardizes, and certifies physicians in the practice of general surgery. The Board has national and international recognition for the quality of the certification process, performance and credibility of its staff and board members. All Bariatric Surgeons must be certified by this board in order to practice Bariatric Surgery in Mexico.

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Fellow: Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)

Designated by the letters FACS after the surgeons’ name signifies that the surgeon has passed a rigorous evaluation. This evaluation takes an in-depth look at the surgeon’s education and training, surgical competence, professional qualifications, and ethical conduct and is only awarded when they have been found to be consistent with the high standards established and demanded by the College. Fellowship in the American College of Surgeons is also required to become a full member of the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for International Surgeons.

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Fellow: International Fellow of the ASMBS (IFASMBS)

Designated by the letters IFASMBS These letters after the surgeon’s name denotes Fellowship in the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. The ASMBS was founded in 1983 and its purpose is to advance the art and science of metabolic and bariatric surgery by continually improving the quality and safety of care and treatment of people with obesity and related diseases. The designation of the International Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has been bestowed upon Dr Ariel Ortiz Lagardere who has been an International Regular Member in good standing in the ASMBS for the past 5 years. Obesity Control Center is a facility currently participating as an International MBSAQIP Data Collection Center. Designation as an “International Fellow of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery” will be indicated by the letters IFASMBS after the surgeon’s name.

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Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification

Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) is a more advanced version of the basic life support (BLS) certification held by all the Obesity Control Center Medical and Surgical Staff. BLS is held by all our non-medical and administrative staff. ACLS involves responding to an unconscious person, analyzing the cause of the emergency, determining the treatment(s) needed, and taking more advanced clinical steps to restore their breathing and heartbeat. ACLS providers are put to date in the use of tools such as intubation, electrocardiograms, and intravenous medications to treat the patient and determine the cause of the medical emergency and commonly use drugs to resuscitate or treat a patient who has experienced a heart attack, drug overdose or other trauma.

Our qualified healthcare providers that include our ward physicians, nurses, clinical pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and our surgical staff can provide ACLS. Though BLS is generally used in the pre-hospital setting all our non-medical staff is proficient in and certified in BLS,

BLS certification is valid for one year, ACLS certification and recertification for two years.

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Medical License & Surgery License: Ministry of Public Education

The National Registry of Professions is the online resource to search the validity of any medical or professional license by name or license number. By filling in the full name or the license number the database will verify the validity of the medical license. There are two individual license numbers associated to any surgeon practicing bariatric surgery. The first number will be the license associated with practicing General Medicine. The second number will be the number associated with practicing General Surgery. The practice of Bariatric Surgery is regulated by the CONACEM and is awarded through the Mexican College of Bariatric Surgeons in collaboration with the Mexican Board of General Surgery. (Both accreditations appear elsewhere in this page).

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As one of the first International Centers of Excellence outside the United States, it means that our weight loss surgery patients receive exclusive and unparalleled care in the most advanced facilities. This designation is awarded after a series of rigorous onsite reviews over a year-long period where every facet of the practice, the staff, the surgeons, and the facilities is examined by experts in the medical field to ensure that only the highest standards are consistently maintained. Very few international hospitals achieve this status, and many American hospitals do not. As a result of this designation, patients are assured that they will not be sharing their environment with diseased patients or infectious diseases common in other hospitals that are not fully specialized in weight loss surgery. Our Tijuana, MX bariatric surgery facility has also passed the highest standards of excellence established in the United States that equate to safe and effective weight loss procedure. Because of our highly specialized environment, we have redundancy in all the necessary state-of-the-art equipment and expert staff to meet any need the weight-loss surgery patient may require. Our pristine and modern facility is only surpassed by our compassionate English-speaking staff that takes care of patients every step of the way.

Medical Tourism

It is completely safe to travel to Mexico and have surgery with us at OCC. Over 100 people from the USA come to Mexico every single month to have surgery with Dr. Ortiz or Dr. Martinez and achieve optimal results. We even take care of patients by shuttling them between the hotel and hospital, as well as across the border.

We have passed the most rigorous accreditations and now display a List of Awards and Designations of Quality bestowed upon the Hospital and the Surgeons. In order for the Obesity Control Center to be awarded the various distinctions and designations by third party quality accreditation organizations, we had to go through rigorous year-long reviews that examined every aspect of our practice, including the staff, surgeons, and facilities.

We are one of only a few international hospitals to be awarded these designations. We are fully accredited as a Center of Excellence in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery and our Surgeons have been designated Surgeons of Excellence in Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, and have also obtained the Golden Seal awarded by the Joint Commission International that signifies that we have met the highest standards in patient safety and quality available in healthcare.

If you have any questions or concerns about traveling to Mexico for bariatric surgery, please contact The Obesity Control Center. A member of our team would be happy to speak to you about what you can expect during your weight-loss surgery process.

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Although the cost of weight loss surgery in  Tijuana, Mexico differs depending on the procedure you select, each is affordable, especially compared to prices charged by American hospitals. Our relatively low-cost pricing for the gastric band (Lap-Band), gastric plication, gastric sleeve (gastrectomy), and gastric bypass surgeries allow you to get the first-class treatment you desire within your budget. To discuss your specific situation in confidence, please call us toll-free or complete our contact form.

Length of stay:

Outpatient Band Surgery: 1 day at the hospital, 1 night at the hotel
Gastric Sleeve Surgery: 1 night at the hospital, 3 nights hotel
Gastric Plication Surgery: 1-night hospital, 2 nights hotel
Revision Surgery varies by procedure: Discuss with the coordinator

The cost of OCC weight loss surgeries includes the following:

  • Three surgeon team, including an anesthesiologist
  • Operating room costs
  • All preoperative evaluations
  • Surgical materials
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • Fill adjustments and follow-up care
  • Stay at a local 5-star hotel

Financing Options

We also provide our patients with several options to finance their weight loss and other surgeries through third parties. These financing companies offer you an affordable way to have your procedure done immediately with monthly payments that fit your budget. Please feel free to contact us regarding the options that are summarized below. You may call us toll-free from the U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, or Canada. From outside the U.S., please call 1-415-738-8100.

Please note: OCC quotes cash prices, In addition to any fee that the finance company charges you directly, check with the lender to see if there is a funding fee charged to OCC if so, the cash price to OCC would not apply, and you would be charged a higher fee, typically around 5%.  If you choose financing that pays you directly, and no extra costs are incurred by OCC, we may be able to honor the cash pricing. 

All patients are required to pay a $500 deposit to OCC to hold their surgery date within 24 hours of scheduling.

Financing Help

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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