Highest international safety standards

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. 30-32

Lap-Band surgery and you.

The Lap-Band was one of the first innovations in gastric surgery, however, there are newer innovations, including the Improved Gastric Sleeve, that OCC performs to produce healthy and sustainable results. 16-18

What are the benefits of Lap-Band Surgery?

A Lap-Band delivers weight-loss results. Bariatric surgery treats obesity, metabolic disease, sleep apnea, and diabetes. 16-18

Is OCC safe?

OCC has the highest safety ratings, with safety standards that exceed most American hospitals. Certified by the Joint Commission, and a certified International Center for Excellence. Very few international hospitals achieve this status, and many American hospitals do not. 30-32

How is it performed?

Our physicians perform fills under X-ray. This procedure will permit us to visualize the size of the fill and the level of tightness produced when we inflate the band. We do this by accessing the port under the skin with a thin needle. 16-18

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A Look at Our State of the Art Facility | Obesity Control Center

Doctors performing bariatric surgery

What is the discomfort from surgery?

Minimal. There may be some bloating post-surgery. 42, 43

Side effects

Bloating, heartburn, unable to hold down liquids. 42, 43

Pre-surgery preparation

Pre-surgery diet and supplements. 42, 43

What is the downtime?

One night in the hospital followed by a three-month program of integrating back to normal, solid foods. 42, 43

Follow up support

Five years of counseling and follow-up. You’re a member of the #OCCFamily for life.

What is a Lap-Band adjustment?

An Adjustable Gastric Band is like a balloon wrapped up around your stomach. A gastric band should restrict eating to about a third of your pre-surgical food consumption. If you can eat more than a third, you may need a “fill” or adjustment of the band. You must eat only solid foods since the band’s design restricts only solids. If you are eating mostly soft or liquid foods, we cannot evaluate the need for a fill. 16-18

Did not lose weight with the Lap-Band? We can help.

Solid food will easily pass through the band even when adequately restricted. However, after a year, even when following all proper protocols, some patients may not lose weight. They require a small adjustment to “fine-tune” their band to resume weight loss. 16-18

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Why choose OCC for Lap-Band adjustments?

With over 26,000 procedures and innovative techniques, Obesity Control Center is a world leader in Lap-Band and bariatric surgery. We are the busiest standalone center of excellence in metabolic and bariatric surgery. This gives us a unique advantage, especially when it comes to the Lap-Band. Lap-Band surgery is an effective medical procedure that has helped countless people get over the enormous hurdle of losing weight. 16-18

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Why can’t I lose excess weight?

For many people, losing weight isn’t as simple as starting a new diet or implementing a new exercise routine. All over the world, millions of people struggle to achieve weight loss for a number of reasons, both medical and psychological. 16-18

How do I know if I need a Lap-Band adjustment?

It is not the same for everyone. We can only determine a precise fill for each individual at that exact moment in time. Even if your fill volume (1 to 3 milliliters) results in the perfect restriction, this may not be the case months later. 16-18

Do I need a Lap-Band adjustment? 

Several things determine the right fill, including your weight. The more you weigh, the thicker your stomach is. As you lose weight and your stomach becomes thinner, you may need a tighter adjustment. The adaptation of your esophagus and stomach also plays a role in restriction. Sometimes when air catches in your band (when your band is new), the amount of fill may vary. Thus, the liquid does not slip out, but air will diminish the total fill volume. 16-18

How does OCC tighten the Lap-Band?

Our physicians perform fills under X-ray. This procedure will permit us to visualize the size of the fill and the level of tightness produced when we inflate the band. We do this by accessing the port under the skin with a thin needle. This is a quick and painless procedure. Once the port is accessed, we ask the patient to swallow the liquid barium that shows up under an x-ray. 16-18

How we evaluate the need for Lap-Band tightening

You will marvel at seeing how the barium goes down your esophagus and then stops at the band. You will then see how your upper pouch (new stomach) fills, pauses, then slowly goes through and passes the band. We measure how long it takes the barium to pass. We determine whether we have the correct tightness, giving you the amount of restriction necessary for weight loss. The whole procedure takes only a few minutes. 16-18

What should I expect after the tightening procedure?

We will expect you to be on liquids for a couple of days for you and your body to get used to your new fill. Some people will try to eat solid food while driving or flying back home, but the food gets stuck, which then becomes a medical emergency to remove liquid from the band. This means you MUST follow medical orders after a fill. To learn more about lap band, visit medlineplus.gov  16-18

Patient Success Stories

Cameron's patient journey before
Cameron's patient journey after


-185 lbs

I can never express enough how grateful I am for what OCC has done for me.

I was considered overweight and obese my entire life. At 35, after years of failed diets, therapy, and research, I realized that the only way for me to permanently loose weight was to have bariatric surgery. My doctors in the US wrote letters to my insurance, emphasizing the medical necessity of this surgery. But after a year of back and forth, my insurance turned me down. I thought all hope was lost until I heard about OCC from a friend. I’d never even heard of traveling to Mexico for surgery, but, after researching and talking to the OCC, I was all in. And I’m so glad I made this choice. The amount of guidance and care I received from OCC from the moment I called for information has been better than anything I’ve experienced in the US. The procedure was smooth—I felt safe and in good hands the entire time.

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Lorena's patient journey before
Tricia's patient journey after


-100 lbs

It’s highly reputable reputation and accreditation’s.

I was sick of being sick. I suffered from type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease. I have two small children and was sick of being tired all the time and sitting on the sidelines. I decided I didn’t want to live this life anymore. That’s when I reached out to OCC and it was the best decision I ever made. I am now actually living and making each day count.

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Celeste's patient journey before
Celeste's patient journey after


-203 lbs

I needed a drastic change.

I had tried losing weight and failed on my own so many times before that I just knew I could no longer do it on my own. My health insurance benefits excluded weight loss surgery and I felt so defeated! I didn’t want the insurance companies to decide what I knew I needed. It wasn’t until I started searching for cash-pay costs that I ran across the OCC website (and several others). I looked at their testimonials and tried to find some of those people – I reached out to them on social media to get their thoughts. I started doing research on Dr. Ortiz. I researched the accreditations and certifications that the OCC held and was liking what I was learning. I looked into other facilities and Dr.’s, but none of them seemed to have as high of standards as OCC. After doing research and talking with others about their experiences both at OCC and at other facilities, I decided that it was time to get more information directly from OCC.

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Charlie's patient journey before
Charlie's patient journey after


-155 lbs

OCC, you gave me not only my life back, you gave me my smile back…

I have struggled with my weight my entire life. In the long run it became not only emotionally, but also medically necessary to make a drastic change in my life. I was recommended by a family friend who is also a Nurse Practitioner and she recommended me to OCC, specifically Dr. Ortiz. Of course I was apprehensive of the thought of having surgery in Mexico but she reassured me that she took care of several of OCC’s patients right here in my hometown and that if anyone knew exactly what they were doing it was OCC. I researched OCC as well as others, both domestic and foreign, and came to the conclusion that OCC was without a doubt one of the best, if not the best. From the first call to the coordinator to the moment I left Tijuana headed back home, I was treated with support, kindness, compassion, and empathy.

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Jamie's patient journey before
Jamie's patient journey after


-73 lbs

I did quite a bit of reading and felt OCC was the best choice and it was!

I have struggled with my weight for all of my adult years, my highest weight was 245 at one time. I maintained my weight loss around 165 lbs until about 2 years ago when my band started not holding any fluid and realized it had a leak. I started regaining weight and put on about 50 lbs. My experience with OCC and Dr. Ortiz was wonderful! I decided to revise to the gastric sleeve and everything was great, we stayed at a very nice hotel , and the staff there was just as good. I had excellent medical care from the start. I would absolutely recommend OCC to anyone who is struggling with their weight. I am now down about 80 lbs and have never felt better. I work out with a personal trainer and run 5ks!

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Elyse's patient journey before
Elyse's patient journey after


-65 lbs

Safety, professionalism, knowledge, accreditation.

I was tired of being fat, and for most 215 isn’t that bad. But for me I felt disgusting. I’m use to bring the pretty sexy one. Not the chubby funny girl. I didn’t know that out of country surgery was even a possibility. I had a friend have it done in Mexico and I was like I want that. I booked with another company and after research I found that they had a death and complications. They also used drain tubes which did not sound like fun! Then I found OCC and saw all the great reviews, no deaths and no drain tubes. I was so nervous yet excited. My experience was nothing but positive. I even came home early I was doing so well. I have tried every diet, I exercised regularly and I just kept gaining. This tool has helped me so much. I still continue to eat healthy and exercise regularly but now I actually see results or my hard work. This isn’t the easy way out you still have to put the work in.

View all Before & After Patient Stories

Obesity Control Center Compared To Other Bariatric Surgeons

  • A quarter-century specialized in the weight loss surgery field. We were some of the first to perform bariatric surgical procedures.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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®
  • Stomach Sparing Gastric Sleeve, the Double-Buttress Sewing Technique and more.
    Faster recovery and better outcomes. Shorter times under anesthesia and a less-invasive abdominal wall preservation technique.
  • Unique patient pre-surgery education and preparation and 5 years follow-up program, an industry first!


Meet Dr. Ariel Ortiz | Obesity Control Center

Dr. Ortiz speaking with a female patient
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Lap-Band adjustment FAQS

How do I prepare for gastric surgery?

Will I be on a diet before the adjustment?

Is getting Lap-Band surgery in Mexico safe?

Are there any complications for lap-band?

How do I prepare for gastric surgery?

Preparation is key for a successful outcome. Additional requirements may be suggested depending on your specific case. 35-37

Will I be on a diet before the adjustment?

Preoperative weight loss will detox your liver, making it lighter, and resulting in a quicker, safer weight loss procedure 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. 35-37

Is getting Lap-Band surgery in Mexico safe?

At OCC, we have over 26,000 patients that have traveled to our center. We are less than half a mile away from the international border to the U.S.A. Tijuana is now the second busiest medical destination for the traveling patient. At OCC, we are glad to be an essential part of this great reputation, as we have four full United States-based accreditations for health and safety in gastric revision surgery. 16-18

Are there any complications for lap-band?

A common occurrence for banded patients is the regurgitation of non-acidic swallowed food from the upper pouch, commonly known as PB’ing (Productive Burping). This is not to be considered normal. The patient should consider eating less, eating more slowly, or chewing their food more thoroughly. Occasionally, the narrow passage into the larger / lower part of the stomach may become blocked by a large portion of unchewed or unsuitable food. 42, 43

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Schedule your Lap-Band tightening procedure today

Call or email us here to continue your weight loss journey. One of our US-based coordinators can show you how you can get the life you’ve always wanted with the help of the Obesity Control Center.


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

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