Obesity Control Center: A Nation’s Challenge to for Weight Loss.

Few Mexican doctors have appeared in United States media as much as Ariel Ortiz, director of a Tijuana Hospital named  Obesity Control Center (OCC), which has over a decade track record of successfully treating patients from the United States seeking weight-loss surgery and weight loss.

While the clinic has offered excellent services for 13 years, Dr. Ortiz has such presence that his image has appeared in shows like Oprah Winfrey, Fox BusinessThe DoctorsGood Morning AmericaNightline and magazines like Newsweek and People. But, beyond the success of his business, Dr. Ortiz’s worries extend to his countrymen. “My biggest concern is that Mexico is the most obese country in the world and no one is developing education programs to change that in childhood and adolescence.”

In 2012, with FUMEC’s help, the OCC team worked on a roadmap to organize the implementation of its development projects, and this simple exercise enabled the company to visualize a new way to grow. “When I introduced myself to FUMEC, I said,‘Look, but if the most obese country in the world is Mexico, not the United States,’ Ortiz recalled, “then we see there is a great need for weight management services and that it’s a poorly served area, weight loss is a big need in Mexico.”

Today, one of OCC’s priorities is to broaden his clinic work in Mexico, so FUMEC helped him to conduct a diagnostic analysis of infrastructure and equipment, with the goal of getting certified by the General Health Council, which he hopes to achieve in March 2014.This will enable him to compete with the best hospitals in the country and work in cities such as Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, and not just a local weight loss center.

Another line of work is the use of Obalon, Dr Ortiz helped develop the worlds first swallowable gastric balloon for weight loss,  a patented non-surgical weight loss method. It involves a cap-sule which enters the stomach and expands, occupying the space normally filled by more food. In addition, the company developed a smartphone app which facilitates pa-tient follow-up, keeping an account of what they eat, monitoring signs and symptoms and offering recommendations.

However, the OCC’s most ambitious project is a video-based education program for social networks, which “Today we see ourselves as a company that educates a nation and fights the number one disease in the country.” intends to change the eating habits of Mexico’s overweight population.To do so, the company has set up a recording studio which is already working.

“Before meeting FUMEC we saw ourselves as just a bariatric surgery company and today we see ourselves as a company that educates a nation and fights the number one disease in the country,” says Ortiz.


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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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