Guatemala is located just south from Mexico. There are daily flights arriving from all over the United States. There are direct flights shorter than 3 hours arriving from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and many other cities in the US.

Your safety is our number one concern. You will be on the hands of experienced medical and paramedic personnel during your stay in Guatemala. All the members of our multidisciplinary bariatric group have trained in the United States. Besides, the residents and nurses are constantly receiving training in order to update their knowledge so that they can provide the optimal care to our patients.

You will have your surgery at a private, state-of-the art hospital that works under the most rigorous hygiene and safety norms of any hospital in the United States. It is equipped with the most advanced medical technology available.

Most insurance companies will not cover for your surgery in Guatemala, even international insurance companies. Very few of them will cover it as a reimbursement, not as a direct coverage. We would be happy to fill out any paperwork needed for reimbursement by your insurance company either before or after your surgery.

Totally. This type of service is a great alternative especially for self-paid patients.
Including your plane fare, preoperative evaluation, hotel, surgery, equipment needed for the surgery, and hospital fees, it will be at least half of what you would normally pay for an operation in most hospitals in the United States, with the same safety and effectiveness as if you had your surgery in your own country.

No, you do not need a visa to travel to Guatemala unless you are planning on staying for over 6 months.

No, you do not need to vaccinate before coming to Guatemala unless you are planning on taking a tour around the country before having your surgery. Then vaccination against malaria may be recommended. Otherwise, you will be transported from the airport to the hotel, then to the hospital, back to the hotel, and then back to the airport.

No. Your health is our number one concern. Therefore, your trip has been carefully planned to the last detail. You will be at the care of a very professional team. Someone will be with you at all times. During your stay, the comfort and care will be that of a 5-star hotel. Your food will be selected by us and cooked under the strictest norms of hygiene. Additionally, you will be provided bottled water throughout your stay in Guatemala.

The surgery requires a thorough preoperative evaluation in order to verify that you are in shape to withstand the operation and to assure that everything is in order for a normal postoperative recovery. This includes a general blood work (CBC, CMP, PT, PTT), chest X-Ray (frontal and lateral view), an upper abdominal ultrasound, and an EKG.

Seldom is the case when a specialist requires giving you a specific treatment in order to control a comorbid disease (i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc) before your surgery. However, it has happened that you need some time to control
if you have any obesity-associated disease, it would be wise to have a check-up with your primary care physician in order to make sure that everything is OK to have your surgery.

Seldom is the case when a specialist requires giving you a specific treatment in order to control a comorbid disease (i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, etc) before your surgery. However, it has happened that you need some time to control
if you have any obesity-associated disease, it would be wise to have a check-up with your primary care physician in order to make sure that everything is OK to have your surgery.

There is no need for you to bring a travel companion. However, most people do. You can bring as many people as you want. Nonetheless, it would be important for you to provide us with the information of whether you come alone or not in order for us to be able to organize the best travel arrangements that fit your needs.

Absolutely. Tourism is one of Guatemala’s major businesses, and most people here speak fluent English. Anyways, a translator will be provided since your arrival to the airport and he/she will accompany you throughout your stay with us here in Guatemala, especially during your stay at the hospital.

Upon your arrival to Guatemala you will receive a cell phone with Dr. Gonzalez’s cell phone on speed dial. You will be able to contact him at any time and he, not his assistants, will answer every single of your phone calls. We will provide you with the cell phone number so you can also give it to your family. They can call at any time to see how you are doing.

Flights arriving from the US usually land late in the afternoon, we will call that DAY #1. You will therefore need the next day for your preoperative workup and evaluations with our specialists, that will be DAY #2. You will be admitted to the hospital on the evening of day #2 and you will spend the night on one of the hospital suites. Your surgery will be scheduled first thing in the morning of DAY #3. The length of the time at the hospital will depend on your type of surgery. If you have a gastric banding, you will spend the night of your surgery at the hospital and you will be discharged to the hotel on DAY #4. If you have a sleeve gastrectomy or a gastric bypass, you will spend two additional nights at the hospital before being discharged to your hotel. The day following your discharge, Dr. Gonzalez will visit you at the hotel and to evaluate you and see if you are fit to fly back home the next day. (for more information click here) However, you are most welcome to stay with us as long as you would like to, we promise you we will not kick you out.

The recovery time will depend on your type of surgery and the technique (open vs laparoscopic) to perform your surgery.

The following information is based on the average time that takes our patients to return to a full normal activity:

Although some physicians do not accept patients unless they have their surgery with them, most surgeons will be happy for you to have your follow-up with them. Dr. Gonzalez knows surgeons all over the United States and will be able to refer you to a qualified physician to take care of you when you go back home.

You will be able to contact the registered dietitian from our team either by phone or by e-mail. Before your departure, the dietitian will hand you a detailed set of instructions so you will know what to eat after your surgery. Depending on your type of surgery, you will learn what to eat, how much to eat, how often you can eat, and especially, what types of foods to avoid following your operation.

The hospital facilities were you’ll be staying provides only first class facilities and top of the line medical equipment. This hospital has all private rooms, each equipped with a private bathroom, a pull out bed for a family member or companion, and cable TV with remote control. English-speaking doctors are on call in this hospital 24/7.

Yes, Dr. Gonzalez has the specialized training to perform both the lap band surgery and the gastric bypass surgery laparoscopically.

Yes, and with no risks. Actually, losing weight helps many women to become pregnant. During pregnancy, the band will be opened from the beginning to delivery, so you will be able to eat the appropriate amount of food for you and your baby.

We recommend that all our patients follow a liquid diet for one to seven days before surgery depending on their individual BMI. This decreases intra-abdominal fat as well as liver size, making surgery easier to perform. We strongly urge our patients to try not to gain weight in the few weeks before surgery as a rapid increase in weight usually concentrates fat inside the abdomen.

We recommend our patients to follow-up with a dietitian after the surgery. This diet consists initially of liquids only, then a soft diet and lastly a regular diet. Depending on the bariatric operation performed, each phase of the diet will last differently.

A fill is the tightening of the lap band around the stomach by adding saline solution to it through an access port underneath the skin with a syringe.

Depending on the weight loss, hunger, and size of the portions a patient can eat, patients will require on average anywhere between 1 to 6 fills.

We would like you to return to Guatemala for your fills. However, we understand that sometimes costs for traveling to Guatemala may prohibit this. The other option is that we refer you to the follow up doctor closest to your home. The advantage of using the Lap-band is that most surgeons in the US are familiarized with this band. Dr. Gonzalez works with several centers in different locations throughout the United States that are capable to do the adjustments for patients.

We recommend that lap band surgery patients take at least one chewable multivitamin per day, especially during a rapid weight loss period. For gastric bypass patients, we recommend that they take a chewable multivitamin, plus extra calcium, iron and a sublingual B-12 supplement. We also recommend periodic intramuscular vitamins if needed.

Patients following a Gastric Bypass surgery and Sleeve Gastrectomy will require a protein supplement to have a better wound healing. Additionally, it has been proven that patients who take these supplements lose weight faster.

No, the Lap-band is designed to be placed for life. It does not have an expiration date. Once the desired weight is reached, the band is kept in place.

Most patients over 45 years old who have a BMI of 45 will want a tummy tuck after losing weight, although only patients with a BMI over 50 usually need it.

At the Obesity Surgery Center, we have seen that many patients choose to have plastic surgery after losing weight to improve their appearance and their self-esteem. For information on Plastic Surgeons in Guatemala, please contact our Patient Coordinator.

The lap band does not limit physical activity at all. In fact, many former Obesity Surgery Center patients perform all kinds of sports activities. Our former patients include an NCAA defensive tackle, an ultimate fighting championship wrestler, an oil rig deep sea fisher, as well as pilots, personal trainers, etc.

There is no waiting list to have your bariatric surgery in Guatemala. We can schedule your surgery at your earliest convenience. From the moment you decide to have your surgery in Guatemala, make your travel arrangements, and have your surgery done, the average time is 2 weeks.


Cirugía de Obesidad

La obesidad es la segunda causa más frecuente de muertes prevenibles en Guatemala debido a que está directamente relacionada a la diabetes, presión alta, síndrome metabólico, apnea del sueño y muchas otras enfermedades incluyendo el cáncer. Independientemente del tipo de cirugía de reducción de peso (cirugía bariátrica), la pérdida de peso resulta en una resolución completa de la mayoría de enfermedades asociadas a la obesidad en más del 80% de los pacientes. En el resto de pacientes, estas enfermedades mejoran considerablemente luego de bajar de peso. Por consiguiente, no se trata de una cirugía estética, se realiza por salud, pero los resultados estéticos van de la mano.



Our digestive system is designed as a one-way street: food goes from our mouths to the esophagus and into the stomach, where the digestion begins, and the nutrients reach the intestines where they are absorbed into the blood. Esophageal reflux occurs when part of the stomach contents (like food, gastric acid, bile, etc.) return to the esophagus.

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