Bariatric surgery in Canada is a life-changing procedure that can significantly improve your health and quality of life. Often, conditions like type 2 diabetes, PCOS, and rheumatoid arthritis go into remission after surgery. And many of our patients see improvements in joint pain, cardiovascular health, and cholesterol levels. The benefits are priceless.
Your Guide to the Cost of Weight Loss Surgery
Weight loss surgery is a significant investment in yourself. It can truly affect your future health and how you live the rest of your life. It isn’t a workout DVD, gym membership, or diet pills—it’s a commitment to change the way you live your life. You must be determined to lose the weight and keep it off for good.
When it comes to your health, it’s worth it to find the highest quality provider. This is no time to cut corners on cost. If a clinic offers you a bargain deal, you should always ask why. Are they skimping on the best quality tools or hiring less experienced staff? This is your health, and you deserve the best.
In this post, we’ll explore the following issues:
Public Healthcare vs. Private Weight Loss Surgery
Common Questions About the Cost of Weight Loss Surgery
At our bariatric surgery centre in Mississauga, Ontario, the following are some of the most common questions we are asked:
Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?
Bariatric surgery is only appropriate for patients who fit certain criteria. At SmartShape, patients must have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher. Many patients also have weight-related health problems and have not been able to achieve significant and sustained weight loss on their own.
Is bariatric surgery covered by OHIP?
In an earlier blog post, we explained that OHIP covers some weight loss surgery, but that’s not always the case with the procedures we offer. The eligibility criteria also differ; you must have a body mass index of at least 40 or 35 with serious weight-related health conditions to be a candidate. Provincial programs only offer gastric bypass and, in very specific circumstances, the gastric sleeve. You may wait up to 5 years for weight loss surgery covered by OHIP.
How much does bariatric surgery cost?
The cost of bariatric surgery at SmartShape depends on the procedure performed. We recommend starting your weight loss journey by contacting our Patient Advisors, who can share the most accurate pricing with you for the procedure you’re interested in. We partner with financing companies that provide attractive payment plans for qualified patients. Many of these programs offer zero percent down from your choice of lenders, and it’s easy to apply. It takes only minutes to find out if you’re approved.
What is included in the cost of weight loss surgery?
The cost of weight loss surgery at SmartShape includes much more than what’s provided at a public hospital. These extras include a private room at a private hospital and ongoing support from the nurses and dietitians who are part of our unparalleled 5-year Aftercare Success Program. Ours is the longest and most comprehensive program in Canada.
- Scheduling surgery at a time that’s convenient for you with short wait times.
- Surgery performed at a modern and beautiful private hospital with one of SmartShape’s top surgeons, who are all experts in bariatric procedures.
- An overnight stay at a private hospital with nursing care.
Studies show that having a support system is a crucial part of maintaining weight loss. SmartShape offers 5 years of customized, expert medical and nutrition support from the nurses and dietitians on SmartShape’s AfterCare Success team—and it’s included in the cost of every surgery we perform. This service provides ongoing, on-demand telehealth support, regular check-in appointments, informative webinars, and indispensable information in our pre- and post-surgery guidebooks.
Factors Affecting Cost
Several factors can impact the overall cost of your weight loss surgery, procedure, or program. Some of these factors include the type of procedure you have, where your surgery is performed, and your medical history.
At SmartShape, we offer different weight loss procedures and surgeries, including:
Each of these weight loss solutions is available at different costs. After meeting with one of our weight loss surgery specialists and determining which procedure is the best solution for you, we can help break down the associated costs. As mentioned earlier, financing is available to help pay for weight loss surgery.
The Cost of Obesity
Obesity comes at a cost that affects both your wallet and your overall quality of life. Those with obesity may regularly encounter many different expenses, ranging from the cost of clothes to obesity-related medical conditions.
Some of these costs can include the following:
- Wage discrimination
- Medical costs
- Short-term disability costs
- Sick leave
- Life insurance
- Disability pension insurance
A George Washington University study put a dollar amount on some of these factors. Overall, the study showed that obesity could be costing males $2,646 and females $4,879 every year. The stress from added costs combined with the chance of developing an obesity-related medical condition can affect your overall quality of life.
Public vs. Private Weight Loss Surgery: 5 Things to Know
1. Who qualifies for weight loss surgery?
OHIP will only cover a gastric bypass surgery procedure if your BMI is over 40—or if your BMI is over 35 and you have serious weight-related health conditions. Occasionally gastric sleeve surgery will be offered to patients with a BMI under 60 if they have severe scar tissue from a previous surgery and the gastric bypass would be too risky due to medical conditions.
SmartShape offers gastric sleeve and mini gastric bypass surgery for patients with a 35+ BMI. Some people with a BMI of 30 or higher may qualify for gastric sleeve surgery if they have weight-related comorbidities.
2. What weight loss procedures are offered?
As we explained above, gastric bypass surgery in Ontario is covered by OHIP for most patients who meet their qualifications. Rarely, OHIP will cover the gastric sleeve for a small patient population who suffer from severe scarring or a medical condition that would make a gastric bypass procedure risky.
SmartShape offers a larger number of weight loss procedures, and your weight loss surgeon will work with you to determine the best procedure for your needs and goals. At our surgical centre, our surgeons perform mini gastric bypass surgery and gastric sleeve surgery. SmartShape’s Toronto weight loss clinic offers the mini gastric bypass instead of the gastric bypass procedure because the mini gastric bypass requires less rerouting of the intestine. This may make the procedure safer and less invasive.
3. Will I be able to choose my procedure?
The public healthcare system does not allow each patient to select which weight loss procedure they’d like to undergo. Most patients will receive the gastric bypass procedure if they use OHIP to cover their weight loss surgery.
At SmartShape, we don’t believe that there is a one-size-fits-all weight loss procedure. One of our surgeons will personally review your medical history and weight loss goals and review the benefits of each of our weight loss procedures with you to help you make the best choice. We take a highly personalized approach to weight loss surgery and take the time to listen to each patient and their goals.
4. What is the wait time for weight loss surgery in Canada?
In Canada’s healthcare system, the wait time to undergo weight loss surgery can be anywhere between 2 to 5 years. Waiting years for weight loss surgery can have serious consequences if you have weight-related health conditions, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and joint issues. It can also negatively impact your confidence, energy, and overall quality of life.
At SmartShape, you can book your weight loss surgery within 4 to 6 weeks after your free consultation with one of our Toronto weight loss surgeons. You can typically arrange your consultation within the same week of your initial inquiry.
5. Is there support after my surgery?
The public healthcare system in Ontario provides some patient education and nutritional counselling after your surgery; however, your access to dietitians and aftercare is limited due to high demand.
SmartShape offers a unique 5-Year Aftercare Success Program to ensure you reach your weight loss and health goals. All our patients have 24/7 access to our registered dietitians, nurses, and surgeons to provide support, advice, and guidance so you can have the best possible outcome.
That’s exactly what the SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre can provide you with. Our team of experienced and caring weight loss experts has years of combined experience. We can confidently say that we have the knowledge to help maximize your weight loss efforts. Combined with the care and support you receive, there’s truly no better investment you could make in your health.