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Is Weight Loss Surgery Covered by OHIP? What You Need to Know

Plus size woman thinking about weight loss surgery

If you want to lose weight, you may have already talked to your doctor about safe weight loss options. If you have a significant amount of weight to lose and traditional methods like diet and exercise haven’t helped, your doctor may have suggested researching weight loss surgery as the next step.

Weight loss surgery is a safe, effective, and sustainable way to lose a lot of weight and improve your health. But as part of your research, you’ve probably Googled: Is weight loss surgery covered by OHIP?

The answer is that public healthcare (like OHIP) only covers weight loss surgery if you meet specific qualifications, and they don’t offer every procedure available.

 

5 Things to Know When Researching Public Healthcare vs. Private Weight Loss Surgery

 

Who qualifies for weight loss surgery?

OHIP will only cover a gastric bypass procedure if your BMI is over 40, or if your BMI is over 35 and you have serious weight-related health conditions. Occasionally the gastric sleeve will be offered to patients if they have severe scar tissue from a previous surgery, the gastric bypass would be too risky due to medical conditions, and their BMI is under 60.

At a private weight loss centre, such as SmartShape, anyone who meets the criteria for obesity (having a BMI of 30 or higher) qualifies for weight loss surgery. We offer three different types of weight loss procedures, including the mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band (gastric band) surgeries.

 

What procedures are offered?

OHIP offers the gastric bypass procedure to most patients who meet their qualifications. Rarely, the gastric sleeve will be offered to 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 the mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band (gastric band) surgeries. SmartShape 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.

 

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.

At SmartShape, we don’t believe that there is a one-size-fits-all weight loss procedure. At SmartShape, one of our surgeons will personally review your medical history and weight loss goals, and review the benefits of each of our three 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.

 

What is the wait time for surgery?

In Canada, the wait time to undergo weight loss surgery can be anywhere between two to five years. (1,2)  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 four to six weeks after your free consultation with one of our weight loss surgeons. You can typically arrange your free consultation within the same week of your initial inquiry.

 

Is there support after my surgery?

In the public healthcare system in Ontario, some patient education and nutritional counseling is provided after your surgery at the hospital, however your access to dietitians and aftercare is limited due to high demand.

At SmartShape, we offer 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.

 

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre: Mini Gastric Bypass, Gastric Sleeve and Lap-Band Surgery in Canada from Accredited Bariatric Surgeons

If you’re struggling to lose weight, SmartSmart Weight Loss Centre can help you achieve a healthy weight. We offer expedited access to weight loss surgery in Canada from accredited bariatric surgeons, and an exceptional five-year Aftercare Success Program with our registered nurses and dietitians that will help you reach your health goals. Our surgical weight loss options include mini gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and Lap-Band surgery. To learn more about your surgical weight loss options, schedule a virtual consultation with one of our weight loss surgeons and find the best option for your unique needs.

 

Footnotes:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2689726/#:~:text=Assuming%20these%20trends%20are%20maintained,18%20months%20for%20cosmetic%20surgery.
  2. https://obesitycanada.ca/managing-obesity/bariatric-surgery/

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