FAQs

Understanding your options can help you make an informed decision if you are considering weight loss surgery in Canada. At SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre, we are here to help you make the decision that will help you to improve your overall health and achieve sustained weight loss.

“I am 100 lbs lighter and my kids finally have a healthy mom.”

– Shari, Gastric Sleeve

I’ve tried many weight loss programs. What makes the SmartShape™ program different?

SmartShape uses proven weight loss programs to help you achieve sustained weight loss. Depending on what is right for you, we will recommend the gastric sleeve, mini gastric bypass, or LAP-BAND® program. These procedures can create a feeling of satisfaction with smaller portions to help you feel less hungry, eat less and lose weight. No more yo-yo dieting!

What is bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgery is a tool that assists people living with obesity in losing weight by making changes to the digestive system. There are three procedures that SmartShape Weight Loss Centre offers: the gastric sleeve, the mini gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND. Some patients who do not have the success they were hoping for may be candidates for revision bariatric surgery.

Who is eligible for bariatric surgery?

The bariatric surgeon performing the procedure is the professional most qualified to help you decide if you are eligible for surgery or may be best served with non-surgical options. Bariatric surgery is most effective and safe for individuals who have a BMI over 35 or a BMI greater than 30 with weight-related health problems and who have not been able to achieve significant and sustained weight loss on their own.

How does bariatric surgery work?

Bariatric surgery works by reducing the size of the stomach, which then allows only small portions of food to pass through at a time. Some procedures alter the absorption of food that has been eaten. In addition, there may be different physiological changes to your body (depending on the bariatric procedure performed), including hormonal changes that help with weight loss. Weight loss is further augmented through maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

Who performs bariatric surgery?

Bariatric surgeons are surgical specialists that perform weight loss procedures. These surgeons receive extra training in bariatrics on top of the training they have already received during their surgical training.

Which bariatric surgery is safest?

Bariatric surgery is very safe, so long as the procedure is being performed by a qualified bariatric surgeon at a proper medical facility. At SmartShape Weight Loss Centre, we have four fully qualified surgeons that have performed the gastric sleeve, mini gastric bypass, and the LAP-BAND® procedures on over 6,000 patients.

Which bariatric surgery is reversible?

The LAP-BAND procedure is reversible, as it involves placing a device around the stomach that limits the amount of food that enters it. This device can be removed, and the stomach will expand to the size it once was. The mini gastric bypass procedure is also theoretically reversible. As a principle, if the procedure is reversed the patient may gain some or all of the weight back.

Which bariatric surgery is best for diabetics?

All bariatric procedures are effective treatments for type 2 diabetes. The mini gastric bypass procedure changes the hormones that are released by the bowel and can lead to rapid remission of type 2 diabetes. The gastric sleeve and LAP-BAND® are also effective procedures to reduce or eliminate type 2 diabetes but are more dependent on the weight loss effect. It is very important to realize that all these options are tools and in order to achieve full success with bariatric surgery, you need to eat healthy as well as exercise frequently.

Which bariatric surgery is right for me?

There are several factors that help determine whether you are qualified for bariatric surgery and which procedure may give you the best results, including weight and medical history. A bariatric surgeon can assist you in deciding which procedure would be best for you, as they are the experts in weight loss surgery.

What are the top reasons to choose SmartShape?

To discover why to choose SmartShape, visit our Why Choose SmartShape? page.

Do I need a referral from my family doctor?

No, you do not need a referral from your family doctor. However, we encourage your family doctor to participate in your weight loss program together with the team at SmartShape Weight Loss Centre. If you desire, our surgeons will communicate your progress with your family doctor.

Is the SmartShape program available for out-of-province/out-of-town clients?

The SmartShape Weight Loss Centre has been helping people across Canada reach their weight loss goals since 2005. Where you live is not a barrier to accessing the SmartShape program. We are always within reach by telephone or e-mail. Our bariatric surgeons perform surgery at the Clearpoint Surgical Toronto and our head office is in Mississauga. We serve out-of-town patients from cities across Canada including Calgary, Winnipeg, and Vancouver, as well as U.S. residents.

In an effort to reduce the need to travel, we have adapted our follow-up programs to meet the needs of our out-of-province and long-distance clients. For our LAP-BAND patients, we have an extensive network of affiliated physicians and nurses in over 50 cities and towns across Canada and are continuing to train affiliates to meet our clients’ needs. These healthcare professionals have been trained by our surgeons to safely and effectively perform LAP-BAND adjustments for our patients.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home provincial health plan. Please contact your home provincial health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by province).

British Columbia – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health
Alberta – http://www.health.alberta.ca/
Saskatchewan – https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/health
Manitoba – http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/
Quebec – http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/outils/email.php
New Brunswick – http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health.html
Nova Scotia – https://novascotia.ca/dhw/
Prince Edward Island – https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/health-and-wellness
Newfoundland & Labrador – http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/

Do you offer the gastric sleeve, mini gastric bypass, and LAP-BAND programs to residents outside Canada?

Yes, SmartShape is able to accommodate International clients through our dedicated International Patient program. Please contact SmartShape directly for more details, by calling (888) 278-7952 to speak with one of our Program Advisors in this area.

Are there any health problems that can affect my eligibility for the SmartShape program?

The improvement of your overall health and weight loss success with SmartShape is our priority. We believe that our surgeons can best answer your health questions. Book a free consult today to speak with one of our surgeons.

What is the cost of a consultation at SmartShape?

Consultations with our surgeons are available free of charge. Whenever possible we encourage you to visit a SmartShape Weight Loss Centre to meet our team of healthcare professionals and learn more about the programs we offer. It is important that you speak with one of our surgeons directly so they can understand your medical history and your weight loss goals, and help choose the right SmartShape procedure for you. This consultation will allow you the opportunity to address all of your questions and concerns directly with your surgeon. If an in-office meeting is not possible, we are happy to arrange a phone consultation.

How do I arrange a free consultation at SmartShape?

Call us at (888) 278-7952 to make an appointment for a free consultation. We welcome you to invite a family member or a friend to join you for the discussion.

How long is the wait for a SmartShape procedure?

On average, SmartShape procedures are scheduled within four to six weeks from the time of your consultation. When possible, we are happy to accommodate specific schedule requests.

How does the follow-up play a role in my success?

Follow-up is critical to successful weight loss at SmartShape. The Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, and LAP-BAND procedures are tools that will help you change the way you think about eating.

What is the training of your SmartShape staff?

Our surgeons have received advanced training in the evaluation, treatment, and post-procedure care of Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, and LAP-BAND clients. In fact, the SmartShape surgeons are actively involved in the training and education of healthcare professionals (including other surgeons) caring for bariatric surgical patients. During the procedure, you will be cared for by fellowship-trained surgeons and anesthesiologists, with extensive experience in treating obese patients.

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre is proud to have one of Canada’s first certified bariatric nurse specialists on our team. All of our nurses have received basic and advanced bariatric and surgical patient care training. They continually update their skills by attending regular conferences and training seminars.

Do the weight loss tools contain latex?

No. All of the medical tools and devices used at SmartShape are latex-free and are safe to use on individuals who suffer from latex allergies.

How much weight will I lose?

With the SmartShape program, weight loss occurs at a safe and healthy rate. With all SmartShape procedures, you can expect to lose more weight than you would with a traditional diet – you will have more control over the amount you eat, as you will be satisfied with a smaller amount of food. Your success may depend on the procedure you choose and your commitment to work with the procedure and our team. For further details, look at our Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass[link] and  [link pid="46"]LAP-BAND pages.

Weight loss results with SmartShape programs will depend on your level of activity, age, and underlying health status. It is important to remember that while you have a tool to help you achieve weight loss, making a commitment to a new lifestyle, including improved eating habits, is essential. Continued follow-up through our program has been shown to be a critical factor in the success of any procedure.

Will I need plastic surgery for the surplus skin when I lose weight?

Should you consider cosmetic surgery, we encourage you to contact our team for more information.

What should I do if I go out to eat?

Order what you want to eat! The SmartShape program doesn’t restrict you from eating any particular food but helps you control the amount you consume. With the support of your SmartShape coaches, you will be ready to make healthier, smarter decisions when ordering.

How many procedures have been performed at SmartShape Weight Loss Centre?

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre has a record of more than 7,000 weight loss procedures and we continue to treat hundreds of new clients from across Canada each year.

Do you have a doctor on call after hours?

Access to one of our surgeons is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for urgent concerns.

How do public and private surgery wait times compare in Canada?

There are publicly funded obesity surgery programs that are run in each Canadian province. However, the wait times are likely to be frustrating. According to a 2019 study conducted by The Canadian Obesity Network, after getting a referral, patients in most provinces wait 2 years or more for a consultation, but the wait can be as long as 4 to 5 years. Typically, the wait time between consultation with a specialist and surgery is 6 to 12 months.1

However, if you don’t want to wait, you can finance your own surgery and receive treatment in one of our private facilities.

Consultations with our surgeons are available free of charge, and procedures are scheduled within 4 to 6 weeks from the time of your consultation. To learn more about the cost of surgery and our flexible financing programs, we encourage you to connect with our team of healthcare professionals.

1. The Canadian Obesity Network [Accessible Online] https://obesitycanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/OC-Report-Card-2019-English-Final.pdf. Retrieved 2022-June.


Are tax credits available?

Federal tax credits are available for medical procedures. You may be eligible to submit receipts for any SmartShape procedure as a Medical Expense on your Income Tax return. To learn more about what is available, please visit: Canada Revenue Agency or speak with your financial advisor and accountant.

Do you have in-house financing?

Flexible financing programs are available through SmartShape. Application and approval take as little as 4 minutes! These well-established independent companies specialize in financing medical procedures. The application process is completely confidential and approvals are usually granted quickly.

Why does SmartShape no longer offer gastric balloons?

Gastric balloons are surgical devices that are inserted into the stomach and expanded. They work by taking up space in the stomach so that you cannot eat as much. Due to the fact that the gastric balloon is a temporary procedure, it was SmartShape’s experience that many patients gained the weight back after having the balloon removed.

Due to this disappointing experience, SmartShape Weight Loss Centre no longer performs the gastric balloon procedure.

For more information about our modern weight loss surgery procedures in Canada, people from Toronto, Mississauga, and throughout Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and beyond can use our online form to connect with our Program Advisors today.

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