Bariatric Surgery Canada: Wait Times, Insurance & Surgeon Listing

Reviewed & Updated By: Dr. Chris Cobourn

There are many experienced and well qualified surgeons for bariatric surgery Canada. But if you want insurance to pay, the wait times are likely to be frustrating.

Fortunately, you do have 2 viable options if you don't want to wait. This page will cover...

Insurance Coverage Details By Province for Bariatric Surgery Canada

Gastric bypass surgery is currently the only procedure covered by insurance in Canada. Some provinces may cover lap band surgery, but the wait lists are very long (5 to 10 years).

While not currently covered by insurance, gastric sleeve surgery is gaining popularity with Canadian surgeons and should also be considered a viable option for surgery.

Regarding wait times, the average for weight loss surgery in Canada is 5 years according to a study conducted by a surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre1 , but some provinces have approved patients within a much shorter period of time.

If you don't want to wait, you have two options:

  1. Insurance may pay for you to have gastric bypass surgery outside of your province, although most provinces will not cover any expenses other than the surgery itself.
  2. Finance bariatric surgery on your own and receive treatment in a private facility. You won't be alone: public facilities only perform about one-third of all bariatric surgeries in Canada, while private-pay clinics account for the remaining two-thirds.1

Following are the insurance weight loss surgery and wait time details by province. Click your province's name to jump down to the province's directory of surgeons (provinces without links don't have surgeons listed)...

Following are the insurance weight loss surgery and wait time details by province.

Click your province's name to jump down to the province's directory of surgeons (provinces without links don't have surgeons listed)...

Province
Procedures covered by health insurance Estimated waiting time at public facilities Will province pay to have treatment elsewhere?
References: 1, 2
Alberta
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Lap band surgery
7 to 10 years No
British Columbia
  • Gastric bypass surgery
3 to 5 years Emergency cases
Manitoba
  • Gastric bypass surgery
Not available in province Yes - Limited numbers
New Brunswick
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Lap band surgery
3 to 5 years No
Newfoundland and Labrador (no surgeons listed)
  • Gastric bypass surgery
n/a (no bariatric surgeons in province) Yes - Limited numbers
Nova Scotia (no surgeons listed)
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Lap band surgery (but hospitals will not perform)
3 to 5 years Emergency cases
Ontario
  • Gastric bypass surgery
Initial appointment: 6 months to 1 year

Surgery: 2 to 3 years
No
Prince Edward Island (no surgeons listed)
  • Gastric bypass surgery
n/a (no bariatric surgeons in province) Yes - Limited numbers
Quebec
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Lap band surgery
3 to 15 years No
Saskatchewan
  • Gastric bypass surgery
2 to 3 years Emergency cases
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About Smartshape Weight Loss Centre (SWLC)

Led by a team of Canada’s leading bariatric surgeons, the SmartShape Weight Loss Centre surgeons have a combined experience of over 40 years in advanced laparoscopic procedures.

With locations throughout Canada, the SWLC team is staffed by seven bariatric surgeons, clinical nurse specialists, patient coordinators, a registered dietician, a certified wellness coach and one of Canada’s only certified bariatric nurse specialists.

Click here for more information.

Self-Pay Costs for Canada Weight Loss Surgery by Province

Following were the results of our most recent Canadian Weight Loss Surgery Cost Survey. Only two provinces - BC and Quebec - have enough surgeons offering self-pay packages to develop an average cost...

If you're unable to view the map above, the following table summarizes the bariatric surgery cost data for Canada...

RegionProcedureAverage Cost
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Lap Band$16,443
QUEBEC
Gastric Bypass$20,125
QUEBEC
Gastric Sleeve$19,625
QUEBEC
Lap Band$18,750

Exact Quote for You

Click here to find a top surgeon near you. Their office will be able to provide you with a more exact quote.

When contacting your local surgeon, ask about financing options, a free insurance check (if you have insurance) and how to sign up for their free local seminar.

Note: Prices listed above are averages; surgeons may charge higher or lower prices.

Bariatric Surgery Canada Provider Directory

Click the provider's name below to go to their web site for more information. If you are close to the U.S. border and are willing to travel for surgery, you can also search the United States bariatric surgeon directory.

Before moving forward with any Canadian surgeon, be sure they are a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC). According to the RCPSC...

"Fellows are specialists certified by the Royal College after they successfully complete our rigorous national certification examination in a medical or surgical specialty."

Click here to search your surgeon's name in the RCPSC database.

Click the following to jump to providers in your province for bariatric surgery Canada (provinces not included have no listed surgeons)...

Having (or had) weight loss surgery in Canada?

Please share your Canada weight loss surgery experiences below!

Disclaimer: Bariatric Surgery Source is not responsible for the content of the sites we link to or the services offered by their organizations. The inclusion of the information below does not necessarily imply or express endorsement or sponsorship of the sites, their website's content or their services. The accuracy of the below information is not guaranteed and is subject to change.

Alberta


SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

- Surgeries performed: Gastric Banding (Lap Band), Gastric Sleeve (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), Revision Surgery, Gastric Balloon

- Accreditation: Meets or exceeds all quality standards established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

- Surgeon: Dr. Phil Mitchell

- Location: Calgary



Alberta Health Services

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery, gastric sleeve surgery

- Accreditation: Accreditation Canada


British Columbia


SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

- Surgeries performed: Gastric Banding (Lap Band), Gastric Sleeve (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), Revision Surgery, Gastric Balloon

- Accreditation: Meets or exceeds all quality standards established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

- Surgeons: Dr. Kathy Hsu &
Dr. James Bond

- Location: Vancouver



Victoria Bariatric Surgery

- Accreditation: not specified

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery, gastric sleeve surgery


Manitoba


SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

- Surgeries performed: Gastric Banding (Lap Band), Gastric Sleeve (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), Revision Surgery, Gastric Balloon

- Accreditation: Meets or exceeds all quality standards established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

- Surgeon: Dr. James Bracken

- Location: Winnepeg


New Brunswick


George Dumont Hospital

- Accreditation: not specified

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery


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Ontario


SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

- Surgeries performed: Gastric Banding (Lap Band), Gastric Sleeve (Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy), Revision Surgery, Gastric Balloon

- Accreditation: Meets or exceeds all quality standards established by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

- Surgeons: Dr. Chris Cobourn, Dr. Neil Orzech & Dr. Emad Guirguis

- Locations: Missauga & Sarnia



Ontario Bariatric Network

- Accreditation: n/a

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery


Quebec


McGill University Health Centre

- Accreditation: not specified

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, duodenal switch surgery



RocklandMD

- Accreditation: not specified

- Surgeries performed: gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, lap band surgery



Weight Loss Surgery Inc.

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, revision surgery

- Accreditation: Accreditation Canada


Saskatchewan


Bariatric Surgical Assessment Clinic

- Surgeries performed: gastric bypass surgery

- Accreditation: Accreditation Canada


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Receive obesity surgery in Canada? Please share your experiences and advice

Long wait times and deciding between private and public bariatric treatment in Canada make the decision to move forward with surgery all the more daunting.

Please help other visitors like you by sharing your experiences, thoughts or advice, such as...

- A review of your surgeon, their team and their facilities
- How you paid for surgery
- How long you had to wait
- What you did to get surgery approved
- Anything else you think is important to know!

Enter your province and surgery name (i.e. "Quebec - Gastric Bypass Surgery")

Canada obesity surgery experiences from other visitors

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Ottowa Hospital - My Weight Loss Surgery Experience So Far 
Anyone thinking of going to the Ottawa Hospital for gastric bypass surgery--think again! Originally in 2009, I had been referred to Hamilton for the …

Gastric Bypass Surgery in New Brunswick, Canada 
When I first mentioned having gastric bypass surgery done to my family physician in Canada, he didn't know the first thing about how to begin the process. …

Ontario Wait Times for Weight Loss Surgery 
I was originally on a list in Hamilton and waited at least 1 year before Ontario came up with more money and my name was sent to Ottawa. By the time my …

Alberta Lap Band Surgery 
I want to have lap band surgery, but at a public clinic . I understand in Alberta the surgery is covered by Health Care. I don't know how I am really supposed …

Would liver disease because of weight be considered more urgent than other health issues? 
I have been diagnosed with liver disease and the only way to repair it is to lose weight. I have fought my weight all my life so I am scared. My doctor …

Ontario- Lapband 
Not worth the money!!! In 2003, I paid $15,000, drove to Montreal (because SARS made it impossible to have the surgery in Scarborough Grace as planned) …

Click here to write your own.

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References

  1. Hodges, David. Obesity: Not sexy enought to treat? The Medical Post. Apr 2009.
  2. Obesity Surgery: Availability Across the Country. CBC News. Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/
    interactives/map-obesitysurgery/. Accessed Feb 24, 2010.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her existing physician(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified medical, dietary, fitness or other appropriate professional. Read More