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 in 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.

Read and click the sections below to learn more about getting weight loss surgery in Canada.

01 Qualify

Qualify

27+ body mass index (BMI) required Click here to calculate your BMI

Enter your height & weight, then click the button:

Enter your height & weight, then click the button:

27+

Weight Loss Surgery
Required BMI

  • Below 18.5Underweight

  • 18.5 – 24.9Healthy Weight

  • 25.0 – 29.9Overweight

  • 30.0 – 34.9Obese

  • 35.0 – 39.9Severely Obese

  • 40.0 – 49.9Morbidly Obese

  • 50 or higherSuper Obese

Weight Loss Procedure Qualification Info

BMI's ranging from 27 to 34.9 may qualify for Gastric Balloon. This BMI range may also qualify for other procedures if the patient has poorly controlled diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

BMI's ranging from 35 to 40 may qualify for Gastric Balloon. This BMI range may also qualify for other procedures if the patient has poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, or suffers from another weight-related health issue.

BMI's ranging from 40.1 to 45 may qualify for any weight loss procedure other than Gastric Balloon.

BMI's ranging from 45.1 to 55 may qualify for any weight loss procedure other than Gastric Balloon or vBloc Therapy.

BMI's above 55 may qualify for any weight loss procedure other than Gastric Balloon, vBloc Therapy, or AspireAssist.

Health Risk: High

You are considered to be underweight, so you do not qualify for weight loss surgery.

You should take physician-approved steps to gain weight.

Health Risk: Low

Your weight is considered healthy, so you do not qualify for weight loss surgery.

Health Risk: Moderate

Your BMI is too low to qualify for weight loss surgery.

Your health risk increases to “High” if two or more of the following apply to you:

  • - You smoke cigarettes
  • - Family history of premature heart disease
  • - High blood glucose (blood sugar)
  • - High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • - Low HDL-cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
  • - High LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
  • - High triglycerides

Your risk of health issues are even higher if your waist circumference is over 35 inches (88 cm) for women or 40 inches (102 cm) for men.

Health Risk: High

You have a high risk of obesity-related health problems.

Your risk is even higher if your waist circumference is over 35 inches (88 cm) for women or over 40 inches (102 cm) for men.

Your BMI indicates that you may be a good candidate for the gastric balloon procedure. You may also qualify for one of the other available weight loss procedures if you have uncontrolled diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

Health Risk: High

You have a high risk of obesity-related health problems.

Your risk is even higher if your waist circumference is over 35 inches (88 cm) for women or over 40 inches (102 cm) for men.

Your BMI indicates that you may qualify for any one of the available weight loss procedures, including gastric balloon.

Health Risk: Very High

You have a very high risk of obesity-related health problems.

Your risk is even higher if your waist circumference is over 35 inches (88 cm) for women or over 40 inches (102 cm) for men.

Your BMI indicates that you may qualify for any available weight loss procedure other than the gastric balloon (max BMI is 40).

Health Risk: Very High

You have a very high risk of obesity-related health problems.

Your BMI indicates that you may qualify for any available weight loss procedure other than the gastric balloon (max BMI is 40) or vBloc Therapy (max BMI is 45).

Health Risk: Very High

You have a very high risk of obesity-related health problems.

Your BMI indicates that you may qualify for any available weight loss procedure other than the gastric balloon (max BMI is 40), vBloc Therapy (max BMI is 45), or AspireAssist (max BMI is 55).

Click to Learn More

In Canada, like most other countries, you must have a certain Body Mass Index (BMI) to qualify for bariatric surgery…

If your BMI is…

  • Over 40 or
  • Between 35 and 40 with a disabling weight related health issue (like type II diabetes)

…you should qualify for the common bariatric procedure in Canada.

Some surgeons also perform the intragastric balloon procedure (gastric balloon), a nonsurgical procedure, for anyone with a BMI over 27.

Click here to find a top weight loss surgeon in Canada

02 Insurance

Insurance

Gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, Lap-Band are covered 2 to 15 year wait times (no wait for self-pay)

Currently both the Gastric Sleeve and Gastric Bypass procedures are covered in almost all of Canada. Some provinces may cover Lap Band surgery, but the wait lists can be very long (2 to 15 years).

The relatively new and non-invasive intragastric balloon (gastric balloon) is also being performed more frequently even though insurance does not cover it.

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 Centre (1), 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 (2).

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.

Province
Province
Alberta
Alberta
British Columbia
British Columbia
Manitoba
Manitoba
>New Brunswick
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador (no surgeons listed)
Newfoundland and Labrador (no surgeons listed)
Nova Scotia (no surgeons listed)
Nova Scotia (no surgeons listed)
Ontario
Ontario
Prince Edward Island (no surgeons listed)
Prince Edward Island (no surgeons listed)
Quebec
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Province
Procedures covered by health insurance
Alberta
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Gastric Band
British Columbia
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Manitoba
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
New Brunswick
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Gastric Band (all types covered, but not all are preformed in provice)
Newfoundland and Labrador (no surgeons listed)
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Gastric Band
Nova Scotia (no surgeons listed)
Gastric Sleeve
Ontario
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Prince Edward Island (no surgeons listed)
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass (covered, but performed out of province)
Quebec
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Gastric Band
Saskatchewan
Gastric Sleeve
Gastric Bypass
Province
Estimated waiting time at public facilities
Alberta
7 to 10 years
British Columbia
3 to 5 years
Manitoba
Not available in province
New Brunswick
3 to 5 years
Newfoundland and Labrador (no surgeons listed)
n/a (no bariatric surgeons in province)
Nova Scotia (no surgeons listed)
3 to 5 years
Ontario
Initial appointment: 6 months to 1 year
Surgery: 2 to 3 years
Prince Edward Island (no surgeons listed)
n/a (no bariatric surgeons in province)
Quebec
3 to 15 years
Saskatchewan
2 to 3 years
Province
Will province pay to have treatment elsewhere?
Alberta
No
British Columbia
Emergency cases
Manitoba
Yes – Limited numbers
New Brunswick
No
Newfoundland and Labrador (no surgeons listed)
Yes – Limited numbers
Nova Scotia (no surgeons listed)
Emergency cases
Ontario
No
Prince Edward Island (no surgeons listed)
Yes – Limited numbers
Quebec
No
Saskatchewan
Emergency cases
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03 Self-Pay Cost

Self-Pay Cost

Total Cost: $11,000 to $20,000 CAD, depending on procedure Loan Payment: $257 to714 CAD, depending on procedure Discounts & Tax Savings: May be available

Following are 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…

Or click your state in the map below...

  • Lowest Cost

  • Mid Range

  • Highest Cost

  • No Data

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Or click your state in the map below...

  • Lowest Cost

  • Mid Range

  • Highest Cost

  • No Data

AB BC MB NB NL NT NS NU ON PE QC SK YT

Or click your state in the map below...

  • Lowest Cost

  • Mid Range

  • Highest Cost

  • No Data

NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA ACT

Or click your state in the map below...

  • Lowest Cost

  • Mid Range

  • Highest Cost

  • No Data

SL NW NE SW IR WM LD SE YS EM NI EA WA

Cost Survey Results for MEXICO*


Including Cancun, Guadalajara, Los Cabos, Mexicali, Monterrey, Puerto Vallarta and Tijuana

<-- swipe to see other years -->
 201520162017
Gastric Bypass$7,422 n/a n/a
Gastric Banding (Lap Band)$5,826 n/a n/a
Gastric Sleeve$5,125 n/a n/a
Duodenal Switch$8,060 n/a n/a

* 10 Practices in Mexico were contacted to calculate these averages.

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.

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

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

Discounts: 5 Types to Ask Your Surgeon About

Ask your surgeon if any of these discounts are available:

  • Self-Pay Discounts. Most surgeons offer self-pay discounts or payment plans. Just ask!
  • Other Discounts. Some offer discounts if you pay the total amount you owe in advance.
  • Same Surgeon, Different Hospitals. Some surgeons operate at more than one hospital. Hospital costs make up the biggest part of the bill, so find out if your surgeon has a choice.
  • Pre-Op Costs. Some surgeons include pre-op costs in their quoted fees. Pre-op costs include things like testing and office visits.
  • Complications. Complications, should they arise, may increase total costs. Find out who will pay if one arises during surgery. Some surgeons will include the cost of any complications in their quote while others will charge extra.

Financing: 7 Ways to Make Surgery More Affordable

Weight loss surgery loans are available almost everywhere in Canada.

The full list of financing options to make surgery more affordable include (click here for more information):

  • Payment Plan Through a Qualified Surgeon
  • Brokers, Direct Lenders, and Credit Cards (Unsecured Medical Loans)
  • Friends & Family
  • Secured Medical Loans
  • Retirement Plan Loans
  • Permanent Life Insurance Loans
  • Medical travel – having surgery in a location that is less expensive than where you live

Weight Loss Surgery Loan Application: Click here to contact a top weight loss surgeon to discuss your loan options

For more information about each of these options, click here.

Tax Savings: Weight Loss Surgery Is Tax Deductible

Canada is generous compared to other countries when it comes to medical tax deductions. If you have a prescription, receipt, or other documentation, you can write them off.

Even if the procedure you choose is covered by insurance, you can still deduct your:

  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Monthly insurance premium.

If your income is below a certain amount, you may qualify for a tax credit called the refundable medical expense supplement (6) (7).

04 Help & Support

Help & Support

Ask the expert Patient experiences

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!

Close Help

Entering your advice and experiences is easy to do. Just type!…

Your story will appear on a Web page exactly the way you enter it here. You can wrap a word in square brackets to make it appear bold. For example [my story] would show as my story on the Web page containing your story.

TIP: Since most people scan Web pages, include your best thoughts in your first paragraph.

Upload a picture (optional)[ ? ]

Close Help

Have a picture to add? Great!

It could be anything related to your story, such as a picture of your surgeon or hospital, your before/after picture, etc.

Click the “Search” button, find the saved file on your computer and select it.

 

Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)


To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

submission guidelines.

Share Your Experience



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 surgery. After waiting approximately a year,…


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. I had to…


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…


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…


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) and endured a total…


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…


A Quicker Way Into Weight Loss Surgery for Canadians?*

Im 27 years old and looking into surgery. I have pseudo tumor cerebri. Which means false tumor of the brain. So far the only cause they know of is high…


05 Find a Top Weight Loss Surgeon in Canada

Find a Top Weight Loss Surgeon in Canada

Ask for a free insurance check or cost quote Attend a free seminar or webinar Schedule a phone or in-person consultation (both often free)

Search By Location

SEARCH BY REGION

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.

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.

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[ Last editorial review/modification of this page : 01/25/2017]

* Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for general information purposes and your specific results may vary depending on a variety of circumstances. 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