Weight Loss Surgery

Weight Loss Surgery Canada – Wait Times, Insurance & Surgeon List

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

Fortunately, you have two viable options if you don’t want to wait.

If you’d like to find a weight loss surgeon in Canada now, click here. Otherwise, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about weight loss surgery in Canada.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Click on any of the topics below to jump directly to that section

  1. How to Qualify
  2. Insurance
  3. Cost Without Insurance
  4. Patient Community & Expert Advice
  5. Find a Top Surgeon
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01.

How to Qualify for Weight Loss Surgery in Canada

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • You need a body mass index (BMI) of 27 or higher
Click Here to See Your BMI

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 for Bariatric Surgery in Canada

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • Insurance covers the gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, Lap-Band are covered
  • There are 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.

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

Self-Pay Costs for Weight Loss Surgery in Canada

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • The total cost for weight loss surgery in Canada ranges from $11,000 to $20,000 CAD, depending on procedure
  • If you take out a medical loan payment, the average monthly payment ranges from $257 to714 CAD, depending on procedure
  • You may be able to take advantage of discounts & tax savings (see below)

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.

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

Patient Community & Expert Advice about Bariatric Surgery in Canada

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • You can “Ask the Expert”
  • You can read about other patients’ experiences with weight loss surgery in Canada

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!

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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

SECTION SUMMARY:

  • You can ask a local bariatric practice for a free insurance check or cost quote
  • You can attend a free in-person seminar or an online webinar offered by a local weight loss surgeon
  • You should schedule a phone or in-person consultation (both often free), if you are interested in learning more about weight loss surgery

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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* Disclaimers: Content: 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. Advertising: Bariatric Surgery Source, LLC has entered into referral and advertising arrangements with certain medical practices, original equipment manufacturers, and financial companies under which we receive compensation (in the form of flat fees per qualifying action) when you click on links to our partners and/or submit information. Read More