Bariatric Surgery Wait Times Across Canada in the Public Healthcare System


The wait time for bariatric surgery in the public healthcare system can be quite long. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic wait times were a minimum of 3 years in some provinces from the time your doctor referred you to a bariatric clinic to the time you will have surgery. Since the pandemic, many hospitals have had to postpone elective surgeries to free up hospital beds, thus prolonging the wait times for bariatric surgery. These wait times are unacceptable for many people living with obesity and its comorbidities every day. To learn about the pre-pandemic wait times in your province, see the table below.
Provinces Wait Time between Referral and Surgery
   
    British Columbia 3 years
    Alberta 2.5 – 3 years
    Saskatchewan 3.5 – 4 years
    Manitoba 6.5 years
    Ontario 2.5 – 3 years
    Quebec 2.5 – 3 years
    New Brunswick 5 – 8 years
    Nova Scotia 9 years
    Newfoundland and Labrador 1.5 years
*Adapted from Obesity Canada-Obésité Canada. Report Card on Access to Obesity Treatment for Adults in Canada 2019. Edmonton, AB: 2019, April.
Note: PEI, Northwest Territory, Yukon Territory, and Nunavut currently do not have established bariatric surgery programs in the public system.

 

 

Wait Time for Bariatric Surgery at Weight Loss Surgery Inc.

Our facility is equipped to provide you with safe surgery at our accredited private hospital within a delay of 4 to 6 weeks from the time of consultation with our surgeon. There is no delay in obtaining a consultation with our surgeon, with telephone appointments being offered to those living far from our clinic in Montreal, such as in another province. We accept and frequently receive patients from all across Canada.

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Weight Loss Surgery Inc. Treating Canadians

Weight Loss Surgery Inc. is no stranger to serving Canadians from coast to coast. We have been offering bariatric surgery to Canadians travelling to Montreal since our practice began in 2006. This means that you will be in great hands with our experience to consult for surgery from home, to have your surgery in Montreal, and to receive all the same quality of care after surgery that you would have received had you lived closer to our offices.

 

Telemedicine

The following summarizes what you can expect if you were to consult and have surgery with us. Our process minimizes travel expenses while ensuring quality care and follow-up. 
  • Your first consultation with our surgeon will be by phone. They will obtain a comprehensive medical profile from you and discuss your options for surgery. You will be asked to have recently weighed yourself since we would not be able to weigh you in our clinic for this first consultation.
  • Our patient coordinator, Angela, will then be with you every step of the way. She’ll explain the next steps including how to book your surgery date that works best for your schedule and she will inform you of our hospital address and local hotels so that you can begin planning and organizing your trip to Montreal.
  • Our surgeon will ask that you pass certain tests prior to surgery to ensure your safety on the day of your procedure. While we typically run these tests ourselves in our clinic, we have a letter and list prepared to send you so that your family doctor can request and run these tests for you.
  • You will be asked to follow a pre-operative diet in the weeks before surgery to ensure your safety during the surgery. This product will be mailed to you and will be explained by our dietitian who will consult with you before your surgery.
  • Next is your surgery for which you will of course need to travel to Montreal, ideally accompanied. You will stay in our accredited hospital for 1-2 nights depending on the surgery you will have. In the rare event that our surgeon would like to monitor you more closely after surgery, he may choose to keep you in our hospital an extra night at no additional cost to you. We ask that you stay in Montreal for 1 full extra day after you are discharged from our hospital to ensure that you are recovering well enough to return home. 
  • Our patient coordinator, Angela, will ensure that your family doctor receives all the necessary reports regarding your surgery and any necessary follow-up and blood tests that you will need. 
  • You will have a follow-up visit by phone 1 month after surgery with the surgeon, nurse, and dietitian. 
  • You will then have a planned follow-up by phone at 3 months after surgery, again with the surgeon, nurse, and dietitian. 
  • Your last follow-up appointment with our clinic will be 6 months after surgery with our dietitian. She will ensure that you are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to continue on your weight loss journey. If you need further consultations with an experienced bariatric dietitian after 6 months, we would be happy to refer you to someone.
  • At any moment after surgery in the first 6 months, if you have questions for our nurse or dietitian, they are just a phone call away to help you however you may need.


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Frequently Asked Questions

 

How often will I have to come to Montreal?

You will only need to be present one time, for your surgery date. However, you are welcome to come to travel to Montreal for any, or all, of your visits.

How will you conduct the appointments?

Our appointments are all done by phone, however, you are welcome to come to Montreal for any, or all, of your visits.

How will my pre-operative tests be done?

We will provide your family doctor with a list of all the tests and bloodwork that you need to know to ensure a safe surgery.

How many days will I need to remain in Montreal for my surgery?

You will be asked to remain in Montreal for 1 extra day after being discharged from our hospital. Therefore, you will need to account for 1 day to travel to Montreal, 1-2 days for your surgery, and 1 day after being discharged from the hospital, thus a total of 3-4 days.

Where will I stay when I’m in Montreal?

You will remain in our hospital for 1-2 days after your surgery, however the day prior to surgery and for at least 1 day after you are discharged from our hospital, you will need to make your own accommodation arrangements at your own expense. We have compiled a list of hotels close to our hospital where you may choose to stay before returning home. Our dietitian encourages that you choose a hotel and a room equipped with a refrigerator and microwave in order to prepare your meals after surgery.

When can I fly back home after surgery?

You can fly back home 1 day after you are discharged from hospital. You must be accompanied by someone you know for your return home.

When can I drive back home after surgery?

You can drive back home 1 day after you are discharged from hospital for your surgery. You must be accompanied for this as you may be on painkillers after surgery and should not drive in the first few days. At no point after surgery should you be driving while taking painkillers. 

How will my follow-up visits occur?

All of your follow-up appointments with our surgeon, nurse, and dietitian, will be done by phone. However, you are welcome to come to travel to Montreal for any, or all, of your visits.

What if I have additional questions before or after my surgery?

You will be provided with our clinic number and can communicate with our team by phone or via email for any questions or concerns you may have at any point before or after surgery.

What if I suffer a complication when I return home?

Our nurse will explain the warning signs to look out for in the unlikely, but always possible, event that you suffer a complication after surgery. We will ask you to present yourself to the closest emergency room to you and to inform our nurse that you are in hospital ASAP. Depending on the type of complication, your surgeon will contact the hospital to speak with the doctor who will be caring for you to discuss the best management in your case.

What additional expenses will I have to account for?

The cost of surgery includes all care, consultations, and the pre-operative diet. Additional expenses that you will need to account for include your travel to and from Montreal and your hotel accommodations once you leave our hospital after surgery.