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Is the gastric sleeve covered for residents of Ontario under medicare? (OHIP)

Is the gastric sleeve covered for residents of Ontario under medicare? (OHIP)

Some Canadian provinces cover bariatric surgery procedures in their healthcare system depending on the patient’s medical and surgical history and as per the patient’s preference with agreement of their surgeon.

Can Ontario residents on OHIP have a gastric sleeve? 

Unfortunately, residents of Ontario are subject to OHIP’s system which favors the gastric bypass procedure. OHIP’s rules mean that all patients consulting for bariatric surgery are to have a gastric bypass and only if they have a medical problem that conflicts with the gastric bypass, can they be offered and receive a sleeve gastrectomy. While the gastric bypass is a perfectly excellent option, many patients feel more comfortable with the idea of having a sleeve gastrectomy. Patients want to inform themselves of the various procedures offered everywhere else in the world and with the sleeve gastrectomy being the most performed bariatric surgery in the world at the moment, residents of Ontario want to have the choice of having a gastric sleeve.

Is the gastric sleeve covered for residents of Ontario under medicare

How can I have the gastric sleeve done if I live in Ontario?

At Weight Loss Surgery, we have been offering private bariatric surgeries since 2006 to Canadians from coast to coast, with a large number coming from Ontario. While one may not initially consider traveling across provinces for surgery, it’s a fairly common practice.

Our private surgical clinic provides Ontario residents with the option to choose their bariatric surgery, either the sleeve gastrectomy or the gastric bypass, all with the oversight of one of Canada’s leading bariatric surgeons in the private sector. Dr. Simon Chow will ensure the procedure you choose is safe for you and that it is an option that leads to the most success in meeting your short and long-term goals.

Do I qualify for a gastric sleeve?

At Weight Loss Surgery, if you have a BMI of 35, you are automatically a candidate for the gastric sleeve. If you have a BMI of 30 or higher or health conditions related to obesity, you are also a candidate for the gastric sleeve.

The gastric sleeve would not be recommended for patients who have significant GERD (reflux or heartburn) as the sleeve may worsen this problem. However, Dr. Chow will review your admissibility after conducting a careful assessment of your eligibility.

How soon can I have the gastric sleeve done with Weight Loss Surgery Inc.?

Weight Loss Surgery Inc. strives to ensure a 4 to 6 week wait time between the first consultation with the surgeon and the day of surgery. While the wait time in the Ontario public healthcare system is close to 3 years, we offer more rapid access to the same safe and quality care you would receive at a public hospital by being operated in our private accredited surgical hospital.

How does the process work if I live in Ontario?

We are accustomed to receiving patients from near and far meaning that we have a well-established system in place to ensure proper care and follow-up occurs.

First, you will have a virtual consultation with Dr. Chow. Once you both agree that surgery is the correct option for you and that you have selected between either the sleeve gastrectomy or the gastric bypass, our patient coordinator will provide you with the documentation you will need for your family doctor to run tests locally. These results will be sent to our bariatric team for assessment and review.

Following this, you will have a virtual consultation with our nurse and dietitian to further prepare you for surgery. Our patients must follow a pre-operative diet prior to surgery. We take care of shipping this product to you to your home address.

The next step would be having surgery which requires an Ontario resident to present themselves to Montreal. They are usually advised to arrive at least the day prior to surgery and remain in our private accredited surgical hospital for 1 or 2 nights. After this, patients are discharged from hospital and are advised to stay at least one more night in Montreal before driving or flying back home to ensure their safety. However, if an Ontario patient lives within a 3 hour drive of Montreal, for example they live in or around Ottawa or Kingston, they may return home immediately after discharge.

After surgery, our nurse and dietitians are easily reached by phone and/or email for any questions or concerns you may have. Our patient coordinator will schedule your follow-up with our nurse at 2 weeks after surgery, and with the nurse, dietitian, and with Dr. Chow at the planned intervals of 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after surgery.

Following this, we provide you and your family doctor with all the information, knowledge, and tools you may need regarding future blood tests and prescriptions.