FAQ

Is Bariatric Surgery covered by Medicare?
“Medicare” is actually composed of 14 systems – one delivered by each of the provinces, territories and federal government. Most provide coverage for certain bariatric surgical procedures. Then there is the problem of access. Bariatric surgery wait lists are inhumanely long across Canada.  Certainly more than 1 year, the legally defined maximum wait for any surgery.Check with your Provincial/Territorial Health Care Plan.
What is the wait time for bariatric surgery under Medicare?
Dr. Christou’s study published in the Canadian Journal of Surgery in 2009 found an average wait time of 5.2 years in 2007-2008. This may be somewhat decreased today to perhaps 1-3 years but we do not really know. Check with your Provincial Health Authority.
How soon can I have my surgery in your private hospital facility?
If you are ready to self finance your surgery you can have this done in 4-6 weeks the time required to prepare you for safe surgery.
What does the surgery cost at your facility?
  1. We are a private facility and our surgeons work outside of Medicare (non participating physicians within the meaning of the health act). This means that you (or your insurance) must pay for all the costs.
  2. You pay one fee and we provide turn-key service for you.
  3. When you compare costs, make sure you look closely at what is being offered. Most competitors do not offer “turn key” pricing.
  4. Click here to get more details on our fees and what is included in the “turn-key” price. 
How long will I be in surgery?

The total time in the surgical theater is ~1.5 – 2 hours. This includes 45-80 minutes of actual surgery time (what surgeon’s call “skin to skin”) and the rest of the time is nursing preparation and anesthesia (going to sleep and waking up) time. An additional 2 hours may be spent in the post anesthesia recovery are before patients return to the ward.

How long do I stay in Hospital?

Laparoscopic vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients have the choice to stay 1 or 2 nights.

Laparoscopic gastric bypass patients leave on the morning of the second day after operation (around 10 am). Rarely, a patient may have a serious complication and be in the hospital for a month or more.

How do I take care of my wounds?
If not already done by the nurse before you go, remove the small plastic covering and let the wounds dry. You can take showers and let soap and water run over the wounds. Pat dry with a clean towel and leave it exposed to the air to dry before covering with clean, loose, clothing.
Can I take baths or showers?
You can take showers starting the day after the surgery. Let soap and water run over the wounds . Pat dry with a clean towel and leave it exposed to the air to dry before covering with clean, loose, clothing.
What will I eat when I leave the hospital?
Follow the 35-day menu plan given to you in your Patient Information Folder.
What is regurgitation and will I have it?

Regurgitation occurs because of the small size of your new stomach. This can cause heartburn and indigestion. It is normal that you may experience mild symptoms for up to 6 months. Avoiding certain foods may help. If it persists contact our team by email or phone.

When will I see my surgeon again?
30 days after the operation. You will be given an appointment before you leave the hospital.
Can I drive my car?
Yes, as soon as you feel strong enough. Usually this is two weeks after leaving the hospital.
Can I wear my seat belt?
Yes you can.
How long before I can return to work?
This ranges anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks and depends on the type of work. Most patients can return to work that does not involve manual labor (e.g. construction) within a week of surgery. We recommend at least 2-4 weeks off for a smoother recovery. Even if you are doing well, you may feel quite fatigued from the low caloric intake for the first 4 weeks after surgery so it is advisable to avoid work until this resolves.
When do I start taking the Vitamin-Mineral Supplements you prescribed, and for how long?
You can start taking the vitamin-mineral supplements prescribed to you every day after 10 days from your surgery. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU TAKE VITAMIN-MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS EVERY DAY FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE TO PREVENT VITAMIN DEFICIENCY.
Are there any activities that I shouldn’t do?
Avoid contact sports for 4 weeks. You can do long walks for the first 4 weeks, then you can do any activity as long as it does not hurt. Patients are strongly encourage to do regular physical activities to achieve and to maintain good weight loss.
When can I have intercourse?
As soon as you feel like it and there is no pain. Women must take precautions not to become pregnant for the first 2 years after surgery.
Can I go swimming?
Yes, as soon as your clips come out at 10-14 days after the surgery.
How much exercise can I do?
Walk as much as you can without becoming tired. The first four weeks, go easy! Eventually, you might try to set a goal for yourself to walk one or two miles per day. Climb stairs, as you need to. All patients are strongly advised to start a regular training program in order to maximize their weight loss. Walk, join a gym, higher a trainer, whatever you can do helps. Wear a podometer and try to log in at least 10,000 steps per day.
When will I lose the weight?
By eating only at the suggested times and until you feel full, your daily food intake will be decreased enough to provide a gradual weight loss. The rate at which you lose weight will vary from month to month. It will take between 1 1/2 to 2 years for you to reach your goal weight. After this time you must work VERY HARD to maintain it. As the time passes you will slowly start to eat more frequently and innapropriate type of foods (“junk food”). You must maintain discipline and use the tool you were given (the bariatric surgery you chose) to help you stay on track.
What are the ways I can regain weight after weight-loss surgery?
The following “bad habits” have been observed in patients who report weight regain after weight-loss surgery. This is true in patients who do not have failure of their surgery such as a gastro-gastric fistula (a reconnection between the pouch and the old stomach).

  • Eating a diet rich in high carbohydrates with a high glycemic index– such as donuts, cookies, cakes, ice cream.
  • Not starting or maintaining the suggested exercise program, and spending more time watching television and increased time in front of the computer.
  • Eating food rapidly so that patients don’t get that full feeling. Remember, feeling full — or satiety — takes a while to register, so if you eat rapidly you can stuff a lot more in than if you eat a bit slower and feel full with less.
  • After feeling full, eating just a bit more (this stretches the pouch out to a normal sized stomach).
  • Grazing throughout the day (eating a little bit all the time will cause any weight-loss operation, even a duodenal switch, to fail and patients will regain weight).
  • Drinking alcohol regularly.
  • Gulping down liquids, not sipping (this forces the food out of a pouch and patients can eat more).
Can I expect to live a normal life after this operation without constantly worrying about secondary problems?
Most patients report a remarkable improvement in the quality of life after they lose most of their excess weight. Certain associated medical conditions like type II diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and stress incontinence improve or disappear after this weight loss. On the other hand women usually develop chronic anemia due to insufficient iron after this operation. This can be avoided by taking the recommended supplements and post-operative follow-up.