David Imrie

If you’re considering weight loss surgery, there’s a long list of things you should know. From the cost of surgery to the ways to qualify, finding the right information is important. In terms of the lap band surgery, there are a few questions that are considerably more common.


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Before you embark on your weight loss journey, here are answers to five of the most common questions asked about lap band surgery in Canada:

1. How can I qualify?

First and foremost, it’s important to determine your Body Mass Index (BMI). If you have a BMI of anything lower than 30, it’s going to be tricky to qualify. In fact, unless your weight is causing another serious health issue, your BMI usually has to be at least 35, if not 40 to qualify. This would include anyone considered “severely obese.”


Secondly, it’s important to have weight loss surgery deemed medically necessary by a general practitioner. Booking a doctor’s appointment to discuss your weight and overall health is the easiest way to have a doctor recommend weight loss surgery as your most viable option. Without the surgery being deemed medically necessary, it will be nearly impossible to qualify or receive any type of funding.

2. How much will the procedure cost?

In Canada, the cost of weight loss surgery varies depending on your surgical team, the province you live in, and any complications that may arise. On average, lap band surgery in Canada costs $15,000 before any type of discounts or insurance is applied. This fee only covers the cost of the procedure and does not include and pre-op or post-op care.

3. How can I pay for my surgery?

When it comes to financing lap band surgery in Canada, you have a few different options:

  • Financing plans allow candidates to pay for a smaller portion of the surgery upfront, while the rest is paid back on a monthly basis. This allows those in need of surgery to defer some of the costs to be paid out over five years.
  • Traditional insurance may cover a portion of your surgery; however, depending on the plan, the coverage may be spotty. On top of that, if any complications arise, it’s unlikely those fees will be covered.
  • Government grants arise every year that are aimed to help keep Canada’s population healthy. While it likely won’t cover the cost of the entire procedure, these grants are great for partial coverage or for maintaining a healthy lifestyle post-op.
  • A registered health spending account is one option that many people have begun relying on for weight loss surgery. This form of health insurance (primarily used by small businesses) allows covered employees to use their spending on 100 percent of CRA-approved medical expenses—yes, that includes lap band surgery.

4. How long should I book off work?

Because lap band surgery is considered one of the more complex weight loss procedures, you should expect to book at least two weeks off work. You can expect one day in the hospital after surgery and anywhere from one to two weeks at home recovering.


This timeframe is also estimated for surgeries that have no complications, so each situation is different.

5. What can I expect post-op?

Once you return home from the hospital, your weight loss journey is far from over. Post-op recommendations often include a strict diet and physical exercise. You’ll have to make a serious commitment to maintaining your weight loss, as surgery alone isn’t a solution. In fact, some patients even put on weight after surgery if they’re not following the right post-op diet and training routine.


It’s clear that lap band surgery is a great option for anyone suffering from obesity; however, it’s important to know what you should expect financially and understand how your lifestyle will change if you want your procedure to be a success.

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David Imrie

Dr. David Imrie founded RHSA Canada in 2009. Dr. Imrie is a medical doctor and former health insurance professional who has a passion for helping small businesses reduce their healthcare costs. As an executive in the insurance industry, he was shocked to find that so many common healthcare services are covered only partially by most insured plans, when employees were entitled to 100% coverage for all prescription drugs, dental services, and other healthcare expenses. Since leaving the insurance industry in 2001, Dr. Imrie committed to using newer technology to develop a better alternative program for small business health benefits.
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