Can anyone tell me the process for OHIP covered bariatric surgery
Everyone's experience is a little bit different. This was mine:
I went to my family doctor to ask for a referral. All doctors in Ontario need to refer their patients through http://www.ontariobariatricnetwork.ca
Soon after, I got a call from the hospital asking me to come in for an orientation. It basically just covered the pros and cons of surgery, and the kinds of commitments you need to make for the rest of your life.
I then got blood taken to see how my vitamins were. I was put on vitamin D, b12, and a multi. I then met with a dietitan once a month to slowly start changing my eating habits to get me ready for surgery.
Some people also have to meet with a psychiatrist if they have a history of mental illness. I was cleared for that.
You will also need to have a sleep study done. If I were you, I would ask for a sleep study referral from your family doctor ASAP, as sometimes it takes awhile to get a sleep study appointment. If they see you have sleep apnea, you will need to start using a CPAP (cpap machines are partly covered by OHIP)
You will also probably get an EKG just to make sure your heart is okay.
Depending on any health problems you have, you may have to get other tests done.
Once you're done with tests and are cleared for surgery, you will get an appointment with a surgeon. Most of us have to drink Optifast 2-3 weeks before surgery.
Referral: June 2017
RNY with Dr. Neville in Ottawa: January 8th, 2018
Thank you so much Lina Ann
Like the above said every centre is different. I was referred in February and heard nothing until I received a letter from Toronto Western Hospital at the end of April. This letter had a questionnaire that had to be returned within a week and I was told about my orientation in June. At the orientation I received my next three appointments. None were before mid September. One was a social worker, the next the nurse. Then in October a group nutrition class where I received my final two appointments, they are not until the new year. In January I have the psychologist (I have no history of mental illness, everyone at TWH has to see them) then February is the dietitian. After my case goes to rounds and if everyone agrees I get a surgery date of who knows when!! Sometimes things are backed up.
I too had to have a sleep study and was worried about the wait but I was referred by the Bariatric nurse and received a call the next day to go in the following week. Upon leaving I asked about how long to receive my results and he said mine had been marked urgent so about a week.
Oh, and if you smoke stop now. Most programs require you to be smoke free 6 months prior to surgery.
Hope the above was helpful.
Thank you Karen, i have done my sleep study test.
Welcome! I remember from a previous post that you're in Toronto. The process in Toronto is a little different, but the starting out step is exactly what Lina described. You start off by going to your family doctor and asking for a referral for Bariatric Surgery. It will be done through the Ontario Bariatric Network, and depending where you live, you will be refered to maybe Toronto Western Hospital, maybe Humber River. I've seen Toronto people get refered to Guelph and Hamilton too.
My doctor actually selected Toronto Western Hospital (I was not his first referral so I think he knew what he was doing!), which was good for me. :)
Once you know which hospital (Centre) you're going through, we can fill you in on all the specifics of that centre.
Best of luck! It's a great process. Come here often with all your questions; read lots of posts too... you'll learn a ton!
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Thank you so much!
I would echo what oneatatime said about the process in Toronto. I just wanted add that my process took 18 months from referral to surgery, and I didn't have any complications or extra tests except an endoscopy. I only note that because there are some folks here that have had very speedy journeys through the process and that was not my experience. I had to be patient and now that I'm two months Post-op I realize that patience is going to be a key skill moving forward.