THE FAQs

"I am 100 lbs lighter and my kids finally have a healthy Mom."
– Shari, Gastric Sleeve

Frequently Asked Questions

Understanding your options, so that you can make an informed decision is important. At the SmartShape™ Weight Loss Centre, we are here to help you make the decision that will help you to improve your overall health and achieve sustained weight loss. For more information about our modern weight loss procedures, connect with our Program Advisors today.

SmartShape General FAQ

SmartShape uses proven weight loss programs to help you achieve sustained weight loss. Depending on what is right for you, we will recommend the Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, or LAP-BAND® program. These procedures can create a feeling of satisfaction with smaller portions to help you feel less hungry, eat less and lose weight. No more yo-yo dieting!

To discover why to choose SmartShape, click here.

No, you do not need a referral from your family doctor. However, we encourage your family doctor to participate in your weight loss program together with the team at SmartShape Weight Loss Centre. If you desire, our surgeons will communicate your progress with your family doctor.

The SmartShape Weight Loss Centre has been helping people across Canada reach their weight loss goals since 2005. Where you live is not a barrier to accessing the SmartShape program. We are always within reach by telephone or e-mail. We offer our programs at clinics in Mississauga, Toronto, Calgary, Regina, and Vancouver.

In an effort to reduce the need to travel, we have adapted our follow – up programs to meet the needs of our out-of-province and long distance clients. For our LAP-BAND® patients, we have an extensive network of affiliated physicians and nurses in over 50 cities and towns across Canada and are continuing to train affiliates to meet our clients’ needs. These healthcare professionals have been trained by our surgeons to safely and effectively perform LAP-BAND® adjustments for our patients.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home provincial health plan. Please contact your home provincial health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by Province)

British Columbia – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health
Alberta – http://www.health.alberta.ca/
Saskatchewan – https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/health
Manitoba – http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/
Quebec – http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/outils/email.php
New Brunswick – http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health.html
Nova Scotia – https://novascotia.ca/dhw/
Prince Edward Island – https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/health-and-wellness
Newfoundland & Labrador – http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/

Yes, SmartShape is able to accommodate International clients through our dedicated International Patient program. Please contact SmartShape directly for more details, by calling (888) 278-7952 to speak with one of our Program Advisors in this area.

The improvement of your overall health and weight loss success with SmartShape is our priority. We believe that our surgeons can best answer your health questions. Book a free consult today to speak with one of our surgeons.

Consultations with our surgeons are available free of charge. Whenever possible we encourage you to visit a SmartShape Weight Loss Centre to meet our team of healthcare professionals and learn more about the programs we offer. It is important that you speak with one of our surgeons directly so they can understand your medical history, your weight loss goals, and to help choose the right SmartShape procedure for you. This consultation will allow you the opportunity to address all of your questions and concerns directly with your surgeon. If an in-office meeting is not possible, we are happy to arrange a phone consultation.

Call us at 1-888-278-7952 to make an appointment for a free consultation. We welcome you to invite a family member or a friend to join you for the discussion.

On average, SmartShape procedures are scheduled within four to six weeks from the time of your consultation. When possible, we are happy to accommodate specific schedule requests.

Follow-up is critical to successful weight loss at SmartShape. The Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, and LAP-BAND® procedures are tools that will help you change the way you think about eating.

Our surgeons have received advanced training in the evaluation, treatment and post-procedure care of Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, and LAP-BAND® clients. In fact, the SmartShape surgeons are actively involved in the training and education of healthcare professionals (including other surgeons) caring for bariatric surgical patients. During the procedure, you will be cared for by fellowship trained surgeons and anesthesiologists, with extensive experience in treating obese patients.

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre is proud to have one of Canada’s first certified bariatric nurse specialists on our team. All of our nurses have received basic and advanced bariatric and surgical patient care training. They continually update their skills by attending regular conferences and training seminars.

No. All of the medical tools and devices used at SmartShape are latex-free and are safe to use on individuals who suffer from latex allergy.

With the SmartShape program, weight loss occurs at a safe and healthy rate. With all SmartShape procedures, you can expect to lose more weight than you would with a traditional diet – you will have more control over the amount you eat, as you will be satisfied with a smaller amount of food. Your success may depend on the procedure you choose and your commitment to work with the procedure and our team. For further details, look at our Gastric Sleeve, Mini Gastric Bypass, and LAP-BAND® pages.

Weight loss results with SmartShape programs will depend on your level of activity, age and underlying health status. It is important to remember that while you have a tool to help you achieve weight loss, making a commitment to a new lifestyle, including improved eating habits, is essential. Continued follow-up through our program has been shown to be a critical factor in the success of the any procedure.

Should you consider cosmetic surgery, we encourage you to contact our team for more information.

Order what you want to eat! The SmartShape program doesn’t restrict you from eating any particular food, but helps you control the amount you consume. With the support of your SmartShape coaches, you will be ready to make healthier, smarter decisions when ordering.

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre has a record of more than 6,000 weight loss procedures and we continue to treat hundreds of new clients from across Canada each year.

Access to one of our surgeons is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for urgent concerns.

There are publicly-funded obesity surgery programs that are run in each Canadian province. However, the wait times are likely to be frustrating.

The average wait time for weight loss surgery in Canada is five years, according to a 2017 study conducted by The Canadian Obesity Network. However, if you don’t want to wait, you can finance your own surgery and receive treatment in one of our private facilities.

Consultations with our surgeons are available free of charge, and procedures are scheduled within four to six weeks from the time of your consultation. To learn more about the cost of surgery and our flexible financing programs, we encourage you to connect with our team of healthcare professionals.

1 The Canadian Obesity Network [Accessible Online] http://www.obesitynetwork.ca/files/FULLREPORTfinalENG.pdf. Retrieved 2018-April-30

Federal tax credits are available for medical procedures. You may be eligible to submit receipts for any SmartShape procedure as a Medical Expense on your Income Tax return. To learn more about what is available, please visit: Canada Revenue Agency or speak with your financial advisor and accountant.

Flexible financing programs are available through SmartShape. Application and approval take as little as 4 minutes! These well-established independent companies specialize in financing medical procedures. The application process is completely confidential and approvals are usually granted quickly.

FAQs About the Gastric Sleeve Procedure at SmartShape

The Gastric Sleeve procedure may be the right solution if you:

  • have a BMI of 30 and above
  • are prepared to make changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
  • prefer a procedure that requires minimal ongoing intervention or adjustments
  • do not drink alcohol in excess and do not have illegal drug dependence

The Gastric Sleeve procedure is performed laparoscopically which is a surgical technique where only small incisions are made. Laparoscopic surgery is a low-risk, minimally invasive technique with many benefits including smaller surgical scars, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and reduced risks of infection.

During the first week after the procedure, you will feel some pain. The discomfort is usually restricted to the laparoscopic port sites and can be managed with oral pain medication. You may also experience mild “gas pain” that settles in a couple of days. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding pain management.

Following the procedure, you will be on a liquid-only diet. After a few days, you will be ready to begin trying some thicker liquids. The SmartShape team will explain when and how to increase the consistency of the food you eat during the first few weeks. You will likely be on solid food 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. It is important you do not to rush the process of increasing your food intake. Always continue to follow the diet that has been provided to you.

We recommend that you start walking up to 30 minutes per day as soon as you are able. However, strenuous exercise is not recommended until 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. We recommend that you do not lift more than 10 to 15 pounds for at least two weeks.

No, this procedure cannot be reversed. However, the part of the stomach that is removed does not affect the overall function of the stomach. Digestion and absorption of nutrients is not changed with the Gastric Sleeve procedure.

Bariatric surgery has emerged as an innovative alternative option in the management of Type 2 diabetes. Many 5-year studies are showing that the Gastric Sleeve, as well as other bariatric surgeries, showing that bariatric surgery leads to a profound and durable resolution of Type 2 diabetes.

These procedures can result in sustained body weight loss and significant improvement in obesity-related comorbidities. Surgical weight loss procedures are recognized by Diabetes Canada to lead to significant and sustained weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes.

Yes, it is safe to become pregnant after receiving the Gastric Sleeve procedure, although it is wise to wait a number of months. In addition, losing weight improves your fertility and makes pregnancy safer for both you and the baby. 

Please visit our Cost & Financing page to learn more about the cost of a Gastric Sleeve procedure at SmartShape.

Yes, SmartShape welcomes out-of-town and out-of-province patients. The Gastric Sleeve procedure is performed at our Centric Health Surgical Centre in Toronto, ON. After surgery, you will be monitored overnight in our facility and will be discharged the next day. Once you leave the facility, most patients are able to return to their normal activities in about 7-10 days.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home province health plan. Please contact your home province health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by province)

British Columbia – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health

Alberta – http://www.health.alberta.ca/

Saskatchewan – https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/health

Manitoba – http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/

Quebec – http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/outils/email.php

New Brunswick – http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health.html

Nova Scotia – https://novascotia.ca/dhw/

Prince Edward Island – https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/health-and-wellness

Newfoundland & Labrador – http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/

Yes, SmartShape is able to accommodate International clients through our dedicated International Patient program. Please contact SmartShape directly for more details, by calling (888) 278-7952 to speak with one of our Program Advisors in this area.

FAQs About: the Mini Gastric Bypass Procedure at SmartShape

The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure may be the right solution if you:

  • have a BMI of 35 and above, especially if there has been a diagnosis of Type II diabetes
  • are prepared to make changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
  • prefer a procedure that requires minimal ongoing intervention or adjustments
  • do not drink alcohol in excess and do not have illegal drug dependence

The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure is performed laparoscopically which is a surgical technique where only small incisions are made. Laparoscopic surgery is a low-risk, minimally invasive technique with many benefits including smaller surgical scars, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and reduced risks of infection.

During the first week after the procedure, you will feel some pain. The discomfort is usually restricted to the laparoscopic port sites and can be managed with oral pain medication. You may also experience mild “gas pain” that settles in a couple of days. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding pain management.

Following the procedure, you will be on a liquid-only diet. After a few days, you will be ready to begin trying some thicker liquids. The SmartShape team will explain when and how to increase the consistency of the food you eat during the first few weeks. You will likely be on solid food 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. It is important you do not to rush the process of increasing your food intake. Always continue to follow the diet that has been provided to you.

Yes, SmartShape welcomes out-of-town and out-of-province patients. The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure is performed at our Centric Health Surgical Centre in Toronto, ON. After surgery, you will be monitored overnight in our facility and will be discharged the next day. Once you leave the facility, most patients are able to return to their normal activities in about 7-10 days.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home province health plan. Please contact your home province health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by province)

British Columbia – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health

Alberta – http://www.health.alberta.ca/

Saskatchewan – https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/health

Manitoba – http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/

Quebec – http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/outils/email.php

New Brunswick – http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health.html

Nova Scotia – https://novascotia.ca/dhw/

Prince Edward Island – https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/health-and-wellness

Newfoundland & Labrador – http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/

We recommend that you start walking up to 30 minutes per day as soon as you are able. However, strenuous exercise is not recommended until 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. We recommend that you do not lift more than 10 to 15 pounds for at least two weeks.

Although the Mini Gastric Bypass procedure should be considered permanent, it can be reversed with another surgical procedure. This would be very uncommon and would likely lead to weight regain, however it is possible. This is different from the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass which is very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse.

Bariatric surgery has emerged as an innovative alternative option in the management of Type 2 diabetes. Many 5-year studies are showing that the Mini Gastric Bypass, as well as other bariatric surgeries, showing that bariatric surgery leads to a profound and durable resolution of Type 2 diabetes.

These procedures can result in sustained body weight loss and significant improvement in obesity-related comorbidities. Surgical weight loss procedures are recognized by Diabetes Canada to lead to significant and sustained weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes.

The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure often leads to more rapid remission of Type 2 diabetes due to hormonal changes that occur as a result of food not passing through the first part of the small bowel. For this reason, SmartShape surgeons may suggest the Mini Gastric Bypass procedure if you have Type 2 diabetes.

The Mini Gastric Bypass is both safe and effective. There is just one anastomosis (join) of the intestine to the stomach, which differs from the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass which has two anastomoses. The single anastomosis reduces the risk of complications including hernias, leakage and bleeding. The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure requires only one night’s stay in hospital.

The Mini Gastric Bypass procedure was developed in 1997 with the goal of duplicating the excellent weight loss results of traditional Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery while at the same time simplifying the procedure, shortening the operating times and reducing complications. For these reasons the Mini Gastric Bypass is gaining in popularity as the modern alternative to Roux-en-Y gastric bypass.

After the Mini Gastric Bypass it will be necessary for you to take some specially chosen supplements on a daily basis. These supplements will ensure that you do not become deficient in some important nutrients such as Iron, Calcium and some B vitamins.

Yes, it is safe to become pregnant after receiving the Mini Gastric Bypass procedure, although it is wise to wait a number of months. In addition, losing weight improves your fertility and makes pregnancy safer for both you and the baby.

Please visit our Cost & Financing page to learn more about the cost of a Mini Gastric Bypass procedure at SmartShape.

Yes, SmartShape is able to accommodate International clients through our dedicated International Patient program. Please contact SmartShape directly for more details, by calling (888) 278-7952 to speak with one of our Program Advisors in this area.

FAQs About: Revision Surgery Procedure at SmartShape

Revision Surgery is a surgical procedure performed on clients who have previously had a bariatric surgical procedure and have either had complications or have regained or failed to lose weight successfully from the initial surgery.

To be a candidate for a Revision Surgery procedure at SmartShape:

  • You’ve had previous Bariatric Surgery and have not had the desired results
  • You’re prepared to make changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
  • You do not drink alcohol in excess and do not have an illegal drug dependence.

The criteria will be based on the procedure recommended

The cost will depend on the procedure that is performed. For more information on procedure costs, click here.

Depending on the complexity of your procedure there may be an additional charge.

Yes, SmartShape welcomes out-of-town and out-of-province patients. Revision Surgery is performed at our Centric Health Surgical Centre in Toronto, ON. After surgery, you will be monitored overnight in our facility and will be discharged the next day. Once you leave the facility, most patients are able to return to their normal activities in about 7-10 days.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home province health plan. Please contact your home province health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by province)

British Columbia – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health

Alberta – http://www.health.alberta.ca/

Saskatchewan – https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/health

Manitoba – http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/

Quebec – http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/outils/email.php

New Brunswick – http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health.html

Nova Scotia – https://novascotia.ca/dhw/

Prince Edward Island – https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/health-and-wellness

Newfoundland & Labrador – http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/

Bariatric surgery has emerged as an innovative alternative option in the management of Type 2 diabetes. Many 5-year studies are showing that the Revision surgery, as well as other bariatric surgeries, showing that bariatric surgery leads to a profound and durable resolution of Type 2 diabetes.

These procedures can result in sustained body weight loss and significant improvement in obesity-related comorbidities. Surgical weight loss procedures are recognized by Diabetes Canada to lead to significant and sustained weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes.

We recommend that you start walking up to 30 minutes per day as soon as you are able. However, strenuous exercise is not recommended until 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. We recommend that you do not lift more than 10 to 15 pounds for at least two weeks.

FAQs About the LAP-BAND® Procedure at SmartShape

The LAP-BAND® procedure may be the right solution if you:

  • have a BMI of 30 and above, especially if there has been a diagnosis of Type II diabetes
  • are prepared to make changes in your eating habits and lifestyle
  • prefer a procedure that requires minimal ongoing intervention or adjustments
  • do not drink alcohol in excess and do not have illegal drug dependence

The LAP-BAND® procedure is performed laparoscopically which is a surgical technique where only small incisions are made. Laparoscopic surgery is a low-risk, minimally invasive technique with many benefits including smaller surgical scars, less pain, shorter hospital stay, faster recovery and reduced risks of infection.

During the first week after the procedure, you will feel some pain. The discomfort is usually restricted to the laparoscopic port sites and can be managed with oral pain medication. You may also experience mild “gas pain” that settles in a couple of days. Your doctor will give you instructions regarding pain management.

No, the port is not visible. The port is placed under the skin and fat and anchored to the abdominal wall muscles. 

One of the advantages of the LAP-BAND® is that it can, and should be adjusted according to your individual needs. Adjustments are made by adding fluid (saline) via the adjustment port, making the band a little tighter or looser. The LAP-BAND® can be tightened or loosened by one of our nurses in as little as 5 minutes. LAP-BAND® adjustments do not require surgery and are completed with a simple office visit.

In an effort to reduce the need to travel, we have adapted our follow-up programs to meet the needs of our out-of-province and long distance LAP-BAND® clients. We have an extensive network of affiliated physicians and nurses in over 50 cities and towns across Canada and are continuing to train affiliates to meet our clients’ needs. These healthcare professionals have been trained by our surgeons to perform LAP-BAND® adjustments for our patients. Adjustments are performed after a consultation with our nurses. Our nurses will confirm the timing and fill volume required for the adjustment.

One of the important features of the SmartShape program is working with our team to decide when LAP-BAND® adjustments are indicated. Here are a few questions that can help decide if an adjustment is needed:

  • Has your weight loss slowed down?
  • Are you feeling hungry after a small meal?
  • Are you able to eat more than you feel you should?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then it may be time for an adjustment. You should call the clinic and speak to one of our nurses about having an assessment.

For most individuals, the first adjustment takes place approximately four weeks after their LAP-BAND® procedure. The band will continue to be adjusted over time until you reach the ideal adjustment that is most beneficial to your weight loss success.

Although each person is different, in the first year, you can expect anywhere from four to six adjustments, but some people have as little as one.

Yes, SmartShape welcomes out-of-town and out-of-province patients. The LAP-BAND® procedure is performed at our Centric Health Surgical Centre in Toronto, ON. After surgery, you will be monitored overnight in our facility and will be discharged the next day. Once you leave the facility, most patients are able to return to their normal activities in about 7-10 days.

Out-of-province patients may be eligible for funding from your home province health plan. Please contact your home province health department to see if you qualify, and if so, for what amount/elements of your procedure. (Coverage varies by province)

British Columbia – http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/health

Alberta – http://www.health.alberta.ca/

Saskatchewan – https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/government-structure/ministries/health

Manitoba – http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/

Quebec – http://www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/outils/email.php

New Brunswick – http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/health.html

Nova Scotia – https://novascotia.ca/dhw/

Prince Edward Island – https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/topic/health-and-wellness

Newfoundland & Labrador – http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/

We recommend that you start walking up to 30 minutes per day as soon as you are able. However, strenuous exercise is not recommended until 3 to 4 weeks after your procedure. We recommend that you do not lift more than 10 to 15 pounds for at least two weeks.

Although the LAP-BAND® is meant to be permanent, it can be safely and easily removed if necessary. If the LAP-BAND® is removed, it is possible that the weight loss may not be sustained. If you choose to have the LAP-BAND® removed, it is possible to have the Gastric Sleeve or Mini Gastric Bypass as a revision procedure.

The LAP-BAND® System has been proven to be a safe and permanent implanted device which does not deteriorate or break down with time. This is one of the reasons that SmartShape Weight Loss Centre uses only the LAP-BAND® System. There is no reason to expect that theLAP-BAND® would ever need to be replaced.

Bariatric surgery has emerged as an innovative alternative option in the management of Type 2 diabetes. Many 5-year studies are showing that the LAP-BAND®, as well as other bariatric surgeries, showing that bariatric surgery leads to a profound and durable resolution of Type 2 diabetes.

These procedures can result in sustained body weight loss and significant improvement in obesity-related comorbidities. Surgical weight loss procedures are recognized by Diabetes Canada to lead to significant and sustained weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes.

Yes, it is safe to become pregnant after receiving the LAP-BAND® procedure, although it is wise to wait a number of months. In addition, losing weight improves your fertility and makes pregnancy safer for both you and the baby.

Please visit our Cost & Financing page to learn more about the cost of a Gastric Sleeve procedure at SmartShape.

Yes, SmartShape is able to accommodate International clients through our dedicated International Patient program. Please contact SmartShape directly for more details, by calling (888) 278-7952 to speak with one of our Program Advisors in this area.

Questions? Connect With Us Today!

The SmartShape Weight Loss Centre is happy to offer free consultations with a surgeon at any of our locations across Canada.