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St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton

Our History, Goals and Connections

The Bariatric Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton began in January 2009 as an integrated surgical program for the care of obese and morbidly obese patients. In the first year over 140 surgeries were performed. By the completion of 2010, 2000 patients will have been assessed for surgery and 300 bariatric surgeries done. The program plans to expand to 450 surgeries in 2011.

We are currently funded by the Ministry of Health to perform the Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and the Gastric Sleeve. Gastric Banding is not covered by the Ministry of Health and is not offered at this centre.

We collaborate with the Hamilton Health Sciences Medical Program in Hamilton, Ontario to help people who are not candidates for surgery achieve weight loss in other ways.

We are a centre that has established telemedicine links with northern Ontario to assist with assessment and follow-up in remote sites.

Our Team

Our health care team consists of Surgeons (Dr. Mehran Anvari and Dr. Dennis Hong), General Internal Medicine Physicians, Nurses, Social Worker, Pharmacist, Dietitians, Psychiatrist, and Administrative Clerks. The team meets weekly to plan programs offered, review cases, create education resources and ensure standards of care are being met.

Our Process

Each person who is thinking about having surgery must have a comprehensive assessment and screening completed by the interdisciplinary team before being accepted for surgery.

The criterion for surgery includes the following:
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) between 40 and 60
  • BMI above 35 if you have medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure
  • Weight under 273 kilograms or 600 pounds
  • Tried many diets
  • Motivated and willing to make eating and lifestyle changes
  • Psychologically and medically fit for surgery
  • Have not had any previous weight loss surgery
  • Must commit to post surgical follow-up for 5 years by the team

Your Role

If you are a candidate for surgery you must complete certain tests and come for many appointments to see members of the health care team. These appointments and tests are done to make sure you are safe and ready for surgery.

Some of the tests you may be scheduled for include: You also attend 2 education classes. The first class describes the Bariatric program and expectations that you need to meet. If you decide to have surgery you attend a second class that prepares you for surgery.


Guidelines you must follow before surgery:
  1. Stop smoking 6 months before surgery
  2. 2 months before surgery:
    • no caffeine
    • no alcohol, beer or wine
    • no carbonated beverages
    • start taking multivitamin and mineral supplement
  3. 2 weeks before surgery;
    • you follow a special diet
    • you are given an education book to follow
Length of hospital stay:
  • you stay in the hospital for a total of 3 days
  • In the first year after surgery, you are required to come to 4 to 6 appointments for comprehensive follow-up. This is very important to make sure that you are staying healthy and meeting your nutritional needs.
  • You are seen once a year for 4 more years
Having bariatric surgery is not an easy decision. We believe in a person (patient/client) centered approach. Our focus is on helping each person take control of his or her life and making a commitment to a lifelong change in lifestyle.

Click here for directions to St. Joseph’s Healthcare, Hamilton