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The Ottawa Hospital

Our History, Goals and Connections

The Weight Management Clinic (WMC) at The Ottawa Hospital has been providing weight management assessment and medical lifestyle weight loss programs since 1992. The Weight Management Clinic has provided general weight assessment to over 20,000 patients during that time; in addition, we have had nearly 4000 patients take part in our one year lifestyle skills program called the "Core” program. It is from this program that the Bariatric Surgical Program was developed and seen as an important treatment option for Obesity. The Bariatric Surgical Program at The Ottawa Hospital started completing Bariatric Surgery in September 2009. In the first year over 160 surgeries were performed. By the completion of 2010, 1000 patients will have been assessed for surgery and 200 bariatric surgeries completed. The program plans to expand to 450 surgeries per year by the end of 2012. The Ottawa Hospital Bariatric Centre now offers comprehensive treatment for obesity with both a surgical treatment and a lifestyle skills program.

Our Team

Our health care team consists of Surgeons, General Internal Medicine Physicians, Psychiatrist, Advance Practice Nurses, Social Worker, Behaviourist, Dietitians, Psychologist, and Administrative Clerks. Routinely we consult specialist physicians (Cardiology, Thrombosis, Endocrinology and Anesthesiology) from The Ottawa Hospital to assist in the preparation and assessment of our Bariatric Patients. 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 referred for about having surgery must have a comprehensive assessment and screening completed by the interdisciplinary team before being accepted for surgery.

Criteria for surgery includes:
  • BMI above 35 with other complex medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure etc.
  • Body Mass Index (BMI) 40 or above
  • Tried losing/managing weight for more than 3 months
  • Motivated and willing to make eating and lifestyle changes
  • Psychologically and medically fit for surgery
  • Must commit to post surgical follow-up for 5 years by the team. This includes multiple appointments and routine testing.

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:
  • Blood tests
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) and/or Echogram (Echo)
  • Lung function test
  • Sleep apnea studies
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Gastroscopy
You also attend 2 education classes. The first class describes the Bariatric program, risks/benefits of surgery, 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:
  • Stop smoking 6 months before surgery
  • 2 months before surgery:
    • Reduce caffeine. After surgery you will not be able to have caffeine.
    • Reduce alchohol, beer or wine. After surgery it is recommended to not drink alcohol for at least 6-months and limit alcohol intake for life.
    • Reduce carbonated beverages. After surgery it is not recommended to ingest carbonated beverages.
    • Start taking multivitamin / mineral supplement and vitamin D.
  • 3-weeks before surgery:
    • You follow a special diet. Liquid protein meal replacement
    • you are given an education book to follow
  • Length of hospital stay is a total of 2-nights


  • 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.
Directions to The Ottawa Hospital can be accessed from the website. Click here.

Weight Management Clinic website.

The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus
Grimes Lodge, 3rd Floor
1053 Carling Avenue
Ottawa ON K1Y 4E9
Phone: 613-761-5101
Fax: 613-761-4789
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.