Regional Bariatric Care Centre

Obesity is a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment. The Regional Bariatric Care Centre (RBCC) is a Bariatric Centre of Excellence, one of several centres across Ontario that provide treatment for obesity. The RBCC assesses and treats patients of Northern Ontario, following evidenced based strategies, standards and protocols recommended by the Ontario Bariatric Network (OBN) and approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Surgical Services

The focus of this program is the treatment of obesity and obesity-related health conditions, safe weight management, and healthy lifestyle changes. Bariatric surgery is elective surgery. It is a tool patients can use to help manage their obesity. The RBCC works with patients to ensure they understand the risks and benefits of choosing surgery. The Surgical Program provides care led by an interdisciplinary team before and after surgery.

Eligibility:
  • 18 years of age and older
  • BMI greater than or equal to 40
  • BMI greater than or equal to 35 but less than 40. With at least one of the following co-morbidities (as determined by your primary care provider:
    • Coronary heart disease
    • Type II diabetes mellitus
    • Hypertension
    • Diagnosed sleep apnea
    • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Ineligibility (not limited to):
  • Current drug or alcohol dependency (within 6 months of referral)
  • Recent major cancer (life threatening, within last 2 years)
  • Untreated or inadequately treated psychiatric illness
  • Smoking in any form (including cigarettes, cigars, vaping, and marijuana) within 6 months of referral

Medical Services

The RBCC also provides a meal replacement/behavior based program. The focus of the program is to help patients achieve medically acceptable weight loss in order to improve obesity-related health conditions and quality of life. The goal is to help patients achieve a healthier state of wellness by providing knowledge and life skills to change their eating and coping behaviours, and develop alternative lifestyles that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy living.

Eligibility:
  • 18 years of age and older (allow referrals at age >= 17.5 years)
  • BMI greater than, or equal to 35
  • BMI greater than or equal to 30, but less than 35. With at least one of the following co-morbidities (as determined by your primary care provider):
    • Complicated Type II diabetes mellitus
    • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension
    • Poorly controlled hypertension
Ineligibility (not limited to):
  • Current drug or alcohol dependency (within 6 months of referral)
  • Recent major cancer (life threatening, within last 2 years) with active treatment where caloric restriction might exacerbate the condition
  • Untreated or inadequately treated psychiatric illness

For more information please refer to the OBN website: www.ontariobariatricnetwork.ca

Your Care Team

The care team at the RBCC includes the following clinicians: Internal Medicine Physicians, Bariatric Surgeons, Nurse Practitioner, Registered Dietitians, Registered Nurse, Registered Social Worker, Psychologist, Registered Kinesiologist, Clerks and Program Manager. They work together with your primary care provider to manage your health throughout your journey with the RBCC.


What to Expect

Surgical Services

Once referred to the program by your primary care provider, you will be contacted to attend an orientation session to learn if bariatric surgery is a suitable option for you. If you choose surgery, you will be assessed by an interdisciplinary team to determine your suitability for surgery. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions during these appointments. You are welcome to bring a support person to these appointments.

You may be required to complete some tests to ensure your safety during surgery. You can expect to attend multiple appointments in the clinic, while the team helps you prepare for surgery. After surgery, you are followed frequently in the first year to help you adjust to your new lifestyle. Follow up is important to help support your healthy lifestyle decisions.

Medical Services

Once you are referred to the medical program you will attend an orientation to learn more about what to expect. The Medical Weight Management program is a behavior change program with a meal replacement component. The goal of the program is to help you achieve a healthier state of wellness by providing knowledge and life skills to change your eating and coping behaviours, and develop alternative lifestyles that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy living. The program requires a 2 year commitment. You will attend weekly group education sessions where you will be encouraged to ask questions and participate in discussions. Individual support is provided as needed. You will be monitored by a nurse practitioner during the program.

Am I Eligible?

Bariatric surgery is a life-altering procedure, and is usually not reversible. For that reason, the RBCC speaks with all patients to ensure they know the risks as well as the potential outcomes, discuss other options, and assesses the patient’s physical and emotional readiness to determine eligibility.


In order to be considered for surgery, the patient must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or 35 or higher for those who have obesity-related medical problems. Once this is established, other factors will be considered.


To be eligible for the Medical Program, patients must have a BMI of 35 or higher, or 30 or higher with specific medical problems (as determined by your physician and bariatric Nurse Practitioner)
Medical eligibility is determined by the RBCC’s internal medical doctor or nurse practitioner.


For more information, please refer to the OBN website: www.ontariobariatricnetwork.ca and select “Patient Information”

Referrals

Patients must be referred by their primary care provider through the Ontario Bariatric Registry. This centralized system improves the care of patients with obesity and streamlines the process.

Patient’s Role

Patients play an important role in any weight management program. Your success will depend on your commitment to lifestyle changes. The team will encourage you to be self-directed. The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. The team at RBCC will be sensitive to your needs and assist you to help meet your goals in an unbiased, supportive and caring environment.

About Obesity and Northwestern Ontario

Obesity is a chronic disease that can affect anyone of any age, culture or income bracket. One in four struggle with obesity in Northwestern Ontario, which has the second –highest obesity rate of any region in the province.


The design and focus of the RBCC is a step forward for our region in terms of improving our ability to manage obesity and it’s health conditions.