Bariatric Surgery Cost
When considering surgery to win the fight against obesity, or just to get rid of that excess fat, you must take into account the bariatric surgery cost. There is no set amount that you can apply to any one procedure as the bariatric surgery cost will vary with each type of procedure. Plus, there are a variety of factors that will also affect the total bariatric surgery cost.
Remember, you should not only look at the actual bariatric surgery cost, you must also consider the medications you may need, any additional items such as compression garments, as well as post-surgery treatments and programs. All of these plus the bariatric surgery cost will make up the entire amount you will end up paying in the end.
No matter how you look at it, the benefits of weight loss surgery always outweigh the bariatric surgery cost. Weight loss surgery can help you live a longer, healthier life. Being obese or overweight can lead to many complications and health issues down the road. The money you pay to cover the bariatric surgery cost will be well worth it, and you will actually save money when you sum up all the medications, treatments, doctor’s visits, and everything else you’ll have to pay for to keep the health issues related to being overweight under control.
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Bariatric Surgery Cost – Price Range
The chart below will give you a price range of the approximate bariatric surgery cost for the more popular procedures.
|Bariatric Surgery||Average Cost||Price Range|
|Gastric Balloon||$9,750||$5,000 – $15,000|
|Gastric Sleeve||$15,000||$10,000 – $25,000|
|Adjustable Gastric Banding||$19,000||$12,000 – $25,000|
|Vertical Banded Gastroplasty||$20,000||$15000 – $25000|
|Biliopancreatic diversion||$23,000||$20,000 – $25,000|
|Gastric bypass||$25,000||$18,000 – $35,000|
|Roux-en-Y gastric bypass||$25,000||$20,000 – $35,000|
|Duodenal switch||$20,000||$18,000 – $30,000|
Bariatric Surgery Cost – Types of Procedures
The bariatric surgery cost will first depend on the type of treatment you need. Here is a quick rundown of the three types of procedures: Restrictive procedures, Malabsorptive procedures, and Hybrid (Restrictive/Malabsorptive) procedures.
A Restrictive surgery works by reducing the stomach size and by slowing down the speed at which food is digested. An average stomach holds about 3 pints of food. After a restrictive procedure, the stomach capacity will be reduced to about 1 ounce immediately following the surgery. Keep in mind that later on, that quantity may increase to about 2 – 3 ounces. The main principle behind a restrictive procedure is that: the less food you can eat, the less food you are able to ingest, less calories and nutrients absorbed, and the more weight will be lost.
On average, the bariatric surgery cost for a Restrictive procedure is lower than the bariatric surgery cost for a malabsorptive or a hybrid treatment because restrictive procedures are minimally invasive, and not as complicated as the other two types of treatment.
The Gastric Balloon works to reducing the size of the stomach artificially. A medical balloon is first deflated and then inserted into the stomach. Once in the stomach, it is inflated to the size the patient needs, and this will reduces the amount of food that the patient can ingest. This procedure is the least invasive of all the bariatric treatments, no cutting or stapling is required, this procedure is 100% reversible, and the bariatric surgery cost is relatively inexpensive compared to other procedures. The gastric balloon may remain in the patient’s stomach for up to 6 months, but another gastric balloon can be used afterwards (based on your surgeon’s recommendations).
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $9,750
Sleeve Gastrectomy (Gastric Sleeve)
The gastric sleeve is one of the more recent developments in weight loss surgery. Approximately 60% to 85% of the patient’s stomach is removed, and the remaining stomach is shaped into a ‘sleeve’. This new, smaller stomach will permanently limit the patient’s food intake, which ultimately leads to weight loss. This procedure helps to initiate a lifestyle change which reducing the patient’s weight, and the bariatric surgery cost is relatively manageable for such a permanent solution.
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $15,000
Adjustable Gastric Banding
Gastric banding is probably the least invasive weight loss surgery. Basically, the surgeon places an inflatable band around the stomach to reduce its size, which will then create two smaller sections. The smaller top area of the stomach will restricts the amount of food the patient can eat. The gastric band is also adjustable, its size can be increased or decreased based on the patient’s needs. The gastric band can only stay in place for a maximum of 3 months, after which it must be removed. There are various types of gastric bands, but two of the most popular ones are called the LAP-BAND and the REALIZE band.
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $19,000
Vertical Banded Gastroplasty
Vertical banded gastroplasty is commonly called stomach stapling but is not as popular as it was 20 years ago. A combination of surgical staples and a surgical band are employed to create a smaller stomach, and this will slow the food down when traveling from the stomach to the digestive system. Many bariatric surgeons these days are choosing the gastric band instead because the VBG has been classified as a “severely dangerous” surgical procedure. You can get a gastric band for the same bariatric surgery cost, get the same results, but with a significantly lower risk of complications.
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $20,000
Malabsorptive surgeries change the way the patient processes and digests food. There are changes made to the digestive system which make it more difficult for the patient’s body to absorb calories and nutrients. The Malabsorptive procedures, such as the intestinal bypass, are no longer performed due to the numerous negative side effects.
The average bariatric surgery cost for a Malabsorptive procedure is lower than a hybrid treatment because it is not as complicated, but is more than the bariatric surgery cost for a restrictive procedure since it is more invasive than the restrictive procedures. However, due to the number of negative side effects, your bariatric surgery cost will actually increase significantly if you include dietary supplements, and other requirements in the total amount.
Biliopancreatic Diversion (BPD)
Biliopancreatic diversion redirects food to the lower intestines. Basically, the digestive system is altered by disconnecting the stomach from the duodenum, then connecting the stomach to the Ileum. All food will then bypass the Jejunum as well as the Duodenum, less calories and nutrients are absorbed, and weight loss occurs. Biliopancreatic diversion is one of the more invasive procedures, and it is rarely done due to malnourishment problems, the extensive monitoring required, not to mention the fact that patients will need nutritional supplements for life. Take all that into account, plus the bariatric surgery cost, and this turns out to be the most expensive and most inconvenient treatments out there.
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $23,000
Hybrid treatments are a combination of the Restrictive types and Malabsorptive types of bariatric surgery. The digestive system is changed, and the stomach size is reduced.
Restrictive/Malabsorptive (Hybrid) treatments typically carry the highest bariatric surgery cost since it they are the most invasive, most complicated of the three types of treatments.
Gastric Bypass Surgery
A popular form of gastric bypass surgery is the Roux-en-Y bypass. This is a 2 step procedure, where a small stomach pouch is first created with a Gastric Sleeve. The second step is the bypass, the new smaller stomach is connected to the lower part of the patient’s small intestine. The top portion of the patient’s small intestine is then reconnected in a Y-shaped configuration. The gastric bypass is a popular type of weight loss surgery, roughly 145,000 procedures are performed each year, but it is a more complicated and invasive treatment.
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $25,000
Gastric Sleeve With Duodenal Switch
This procedure is also made up of two steps, the first step is to reduce the stomach size using a Gastric Sleeve. The second step involves disconnected the stomach from the duodenum, then reconnecting it to a lower area of the patient’s small intestine. The top area of the small intestine and the duodenum are then connected to the rest. This is also a very invasive and complicated treatment.
Average Bariatric Surgery Cost: $20,000
Factors Affecting Bariatric Surgery Cost
- Health Insurance
- Payment Plans
- Post-Surgery Care
- Liposuction & Body Contouring
Where you get your surgery done will influence the bariatric surgery cost. Generally, the bariatric surgery cost will be higher in cities since surgeons are more in demand than in rural areas. There are more surgeons in urban areas, but some have more experience and skill than others, and they will increase the bariatric surgery cost due to this.
If you are looking at ways to reduce the bariatric surgery cost, you should consider seeing a surgeon outside of a major urban area. You should also look at clinics in other countries such as Mexico, where the bariatric surgery cost may be as much as 60% less than it is in the U.S.
The facility will also affect the bariatric surgery cost, whether it is done in a hospital or a clinic. Hospitals can cost a bit more since this facility is separate from the surgeon’s practice. Your bariatric surgeon might have his own facilities where they can complete the surgery, and it will usually cost less. Your surgeon might include the cost in to the overall bariatric surgery cost, and he may also give you a discounted rate for package deals.
Whether you have health insurance, or have a health plan through your employer, you may still end up covering the entire bariatric surgery cost yourself. The best advice would be to speak with your insurance provider and find out if the bariatric surgery cost is covered, and what requirements you need to meet for coverage.
Payment plans are a good way to break up the bariatric surgery cost if you cannot pay it all up front. You should know that some surgeons will charge you interest, which will definitely increase the bariatric surgery cost. You should your surgeon if they offer any financing options, and what payment alternatives they have so that you can manage the bariatric surgery cost without breaking the bank.
Things like diet counseling, exercise programs, vitamins and supplements, and behavior modification are not usually included in the bariatric surgery cost. The need for these things will also depend on the type of surgery that you get. Second surgeries might not be included in the bariatric surgery cost. Before committing to a surgery, make sure you know exactly what is involved in the surgery, the post-care, and what the total bariatric surgery cost will be for everything.
Liposuction & Body Contouring
Some procedures involve a rapid weight loss, which will leave saggy skin and loose muscles. This can be unsightly, but there are procedures such as liposuction and body contouring procedures that will eliminate that excess skin, tone those loose muscles, lift those saggy areas of the body, and eliminate stubborn fat deposits. These types of procedures are not included in the bariatric cost. Again, speak with your surgeon to find out what the effects the treatment you will have on your body. Things like liposuction, and body contouring techniques like a breast lift, and arm lift, full body lift, and so on will definitely increase the total bariatric surgery cost.