Bariatric Surgery: Gastric Bypass & Lap-Band Cost

Trying to estimate your Lap-Band or gastric bypass surgery cost? Explore the Bariatric Skinny for information on bariatric surgery cost and more.

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Bariatric Surgery Costs

Weight loss surgery can be pricey, and the full expense may be difficult to determine from the start. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) reports that the overall average bariatric surgery cost is between $20,000 and $25,000; however, costs can rise above or below the range depending on the type of surgery, the hospital, and surgeon fees. More complicated surgeries, like gastric bypass and gastric sleeve, usually have higher expenses than the cost of lap-band surgery. Where you have the procedure done will also affect the price tag. Major cities and the east and west coast of the United States tend to have higher costs associated with the surgeries. To help with managing the expense, some surgeons offer payment plans that enable patients to pay-off procedures over time.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Cost

The cost of gastric bypass surgery generally ranges from $15,000 to $30,000. The gastric bypass cost usually includes fees for the hospital, surgeon and initial follow-up appointments. Prices may vary based on the extensiveness of the procedure and recovery time.

Lap-Band Surgery Cost

The cost of Lap-Band surgery (or other gastric banding) generally ranges from $10,000 to $25,000. The Lap-Band cost usually includes fees for the hospital, surgeon and initial follow-up appointments. This procedure also requires additional follow-ups for adjustments and saline fills that may require further payment.

Bariatric Surgery Insurance

Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery varies by provider and state. Most health insurance companies recognize that obese patients are at an increased risk for serious health conditions such as type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure. More and more providers, including Medicare, are beginning to cover some or all of the cost of weight loss surgery if it is determined to be medically necessary for patients who meet the pre-specified criteria. Coverage is extended most frequently to severely obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) above 40 and a related health condition like diabetes. Most insurance companies require patients to complete psychological and nutritional evaluations to make sure they have a full understanding of the procedure and its long term impact on their diet and lifestyle.

Post-Surgery Expenses

To maintain the lifestyle changes patients are required to make with weight loss surgery, many seek on-going diet and exercise counseling incurring additional costs that may or may not be covered by insurance. Recommended dietary changes may increase bills for special, higher-quality foods and vitamin supplements. Other post-bariatric surgery costs may include cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin and fat after dramatic weight loss. Plastic surgery procedures, like lipoplasty, help reshape the body to improve hygiene, appearance, and self-esteem. Surgeon fees for selected plastic surgeries can be costly. Surgical lifts for body parts including arms, stomach, breasts, thighs, face, and buttocks may range from $3,000 to $6,000 each. Patients will need to be examined by a surgeon to evaluate their individual needs before determining the full extent of their costs.

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From the Bariatric Surgery Journals

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From the Message Boards

  • I had a form of the Gastric Bypass in 1984 and while I lost 120#s I knew I would never keep it off if I did not change my eating habits. But how was I to do that? I used to think that food was my problem but have since learned that food was the solution I had used to deal with life's problems. I did gain about 35% of the weight back and I continued to binge eat resulting in gas and diarrhea consta...

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