Cost of Weight-Loss Surgery

When compared with the ongoing costs of excess weight and weight-related conditions — including medical appointments, medications, missed work, weight-loss program fees, and increased grocery bills — weight-loss surgery has been shown to be a very affordable option that saves patients money over the long term.

When choosing a bariatric surgeon, it’s important to make your decision based on quality of care and experience. At DayOne Health, we have been designated as the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program by the ACS/ASMBS accrediting organization and our surgeons have performed more than 1,500 weight-loss procedures. Whereas many other weight-loss surgery centers simply perform your surgery and leave you to lose weight on your own, our comprehensive patient support program ensures that you’ll have the support you need every step of the way. See why our patients recommend DayOne Health as the best choice for LAP-BAND® surgery in Chicago.

How much does a bariatric surgery cost?

The average cost of lap-band surgery is currently around $15,000. This price should usually cover your stay at the hospital, anesthesia, and surgeon’s fee. The prices of bariatric surgeries differ depending on complexity of the procedure, length of the surgery, and cost of the device or additional equipment if necessary. In the grand scheme of things, lap-band is the most affordable of all weight loss surgeries. In comparison to $15,000 usually charged for the band, gastric sleeve surgery costs on average about $18,000, and gastric bypass about $22,000.

Another factor that makes lap-band the least costly is that it can be performed on outpatient basis – the surgery is done in about an hour, and you are free to go home in about three hours after the surgery. In contrast, gastric sleeve surgery takes almost double the time of gastric banding, requires using special staples, and is usually performed at the hospital. The fact of the weight loss surgery being performed at a hospital adds to the cost, with teaching hospitals being usually the most expansive. To meet the needs of patients interested in paying for their gastric sleeve procedure, our center decided to offer gastric sleeve for a significantly lower fee than inpatient facilities. Nevertheless, even in an outpatient setting, gastric sleeve remains a more expensive option than a lap-band surgery due to higher complexity of the procedure and longer operating time.

Why is gastric bypass so expensive?

Gastric bypass surgery is the most expansive of all weight loss surgeries. The reason for the substantially higher price is complexity of the surgery. Gastric bypass requires the surgeon not only to remove part of the stomach, but also to reroute the intestines which adds significantly to the surgery’s difficulty level. Because of the higher complexity, the surgery has to be performed in a hospital and requires an overnight stay adding to the overall cost. Because of the higher price of the gastric bypass surgery, the majority of patients use their insurance to pay for the procedure. In addition, because gastric bypass’s most dangerous complication, leakage, may require long hospitalization, the majority of surgeons won’t perform the surgery on a patient unless he or she has some form of a health insurance to cover the potential cost of complications.

Affordable weight loss surgery

One of the first questions when deciding on weight loss surgery is: is lap-band, or any other weight loss surgery, affordable? While the initial cost is important, it should never be a deciding factor on whether you will or will not get the surgery. Think about the cost of weight loss surgery as an investment in your health; an investment that will pay back many times over.

If you are looking into weight loss surgery it is likely that you’ve already tried everything else: dieting, exercise, and medication. When thinking about your previous and future weight loss attempts keep in mind the value you’ve received and the value you are looking for. When considering the total cost, think not only in terms of your current expenses, but also the future spending if your health deteriorates due to weight-related conditions. Weight loss surgery is an investment, and potentially the most important one you’ll ever make. It is an investment in living a longer healthier life and enjoying it to the fullest.

In terms of return on investment, weight loss surgery has been shown to be the most effective weight loss tool for patients with BMI of 30 and higher.[1] On average, weight loss surgery patients lose about over half of excess weight following their weight loss surgery [2]. That kind of weight loss has been proven to significantly improve weight related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and sleep apnea. Significant weight loss has been also linked to improvement in fertility.

How to make my weight loss surgery more affordable?

Because financially speaking, weight loss surgery can be a significant expense; at DayOne Health we always encourage our patients to try the insurance route first. If you have bariatric coverage, even with a high deductible PPO insurance, using your health insurance will lower the cost of the procedure significantly. If you know your insurance coverage does not cover the weight loss surgery or your deducible is very high, you should consider financing. Depending on your credit score, the financing company will loan you either portion or a whole amount necessary to pay for your lap-band, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass. At DayOne Health, we work closely with American Healthcare Lending to make weight loss surgery more affordable to our patients.

Gastric band versus gastric sleeve cost

As mentioned before, the initial cost of gastric sleeve in comparison to gastric band surgery is higher. Nevertheless, when considering which weight loss surgery is right for you, you have to also consider the cost of follow up visits. If you decide on gastric band, you must remember that effectiveness of the procedure will largely depend on effectiveness of your adjustments. When looking for a weight loss surgery clinic, make sure to check if your self-pay contract includes at least one year of free adjustments. In the first year after the surgery, lap-band patients will get on average four to five adjustments. If you are paying out of pocket and your clinic does not provide free adjustments for the first pot-op year, the procedure may come with an additional follow up visit cost. For those who want to use their insurance, the out-of-pocket cost should be substantially lower after meeting their deductible. In the second year, and every year thereafter, expect to get at least one adjustment annually. When thinking about the total cost of your lap-band or gastric sleeve, always consider the total cost of the procedure.

While gastric sleeve doesn’t require additional procedures as a part of the follow up, research indicates that patients who actively participate in bariatric programs, meaning they follow up with bariatric dietitians and receive psychological counseling, perform better and achieve better long-term weight loss than those not taking advantage of such support. Each visit with a dietitian, if not included in the program like DayOne Health, would cost on average $150 per visit.

Important LAP-BAND® System Safety Information

Indications: The LAP-BAND® System is indicated for weight reduction for patients with obesity, with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 40 kg/m2 or a BMI of at least 30 kg/m2with one or more obesity-related co-morbid conditions. It is indicated for use only in adult patients who have failed more conservative weight reduction alternatives, such as supervised diet, exercise and behavior modification programs. Patients who elect to have this surgery must make the commitment to accept significant changes in their eating habits for the rest of their lives.

Contraindications: The LAP-BAND® System is not recommended for non-adult patients, patients with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or increase the risk of poor results (e.g., inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, GI conditions, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, cirrhosis), who are unwilling or unable to comply with the required dietary restrictions, who have alcohol or drug addictions, or who currently are or may be pregnant.

Warnings: The LAP-BAND® System is a long-term implant. Explant and replacement surgery may be required. Patients who become pregnant or severely ill, or who require more extensive nutrition may require deflation of their bands. Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aspirin, should be used with caution and may contribute to an increased risk of band erosion.

Adverse Events: Placement of the LAP-BAND® System is major surgery and, as with any surgery, death can occur. Possible complications include the risks associated with the medications and methods used during surgery, the risks associated with any surgical procedure, and the patient’s ability to tolerate a foreign object implanted in the body. Band slippage, erosion and deflation, reflux, obstruction of the stomach, dilation of the esophagus, infection, or nausea and vomiting may occur. Reoperation may be required. Rapid weight loss may result in complications that may require additional surgery. Deflation of the band may alleviate excessively rapid weight loss or esophageal dilation.

Important: For full safety information please click here, talk with your doctor, or call Apollo Customer Support at 1-855-551-3123

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