How Much Does an Appendectomy Cost?
An appendectomy is the surgical removal of the appendix. This is necessary in the case of a person being diagnosed with appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix. An appendectomy is actually considered to be a major surgical operation since it removes an organ of the body. It needs to be done, however, because if the appendix bursts, there could be serious infection or even death as a result. A general surgeon will perform the operation, which can either be done through an open procedure or through laparoscopy. Appendicitis usually occurs in young males and females, particularly those in their teenage years.
How much does it cost?
- According to an article by Sarah Kliff (April 24, 2012) posted on Washingtonpost.com, an appendectomy costs between $1,529 to $186,955, depending on where it was performed, according to results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
- However, while these ranges are extreme, most appendectomies are going to be between the $8,000 and $35,000 range. The U.S. average for this procedure stands at $13,000.
- The cost of an appendectomy seems to vary because of the individual institution instead of geographic region. Whether or not the patient has any sort of health insurance will probably be the biggest factor in determining the price.
- According to Healthcarebluebook.com the physician’s fee for the procedure as well as post-operative care costs around $1,087. Hospital service fee costs around $9,717 which covers a four-day surgery admission for appendectomy. The fee for anesthesia is $537 on average.
What is going to be included?
- The cost for an appendectomy covers the professional fee of the general surgeon, anesthesia, admission to the hospital, medication while in the hospital, and post-operative care that takes place in the hospital.
- The fee for anesthesia covers an average surgery time of one hour.
- There might also be a limit to the number of days a patient can be admitted under the package provided by the hospital.
- Appendectomy includes the following processes: First, a diagnosis of appendicitis is made and the doctor recommends to perform the procedure. Next, the patient is required to go through pre-operative preparations such as signing of operative consents, patient identification, and evaluation. This process usually takes about an hour or more. Third, the patient undergoes the surgery itself. Fourth, the post-operative care will take place while the patient is recovering in the hospital.
- During the recovery stage, the patient is required to go on a liquid diet until his or her stomach is able to better digest solid foods. Physical exercises and strenuous activities will be avoided for several weeks after the operation was done. The recovery period usually takes three to four weeks. After which, the patient can go back to his or work and daily activities.
What are the extra costs?
- Additional days at the hospital, particularly those beyond the coverage for admission for an appendectomy, will be charged extra. According to healthcarebluebook.com, each day will be charged at around $1,800. The longer the patient is hospitalized, the more expensive the admission fee becomes. The average hospital stay is usually less than two days.
- Depending on the hospital, you may be charged extra for a visit to the emergency room.
- If ultrasound or a CT scan is required before the surgery when a diagnosis is being made, this can cost upwards of $800.
- After the procedure, you will be placed on antibiotics for a few weeks to come. You will also be given pain medication to keep you comfortable.
- Although post-operative care will be given for the few days in the hospital, you will also need at least one appointment a few weeks after the surgery.
Tips to know:
- Although it is possible to survive a burst appendix, you should never take the chance. If the doctor suggests the surgery, get it done immediately.
How can I save money?
- You can save money if you have health insurance. Ask your network provider for the rates and discounts of which you can take advantage as part of your insurance coverage. The rate will vary depending on the insurance company. If you do not have a health insurance policy or you are currently looking to switch, consider looking through hundreds of policies on websites such as eHealthInsurance.com
- If you have health insurance, make sure that the hospital is inside your network. If they are outside the network, this can potentially cost you thousands more.
- For those who do not have a health insurance coverage, you can inquire from hospitals and healthcare providers regarding discounts provided to self-paying patients, particularly for the surgery itself. If you can pay cash rather than putting it on a credit card, you can get even more of a discount.
- While risky, consider getting this surgery overseas. Many well established hospitals in countries such as India can offer the procedure at a fraction of the cost. However, if you are going to go this route, make sure that you do your homework well ahead of time. Also, this is not suggested for emergency situations.