How Much Does Lap Band Surgery Cost?
Lap band surgery is a type of surgery done in the stomach where an inflatable silicone device is placed around the top portion of the stomach. This procedure is used to treat obesity, a problem that is becoming more and more prominent. The effect of a lap band on the patient is that it makes you feel full; this results in the patient eating less, resulting in losing weight.
How much does lap band surgery cost?
- Lap band surgery is currently done by using laparoscopic surgery which is considered to be less invasive compared to other types of bariatric surgery. The price for lap band surgery depends on several factors which include the skill of the physician as well as the geographical location where the surgery will be performed.
- The typical lap band surgery is performed for a price that ranges anywhere between $11,000 and $32,000.
- In foreign countries such as Brazil and Mexico, the average lap band surgery cost can be from $5,000 to $17,000.
- Most insurance companies will not cover a procedure such as lap band since it is deemed a cosmetic procedure. There are some cases where the insurance company covers it, but only if your health professional deems it necessary. There are many cases today as well that allow recipients of Medicare or Medicaid to take advantage of this surgery if it’s deemed medically necessary.
What is going to be included?
- During the procedure, a small incision will be made in the abdominal area. Using a laparoscopic camera, a small gastric band will be wrapped near the upper part of the stomach. As the band is wrapped, the doctor can modify and adjust the size. The procedure will take no longer than one hour.
- Free evaluation of your condition will be included with the payment. This is a vital step in determining if you are required to undergo surgery.
- The pre-op tests, surgeon fees, hospital charges and other associated fees should be included. This isn’t the case with all hospitals, though. Make sure that you always get everything in writing before going in for the procedure.
What are the extra costs?
- Anesthesia is applied to lessen the amount of pain felt during the operation. The fee is paid separately and can cost you $550 to $900.
- The use of the hospital facility, which includes the room and the operating room, is also paid on top of the initial payment for the surgery. Operating room fees cost anywhere from $600 to $2,000.
- Surgeons performing the operation are also paid separately. Professional fees are paid to them and usually cost $1,000 to $2,000.
- Fills or adjustments may be needed down the road. Aside from the office fee, these fees can range from $30 to as much as $200.
- Additional surgeries may be required such as improving the skin, moving sagging areas of the skin, etc.
- Pre-op and x-ray fees are going to be separate from the lap band surgery itself. These are going to be done before the surgery even starts.
- After the surgery is performed, follow up appointments will be necessary to ensure that everything is at working properly. For the year following the surgery, it may be recommended that you meet with a professional every few months.
Tips to know:
- Always check the doctor’s credentials. How long has he or she been working with plastic surgery? If possible, try to talk with a patient that has worked with the doctor in the past.
- Be aware of the brand of lap band that will be used. Again, it’s important to do your homework with the band. If you don’t like what you’re hearing or seeing, it’s very important to speak up.
- During the first few weeks, you will be placed on a strict diet. Patients will be advised to avoid high-calorie drinks and consider water.
- Ideal candidates for this surgery will have a BMI that is between 30 and 40. Most patients are also 60 to 200 pounds overweight.
Advantages of lap band surgery:
- No large incision are needed, and the surgery is done relatively fast. A hospital stay is less than 24 hours on average.
- The lap band is adjustable as the stomach grows.
- Tolerated by people of all ages; it’s also reversible.
Disadvantages of lap band surgery:
- Mechanical functions can become defective.
- Complications can occur such as infection or pain.
- While rare, leakage can occur from the band.
How can I save money?
- Diet and proper exercise is the best way to save on costs involving surgery. While this may be the harder route of losing weight, it is much less expensive and much healthier in the long run. Remember that surgery is the last resort when it comes to curing obesity, and proper self-discipline is the best way to save up on expenses.
- Going overseas to another country can greatly reduce your bill by more than 70 percent. If you do decide to go this route, just make sure that you do your homework first. Don’t settle on the price, but rather, you will want to research the doctor’s and hospital’s reputation. For instance, lap band surgery in the country of Mexico can run as little as $4,500.
- If the procedure is deemed medically necessary, it may be covered. If you don’t have a health insurance policy, consider looking for one on services such as eHealthInsurance.com.