How Much Does Esophageal Dilation Cost?
Esophageal dilation is a procedure performed by an ENT to extend the opening in your esophagus in order for you to swallow easily. The esophagus is a long, narrow tube that carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach.
How much does it cost?
- Without insurance, you’re looking at paying anywhere from $2,000 to as much as $5,000 for the complete esophageal dilation. The costs will depend on the complexity of the procedure, the doctor’s office, geographical location and inclusions in the bill.
- According to Yourcommunityhospital.com, the price ranges from $1,900 to $3,000.
- One forum poster on boards.straightdope.com said that the treatment may cost around $2,000, but if the fee for the doctor and the anesthetist is to be included, it could be more than $4,000.
- For those who have health insurance, be sure to check with your insurance provider because as long as the procedure is deemed medically necessary, the patient will only be responsible for his co-pay and deductibles. If you do not have insurance or want a new policy, eHealthInsurance.com allows you to browse through more than a 100 policies for free.
What is going to be included?
- Before the esophageal dilation operation, you will be asked to prepare for the surgery. Your doctor will give you detailed information regarding the dietary restrictions that you must follow.
- During the procedure, the opening of the esophagus will be opened so that swallowing is easier. The patient will have to lie on their side during the procedure and only takes a few minutes to perform. The operation tends to be tolerated well and does not cause a lot of pain.
- Side effects do include slight chest pain and potential ulcer feelings.
What are the extra costs?
- If you are going to have esophageal dilation, you will be paying a range of prices for the operation. Every hospital and doctor will have their own billing practices. However, that initial price usually will not include your payment for the physician. Most of the time, you will have to pay him/her separately.
- In case you need to have additional procedures performed such as a biopsy or polyps in connection with the procedure, you will have to pay separately.
- For patients who want to be sedated, this can be an additional charge to consider.
- Before this procedure is performed, you will need an in-office visit with the doctor to determine the proper course of action. Once the procedure is over, you will probably need a follow-up appointment with the doctor to ensure that everything went according to plan and that you are healing properly. Neither of these appointments will be included in the overall price for the surgery.
Factors that influence the price:
- The level of treatment. All conditions are going to be different. Complex dilation procedures will cost more than those that do not require additional side procedures.
- The location. With any surgical procedures, the geographical location will play a large role with the overall price.
- The physician’s fee. The labor fee for your doctor could be another factor that affects your budget.
Tips to know:
- Before the procedure, you will be asked to do some preparations as noted above. You will be obliged to fast for 4 to 6 hours before the procedure. You have to follow every instruction that your physician has recommended so that the treatment is successful.
- After the operation, you will be given a list of foods that are not allowed to be eaten just yet. At all costs, you must follow it to avoid complicated problems.
Reasons you may need esophageal dilation
- Acid Peptic Stricture – This condition is very common. The stomach produces acid which, in turn, can reflux into the esophagus. This event is usually made worse by the presence of a hiatus hernia. Over time, the acid and peptic stomach juices injure the esophagus, causing inflammation and then scarring. The fibrous scar then contracts and narrows the esophageal opening.
- Schatzki’s Ring – This condition is really exactly that, a narrow ring of benign fibrous tissue constricting the lower esophagus. Physicians still do not know how it develops.
- Achalasia – This condition is uncommon and quite fascinating to physicians. The problem is a persistent and marked spasm of the lower esophageal muscle. This spasm does not open up to allow food and fluid through. The result is a persistent blockage with a slow trickling of esophageal contents into the stomach.
- Ingestion of Caustic Agents – Children are particularly prone to swallowing liquid lye and other agents which can severely burn the esophagus, leaving it narrowed.
- Tumors – Various forms of tumors, benign and malignant, can block the esophagus. This condition is obviously very important to diagnose and treat promptly.
- Heredity – The esophagus may be partially or completely blocked at birth.ations for this?
How can I save money?
- There are healthcare or treatments centers that provide financial assistance for their patients. You may want to consider taking advantage of this if you do not have any health insurance. Most clinics and hospitals are more than willing to provide discounts to those who pay in full ahead of time.
- Do not forget to contact your health insurance provider to see what is going to be covered.
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