How Much Does a Stent Cost?
Heart stents are tiny metal mesh tubes that support weakened arteries within the heart. The arteries carry the blood from the heart throughout the body, and if one becomes blocked or collapses, major problems could occur. A stent is there to ensure that the artery cannot collapse on itself. There are two kinds of stents. There are stents coated with medication and bare metal stents.
How much does it cost?
- Usually, there are two separate fees from the hospitals, laboratory and doctors. If you do not have a health insurance policy, plan on budgeting around $23,000 to as much as $145,000 for a stent to be placed. The costs will greatly depend on your geographical location, the surgeon, inclusions in the bill and hospital. The cost also depends on the stent’s type and the duration of stay in the hospital.
- PSmag.com claims that the stent itself can cost $1,000 to $4,000. The procedure, on the other hand, is going to range anywhere from as little as $30,000 to as much as $100,000.
- PTCA has a list of posts on their page from patients and what they had paid. Here, many paid anywhere from as little as $10,000 in India to as much as $140,000 without insurance.
What is going to be included?
- Before the procedure begins, a patient will be evaluated through a procedure called cardiac catheterization. The cardiologist will use a special dye and x-ray in order to find out if there is a blockage somewhere in the arteries. If there is a blockage, it will then cleared using a balloon-tipped catheter during the procedure of angioplasty. After this balloon is inflated to open the artery, the stent will be placed. This stent will then stay there permanently so that the artery will collapse again.
- The actual procedure will only take about an two hours. However, the preparation and recovery time will last much longer. This whole procedure usually takes about a day and a half.
What are the extra costs?
- There are hospitals that separate the charging for the doctor’s fee from the overall procedure cost. It is important to ask them at the very beginning of your inquiry so that you can prepare a fixed cost for your overall procedure. All hospitals are going to have different billing practices.
- There are times that the cost of anesthesia is not included in the initial charge for the procedure. Thus, expect an additional charge for it. Anesthesia should not cost any more than $1,000.
- With a stent procedure, there may come a time where more than one stent needs to be placed. If this is the case, this can increase the overall surgery cost.
Factors that influence the price:
- Geographical location. Every geographical location will vary with their pricing. A rural area will be a lot cheaper than a suburban area.
- The level of surgery. The overall fee for the procedure depends on the level of surgery performed.
- The doctor’s fee. Each surgeon has his own price.
- The hospital. There are many hospitals out there that provide angioplasty, and each hospital has its own fixed cost for the procedure.
Tips to know:
- When you research hospitals on the Internet, there are in fact some lists of top hospitals for surgery prepared by the US News and World Report. Refer to that list.
- There are some possible side effects of the angioplasty and stent placement. First, there will most likely be bruising around the puncture site, and there could possibly be a hard lump underneath the skin. Second, it is common to suffer from constipation as a result of the medications you will be taking. Third, it is possible that you will experience slight chest pain for a few weeks after the surgery. Finally, you may have some numbness or tingling in your leg from the anesthetic.
How can I save money?
- There are some orthopedic specialists and hospitals that offer discounts for cash paying or uninsured patients. There are also those that are offering financial assistance programs for qualified uninsured patients. You can look for the names or locations of these health providers on the Internet and schedule an appointment with them. Choosing them will make you save money.
- If you do not have a health care insurance policy, consider looking at local options. To browse policies for free, refer to eHealthInsurance.com.