How Much Does an Angioplasty Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

An angioplasty is a very common procedure done to restore the blood flow through the heart’s artery.  This procedure is often used to reduce chest pain, which is commonly caused by a reduced blood flow or to minimize the damage done to a heart muscle due to a heart attack, and it is estimated one in three people who suffer from Coronary Artery Disease will undergo this procedure.  There is a range of both surgical and non-surgical treatment options, depending on your severity and condition.

Hospital by matsuyuki, on Flickr
Hospital” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by matsuyuki

How much does an angioplasty cost?

The cost of an angioplasty depends on the surgeon, the hospital, the extent of the condition, if a stent/s is required, your insurance and the geographical location.  On average, the procedure, without any sort of health insurance, can cost anywhere from $25,000 to as much as $125,000 in the United States.  This price, if a stent is required, can go up.  While this price range is quite large, we had found a fair majority of the hospitals out there charged $15,000 to $38,000 without insurance.

This Fox News article said an elective angioplasty has become increasingly common at hospitals, and according to researchers at Duke University Medical School, they had found the average price was $23,991 in surgery-equipped hospitals, whereas the price in a non-surgery hospital was $25,460.   The reason the non-surgery hospital was higher was due to the fact these hospitals used intensive care units for post care, and patients who were treated inside this setting were often readmitted nine months later.

A study by the California Public Interest Research Group found average angioplasty in California ranged from $44,000 to $144,000.

Angioplasty overview

An angioplasty, according to MedGurus.org, is a non-surgical procedure which will require no cuts or stitches.  During the procedure, it will clear or unblock the arteries that are causing the chest pain in the first place.  This procedure will be performed by a cardiologist and vascular surgeon, who will insert a catheter through a wire into the narrow blood vessels via a very small incision in the leg, arm or wrist through a small catheter, followed by a balloon, which will be inflated to expand the vessel to clear any plaque inside the vessel.  Lastly, the balloon will be deflated, withdrawn and will, depending on the case, take up to three hours to perform.  This procedure will require no anesthesia, but you will be sedated

To determine which procedure will work best for your situation, your cardiologist will look at your current blood flow, your medical history, if you have experienced a heart attack and/or your chest pain frequencies.  Generally, this procedure won’t be recommended for those who have a severe blockage, a weak heart, multiple diseased blood vessels and/or if you currently have diabetes.

The average patient will stay at the hospital for one day, and most can resume normal activities within a week.

Type of angioplasty procedures

Balloon

During this procedure, a balloon-tipped-like catheter will be used to push the plaque against the arterial wall, allowing the blood to flow into the artery.

Stent

A stent, which is a small wire metal-like mesh tube, will be inserted into the blocked artery, with the help of the balloon catheter to create a smooth blood flow within the vessel.  Depending on your medical condition, a stent may be used to reduce the risk of blockage in the future.

Cutting balloon

This special catheter, unlike the balloon angioplasty mentioned prior, will have a special tip with about three to five blades.  When inserted into the artery, the blades will be activated, cutting away the plaque against the artery wall.

What are the extra costs?

Before your scheduled surgery, you can expect a medical history and physical exam.  During this time, your doctor will perform a coronary angiogram to see your blockages and if it can be treated with this procedure.  With this procedure, a liquid-like dye will be injected into your arteries through a catheter, either through your arm, wrist or groin.  As the dye fills the arteries, it will become visible on an x-ray or video, showing your doctor where the arteries may be blocked.  If a blockage is found, then they may perform the procedure while you’re being catheterized.

If a stent is required, medication may be prescribed for up to a year to prevent future blood clots from happening.

How can I save money?

The best way to save money for medical procedures is to make sure you involve your insurance provider.  If you do not have any sort of insurance provider, consider using services such as ehealthinsurance.com to help you find a policy in your area.

Many hospitals do offer large discounts to those who pay up front.  Talk with the hospital’s finance department to see if you can qualify for this sort of discount.


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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. thomas (longview,  Texas) paid $ and said:

    177,770.80

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. Larry M Anderson (Sun City,  Arizona) paid $0 and said:

    Medicare and TriCare for life covered entire cost.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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