Nissen Fundoplication Surgery Cost

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

Surgery performed for GERD is commonly referred to as “anti-reflux surgery” and will often involve a procedure known as fundoplication, a surgical procedure which will reinforce the lower esophageal sphincter by wrapping a portion of your stomach around the bottom of the esophagus, according to the Tampa Bay Reflux Center.

The most popular type of fundoplication, the Lap Nissen procedure, will allow surgeons the opportunity to recreate the sphincter, creating a longer, tighter sphincter by taking a portion of your stomach and wrapping it around your existing sphincter, allowing for a full 360-degree wrap around the stomach, essentially reinforcing your sphincter, not allowing any food to come back up.

Known as the oldest and most well-known procedure of all GERD treatments out there, it’s considered to be a good option for those who do suffer from server GERD.

Nissen Fundoplication Surgery Cost
DSC06003” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Andy G

How much does the Lap Nissen fundoplication cost?

The cost of Lap Nissen fundoplication will greatly depend on a few factors, including the surgeon you choose, the type of surgery, the geographical region and your health insurance policy.  Based on these factors and from the quotes we found online, it appeared that most patients paid an average of $11,500 for the laparoscopic procedure to as much as $20,000 to $30,000 for an open surgical procedure without any health insurance coverage.

Do keep in mind, however, that additional fees may attribute to the total such as facility fees, surgeon fees, anesthesia fees and more, all depending on the facility’s billing policy.  In some cases, an extended stay at a hospital could increase these prices by more than 40%+

While this procedure is commonly covered by most private health insurance providers, including Medicaid, there could be some cases, depending on your health insurance policy where you may be denied.  To be certain your policy covers the procedure, it’s highly recommended you talk with both your doctor’s office and health insurance company to know your restrictions and what you will be responsible for.

According to this medical study, for example, they found the open surgical group had an average 6.1-day hospital stay, in comparison to the laparoscopy group, which only had a 1.5-day hospital stay average.  The total hospital group costs, $8,616 for the open surgery versus $4,331 for the laparoscopy procedure, was based on 232 who underwent this exact procedure.

One member on this forum thread noted he was quoted $20,000 for the procedure, while other members, on this same thread, stated their insurance company covered it and they were only responsible for their co-pay.  Via another forum thread, a member said she was billed $32,000 at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona.

The estimated average, as per, is said to be $25,453, but the providers who posted their quotes ranged anywhere from $8,772 to $14,935.

The procedure

During the surgical procedure, your surgeon will completely wrap the upper portion of your stomach around the bottom part of your lower esophagus, stitching it into place to create a strong barrier, which is designed to prevent any stomach acid from entering back into the esophagus.

Depending on your doctor’s preferences, there are two common surgical options:  either via open surgery, which is done through a long incision created in the abdomen, or, via laparoscopic surgery, the most common approach used today, which will create three to four smaller incisions in the abdomen.

Nissen fundoplication recovery process

Most patients, after the surgery completes, can immediately stop taking their heartburn medications, rather than being weaned off, when in comparison to other procedures.

After the surgery completes, you will often be asked to stay at the hospital for up to 24 hours to be observed.

Two weeks following the surgery, you will be restricted to a liquid diet, followed by a semi-liquid diet during weeks three and four.  By week eight, most patients are able to resume normal eating habits and return to normal activities.

The pros of Lap Nissen fundoplication

According to the Tampa Bay Reflux Center, the company we cited earlier, they mention this is one of the most widely studied procedures, with over 60 years of data.

Up to 95 percent of patients with heartburn are able to get rid of their daily heartburn medicine after the surgery is performed.  Unlike other procedures where patients have to wean off their medications, patients can simply stop the medication post-surgery.

Aside from heartburn, the procedure is known to help treat other symptoms.

The cons of Lap Nissen fundoplication

Of all GERD surgeries, the Lap Nissen fundoplication, unfortunately, is one of the most invasive surgeries.  Commonly performed laparoscopically, scarring is minimal.

Post-operation, bloating, as well as other side effects, can last for months, with some patients reporting symptoms lasting more than eight weeks.

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