Bariatric Surgery Cost
Bariatric surgery cost vary widely based on a number of factors: the type of surgery, the physical location of the bariatric surgery, the experience level of the bariatric surgeon, the number of type of pre- and post-surgical procedures performed, and the costs of the associated health professionals (such as psychologists and nutritionists) involved with the bariatric treatment. The widest variation in cost occurs with the location and the experience level of the bariatric surgeon.
The high cost of obesity
Bariatric surgery is not a small expense. But being obese is almost always an even larger expense. Being obese takes a toll financially, physically, and often emotionally.How expensive is obesity?
The latest national estimates of health care spending show that obesity is now equivalent to smoking. Annual costs to treat overweight or obese patients is nearly 100 billion dollars.Can bariatric surgery save me money?
When you consider the money that you spend, and lose, because of obesity, you might decide that a one-time cost for dramatic weight loss will save you money overall. There are also tax benefits that you might be able to take advantage of. See IRS Publication 502 to see if you qualify.
Consider the money that you spend for weight-related illness: doctor visits, medications, over-the-counter medicines, and lab work. Add in the money lost for time off work and the money spent for nonsurgical weight loss attempts that have failed. If you add all these costs over the past 12 months, then multiply by the remainder of your life expectancy, you will probably see a real savings in the financial cost of bariatric surgery. What cannot be measured are the real benefits that you will see in your health and your quality of life.
"Cheaper" isn't always better
A few bariatric surgeries are performed outside of the United States and are less expensive, or appear to be less expensive, than their domestic counterparts. However, these bariatric surgeries, surgeons, facilities or clinics, and related medical components are not regulated by the FDA or the United States legal system, and patients have little or no recourse if something goes wrong.
If you have insurance, you must also consider the fact that most insurance companies do not cover the cost of non-emergency procedures performed outside of the United States. You must also factor in your travel costs and the traveling costs of your support companion, which is recommended. Follow-up visits, which are required and essential to success in bariatric surgery, are also problematic.
Insurance coverage for bariatric surgery
Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid pay for many bariatric surgeries under certain circumstances. See Insurance and Financing for more information.
Other ways to pay for bariatric surgery
If your insurance declines to authorize your bariatric surgery, or if you do not have insurance, you can pay for your bariatric surgery another way:
- Finance through the bariatric surgeon, your bank, or a bariatric financing plan
- Borrow from a 401(k), mutual fund, home equity, or savings plan
- Pay with a credit card or multiple credit cards: many offer low-rate loan plans
Bariatric surgery cost in the US
Review the table below to see an average cost of bariatric surgery in the US. These figures are general, and your cost may vary based on the factors listed above.
|Gastric bypass||$25,000||$18,000 - $35,000|
|LAP-BAND®||$18,000||$12,000 - $25,000|
|REALIZE™ Band||$20,000||$16,000 - $25,000|
|Gastric sleeve||$15,000||$10,000 - $25,000|
|Roux-en-Y gastric bypass||$25,000||$20,000 - $35,000|
|Biliopancreatic diversion bypass (BDP)||$23,000||$20,000 - $25,000|
|Duodenal switch||$20,000||$18,000 - $30,000|
Get more information on bariatric surgery
For more information on bariatric surgery, see the links above left. To find an bariatric surgeon near you, use our bariatric surgeon locator.
Find out if you are a candidate for bariatric surgery.