Many of our patients are curious about the cost for gastric sleeve surgery. At our surgical weight loss center, we accept many insurance plans and also offer a financing option for patients. Contact us today to learn more about your financing options, and how gastric sleeve surgery can be a wise financial and health decision.
Types of Gastric Sleeve Surgery and How They Affect Its Cost
Gastric sleeve surgery can be performed in one of two ways. The most common method is laparoscopic surgery. In this technique, the surgeon makes several small incisions into the abdomen in order to access the stomach and small intestine. The small incisions heal more quickly and cause a minimal amount of scarring. A patient who is able to have this type of surgery will most likely be out of the hospital about five days after the surgery is finished.
The other technique is a traditional surgery that involves making one large longitudinal section through the abdomen. Doctors may use this technique if a person has had a past stomach surgery, has a large amount of scar tissue, or has other complications that make it difficult for the laparoscopic technique to work. Patients who have a traditional surgery will usually be hospitalized for approximately seven days after the procedure. This is because of the large incision. Each day in the hospital adds to the cost of a gastric sleeve procedure, which is why the laparoscopic technique is less expensive than the traditional technique. The invasive technique is becoming less and less common with the help of medical advances in technology.
Typical Insurance Coverage for Gastric Sleeve Surgery
If you have private health insurance, gastric sleeve surgery may be covered. Your insurance policy may require that you pay a coinsurance on surgical procedures and hospital stays. You might also have a deductible that needs to be met. The out-of-pocket expenses related to gastric sleeve surgery will vary based upon your insurance policy. You may need to get pre-authorization in order for the surgery to be covered. In most cases, your doctor’s office will do this on your behalf. If you have had a weight loss surgery in the past, your insurance might not cover a second surgery.
Your doctor may need to send in documentation referencing many facts such as your weight, body mass index, and any other conditions that you have, such as diabetes, arthritis or hypertension. This documentation can help to establish a medical necessity for your procedure.
You will also need to make sure that the physician and facility are within your insurance’s network of providers. Some insurance companies will not provide coverage for any procedure performed at an out-of-network facility or by an out-of-network doctor. It is in your best interest to double check and make sure that your procedure will be covered. If you have a public health insurance program such as Medicare or Medicaid, you will need to find out if your policy provides coverage for gastric sleeve surgery. Some supplemental Medicare insurance policies may provide additional coverage for weight loss surgery if your main policy does not. Under Medicare coverage, you must be able to prove that you have tried other weight loss methods without success, that your BMI is greater than 35, and that you have a co-morbid condition such as diabetes. When considering your out-of-pocket costs, keep in mind that you will have pre-surgical expenses such as office visits and lab tests. You may also need nutritional counseling and ongoing medical follow-up visits with your physician.
Talk to your doctor about the cost for gastric sleeve that is specific to your situation and health care needs.
Care Credit for Gastric Sleeve Procedures
If your health insurance does not cover a gastric sleeve procedure, you may still be able to have this procedure performed. Care Credit is a type of financing that you can apply for and use to pay for medical treatments that are not covered by health insurance. With Care Credit, your monthly payments are based on your income. Care Credit allows you to have all of your pre-surgical care, the surgery, and your post-surgical follow-up, even if you do not have the cash to pay for it up front.
Payment Options for Gastric Sleeve Surgery
Health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts may also help you to pay for a gastric sleeve procedure. Even with these options, you may be able to work out a payment schedule with a private loan. A private loan may involve a deposit, but you would establish a payment schedule and interest rate and then pay the remainder of your expenses as stated in your agreement. If you think you will need to apply for a private loan, do plenty of research beforehand so that you can have everything set up before your surgery is to take place, and shop around for the best interest rate.
Why Getting the Gastric Sleeve Procedure Is Worth the Cost
No matter whether you have insurance coverage, apply for Care Credit, or you do a self-pay for your gastric sleeve surgery, the procedure is well worth the cost. Morbid obesity can lead to expensive chronic conditions such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. These conditions can lead to a poor quality of life. Severe obesity also increases your risk of premature death. By having a gastric sleeve procedure, you may be able to better manage diseases such as diabetes. Once you reach a healthy body weight, your quality of life should improve. The weight loss that results from a gastric sleeve procedure may relieve problems such as arthritis, joint pain, and chronic sleep apnea.
Overall, the cost for gastric sleeve surgery is small compared to the life change that can occur if your surgery is successful and your diet plan is closely followed afterward. To learn more about your cost and to discuss the options for health insurance coverage and payment plans, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.