In today’s world, obesity is the next man-made epidemic that needs immediate attention of the global health authorities. The urgency of the situation can be understood from the fact that there are more obese adults in the us than overweight adults. Thus to cover all the avenues we present to you a weight loss surgery cost guide which will provide all the in-depth details of undergoing a weight loss surgery abroad.
Extreme obesity, also known as morbid obesity, puts an individual at an increased risk of a number of health conditions. This includes hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease (CHD), and other fatal events such as stroke and heart attack.
Incorporating permanent changes in the overall lifestyle becomes the need of the hour in such cases. Diet management, physical exercise, and healthy lifestyle changes are needed to shed weight. However, this approach rarely tends to work for people who are morbidly obese.
For people who are extremely obese, weight loss surgery is a convenient and a promising option to shed extra weight. However, it is not just a surgery. The patient is required to make a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. In the absence of such commitment, it is hard to witness the desired results.
The failure to adapt to the changed lifestyle has a direct impact on the total cost that the patient may have to incur later. This includes the out-of-pocket expenses that the patients pay to manage obesity-related comorbidities.
In this weight loss surgery cost guide, we have compiled the costs of the three most common bariatric procedures – sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, and gastric band. Additionally, it examines some of the factors that control the overall costs, the out-of-pocket expenses, and the ways to make bariatric surgery more economical. Lastly, we list some of the best and globally renowned hospitals in the most popular medical tourism destinations that conduct weight loss surgery.
Types of Weight Loss Surgeries: Know The Difference
There are three major types of weight loss surgery that obese individuals can choose from. However, the eligibility criteria for each of these types of surgeries differ. For example, people with body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 are a suitable candidate for sleeve gastrectomy procedure and not gastric banding.
Cost of Bariatric Surgery Around the World
Even though the ultimate objective of each type of weight loss surgery is the same, the approach to achieve the desired results is different. Because of the difference in approach, the cost of bariatric surgery is different. Additionally, each type of weight loss surgery requires different expertise, levels of skills, and investment with respect to time. All these reasons also contribute to the cost of each surgery.
It can be seen that the cost of a particular type of weight loss surgery varies from one country to the other. Sleeve gastrectomy cost in India is just $4000 but the same procedure can cost as high as $20000 in the US. The cost of a particular medical procedure depends quite a bit on the laws that govern the healthcare facilities.
Factors That Control The Cost of Bariatric Surgery
The following are some of the factors that control the cost of bariatric surgery in a particular country:
- The fees of the surgeon, anesthesiologist, and the supporting staff
- Anesthesia fees
- Cost of consumables and other medications
- Room charges, operation theater (OT charges), and intensive care unit (ICU) charges
- Pre-surgery lab tests and X-ray charges
- Quality of gastric band used (if applicable)
- The choice of country and hospital
Costs Additional To Bariatric Surgery Package
There are some other costs that are not included in the initial fee for weight loss procedure. These may include expenses associated with:
- Vitamins and minerals: Patients may require vitamins and minerals after the surgery on a daily basis. This is especially true in the case of gastric sleeve and gastric bypass because it may lead to malabsoption of nutrients. As a result, the individual may face severe nutritional deficiency. Daly vitamin and mineral supplement helps prevent this deficiency.
- Exercise and diet counseling: Exercising and diet management is essential after weight loss surgery. Only an individual who maintains good dietary habits and maintains a minimum level of exercise is able to see the desired weight loss results after the surgery. Bariatric surgery is not a miracle that produced results overnight. It takes a lot of efforts to achieve the desired body type and body weight.
- Second surgery in case of “staged surgery:” Sometimes the weight loss procedure is staged, that is, it is conducted in stages. Secondary bariatric surgery procedures may cost extra.
- Body contouring and cosmetic procedures: Massive weight loss after the bariatric procedure may lead to loose folds of skin. Such individuals may require or desire to undergo a cosmetic procedure to lift the sagging body areas. Such procedures may include tummy tuck, breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation. The greater the expectations out of the procedure, the higher is the time required and the cost of the procedure.
- Follow-up cost: The candidate must visit the doctor for follow-up after the surgery. Such appointments with the doctor cost extra.
Cost of Weight Loss Surgery versus Cost of Staying Obese
Gastric sleeve cost, gastric band cost, and gastric bypass cost may seem huge at the time of consideration. Even obese individuals may once think of avoiding the surgery to save the surgery and out-of-pocket expenses. However, an individual may end up paying much more than the cost of the bariatric procedure for the management of comorbidities associated with obesity.
According to researchers, an individual may save as much as $3000 and more by choosing to undergo weight loss procedure to manage their weight. For some individuals, management of condition such as diabetes, sleep apnea, and hypertension accounts for a greater cost than $3000. Additionally, it has been observed that some procedures can let patients save at least $11000 per year after two years of the surgery.
Obese individuals invest their time and money in availing services that help manage such conditions. This may include purchasing medications, opting for a gym membership, and paying for OPD consultation with a specialist or a dietician. The total expenses per year for such regimen turns out to be greater than the cost of weight loss procedure in a maximum number of cases. Additionally, there is an added disadvantage of reduced mobility and diminished quality of life.
Thus, in most of the cases, weight loss surgery turns out to be a one-time investment. Undergoing the right procedure can drastically improve the quality of life while ensuring an improvement in conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
Is Weight Loss Surgery Covered By Insurance?
There was a time when bariatric surgery was not that popular and was never covered by insurance. However, today, insurance companies are starting to cover weight loss surgery more than ever.
Typically, insurance policies do not cover any experimental procedures such as duodenal switches and mini gastric bypass. However, a majority of major insurance companies have now started to cover laparoscopic gastric bands, laparoscopic gastric bypass, and gastric sleeves. However, that does not mean that your insurance policy includes coverage for bariatric surgery.
The coverage rules depend on the type and age of your policy. It does not depend on the insurance company. You must check this with your insurance carrier directly by letting them known your member identification number or policy number. If your policy states that weight loss surgery is included, insurance is typically the best way to go as compared to cash payment.