Cost of Lap Band Surgery

Lap-Band Surgery CostDeciding to have lap band surgery is not only a significant health consideration, but a substantial financial consideration as well. As this is such a big decision, it is necessary for individuals who are pursuing lap band surgery to plan for the financial aspect of the procedure and learn more about the various factors which affect the overall cost of the procedure.

While it is usual for individuals to want to know how much lap band surgery costs, it is important to be aware that there is not an exact amount or just one right price to pay. Rather, an individual's personal health situation and various contributing cost factors must be taken into account when determining the total amount paid.

The primary factors affecting the cost of lap band surgery, including geographical location, choice of surgeon, hospital or clinic fees, anesthesia fees, in-patient or out-patient care, level of care before and after surgery, and an individual's overall health.

On average, individuals can expect to pay from $15,000 to $25,000 for the cost of lap band surgery in the United States. This price range covers the approximate total of the operation to implant the lap band, as well as pre-surgery testing, after-surgery care, and related expenses.

Cost of Pre-Surgery Testing for Lap Band Surgery

The pre-surgery tests are used to determine a person’s overall health and to establish a medical necessity for lap band surgery. Some of the more common pre-op lab tests are blood tests, electrocardiograph (EKG), chest X-rays, and screening for sleep apnea. A psychological evaluation is also a common requirement, especially if seeking coverage from an insurance company, to make sure a patient is mentally ready for the procedure.

If billed separately, lap band surgery pre-op tests total about $1000, but they are often included as part of a package price with hospitals or lap band providers. When comparing costs between lap band providers, factor in what pre-op tests are included in the package price and what expenses are billed separately.

Lap Band Surgery Cost

After-Surgery Care for Banding Patients

The success of lap band surgery is greatly determined by the support and level of aftercare that a lap band patient receives after surgery. Successful aftercare includes an exercise program, diet and nutritional counseling, behavioral therapy, support groups, follow-up exams, and lap band fill appointments. The importance of aftercare cannot be emphasized enough and it should not be considered an optional expense. Although the lap band procedure is one of the most effective tools available to help an obese person lose weight, any type of weight loss surgery will not automatically make the pounds come off. Many lap band surgeons will include after-surgery care and exams into their lap band package price, while others will not. When comparing lap band providers, find out what type and amount of aftercare support is included.

Cost of Follow-Up Exams and Lap-Band Fills

When comparing the overall cost of lap band surgery between providers, it is important to consider the cost of follow-up exams and lap band adjustments, and to determine what expenses are included or not included in the quoted price.

Many lap band providers include one year of follow-up exams and lap band fills in their package price for lap band patients. During the exams, the doctor will check a patient’s health, monitor weight loss, answer questions, and perform an adjustment (lap band fill) if needed. A lap band patient should expect to see his or her surgeon at least three to four times for follow-up appointments during the first year. After the first one to two years after surgery, annual check-ups are all that are usually necessary.

Although the first year of fills are often included for patients, subsequent fills or fills for patients who have opted to pay for surgery and fills separately, cost about $100 to $300 each. The cost for a lap band fill is usually higher for patients who have had their surgery elsewhere, if the doctor accepts them as a new patient (some doctors will not see patients who have had their surgery elsewhere).

Choosing a Lap Band Surgeon: Cost vs. Experience

The choice of surgeon will affect the cost of lap band surgery, but it can also affect the outcome. A skilled and experienced bariatric surgeon will most likely cost more than a less experienced surgeon, but they also have less surgical complications. A bariatric surgeon with a wide range of surgical experience is also better prepared to handle any unusual situations that might occur on the operating table. When considering cost and comparing bariatric surgeons, take into account their experience and prior patient results when making your decision.

Cost of Lap Band Surgery in Mexico

Another alternative that has worked for many people in the United States has been to travel to another country for low-cost lap band surgery providers. One of the most popular destinations is Mexico where the cost is about $8,000 to $10,000. While the surgery related costs are less, it is important to consider other factors such as the cost of pre-op lab tests, travel time, travel expenses, the cost of follow-up care and fill appointments.