Gastric Bypass Surgery – What are the Costs and Risks Involved?

By Bart Icles

Gastric bypass surgery is a complicated surgical procedure that requires the services of a highly qualified surgical team, starting with a certified Bariatric surgeon, surgical assistants, an anesthesiologist, a psychologist, and a nutritionist. After a successful surgery, gastric bypass patients are required to stay at the hospital for at least 2 to 3 days for observation for any complications that may arise. This is followed by some weeks of recovery while having constant consultations with the surgical team. The average cost of this surgery falls on average around $10,000, give or take a few hundred more or so barring any major complications. The cost may double if serious complications happen.

Like other major operations, gastric bypass surgery has its fair share of risks together with its intended benefits. Most patients will have a relatively easy time with the procedure without any major setbacks, but a substantial number may have to contend with complication’s ranging from mild cases of diarrhea, to an untimely death.

Despite this glaring reality, the surgical procedure is gaining a steady rise among the morbidly obese individuals who turn to it for the correction of varied health problems. The good news is that because demand for this type of surgery has risen dramatically, its cost has actually seen a significant drop.

Majority of individuals who availed of this weight reduction operation were in the age bracket between 55 and 64 or about 85% of the total surgeries involved, and saw the female population (about 82% total) outnumbering the men.

Individuals who do not have the health insurance to help cover for the expenses for gastric bypass surgery, or is not covered in their insurance policies will have to primarily carry the financial burden for all its costs. This is termed as being a self-paying patient. Some major hospitals offer staggered payment schemes for some services related to gastric bypass surgery, which may make it a little easier for patients to allocate a large part of one’s finances to the operation proper. Another option would be to get a loan from a private financier. This may be categorized as that of being a personal loan that is subject to finance charges or interest rates and fees, but with a higher premium. The attending physician may be able to help patients with this concern by providing them with all the details about all known costs.

Whatever avenues one chooses to pursue regarding the payment scheme, it is important to know what all the anticipated costs will be, and in what frequency and duration it may take to fulfill, so plan carefully and wisely before doing it.

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