The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Bariatric Surgery Costs

  • Mini Saha
  • September 20, 2023
How Much Does Bariatric Surgery Cost
A recent study shows that more than 2 in 5 adults are either obese or severely obese.

No doubt America is one of the most obese countries in the world, and it costs a ton of money. 

About 42% of people have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above, and another 9.2% have a BMI of 40 and above. Besides the social stigma of being obese, carrying that excess weight is a big concern.

Let’s learn more about obesity and bariatric weight loss surgery costs in this blog so you can take the right step at the right time with options like flexible payment plans.

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How Much Does It Cost to Be Obese?

You may be surprised, but carrying that extra weight on your body also puts extra strain on your wallet. Here’s how:

- More spending on health care - According to the Stop Obesity Alliance, obese patients spend over $4,800 on health care per year than adults weighing normal. These costs include additional doctor’s appointments, medications, and hospitalizations.

- Leave of absence - Obese men take 5.9, and obese women take 9.4 more days away from work than normal-weight adults each year.

- Lower earnings - Obese women earn 6% less and men 3% less than their normal-weight co-workers.

- Higher fuel costs - According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the vehicle’s efficiency drops by up to 2% for every additional 100 pounds placed in a car.

- Higher clothing expenses - Several clothing stores charge more for plus-size clothing for similar styles compared to the ones in regular sizes.

It doesn’t matter how overweight one is. Losing even the slightest amount of weight can improve health significantly.

If an individual with a BMI of 40 loses 5% of the body weight, they can expect to see a reduction in health care costs by $2,137.
In some cases, even a 10% weight improvement has shown a complete resolution of chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Losing 15% of body weight can significantly increase vitamin D levels, which lowers certain types of cancers.

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What Is the Cost of Bariatric Surgery?

Bariatric weight loss surgery costs widely depend on the location, medical needs, and insurance. Although they generally range between $7,500 and over $30,000 before insurance.

Remember that you will likely have copays for both the surgeon and the hospital, and there will be additional services like anesthesia and post-operative care, for which you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Ensure you completely understand all the costs involved before and after surgery—whether the hospital room and specialty foods are a part of the total cost.

Consider the following few points before going in for bariatric surgery:

  • Your insurance plan must approve the surgery.

Even if your insurance covers bariatric surgery, you must meet particular requirements to get approved. These include getting screening tests to check your overall health and motivation for lifestyle changes.

  • Insurance may not cover all required services.

These services include psychological screenings, meaning you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

  • Whether you have no insurance or get disapproved, you still have options.

Credee weight loss surgery payment plans can help you undergo the procedure whenever you want without feeling financially burdened. Look for a practice working with Credee to leverage these flexible payment plans. Since there are no credit checks for bad credit scores,  you don't have to fear rejection.

What Happens During Bariatric Surgery?

More than 250,000 bariatric procedures take place per year in the U.S.

When diet, exercise, and weight-loss pills don’t work, it may be time to consider bariatric surgery. Also, the more complex the surgery, the more it will cost.

According to Dr. Dana Telem, Chief of General Surgery at Michigan Medicine at Ann Arbor, bariatric surgery is highly effective but underutilized for obese people suffering multiple health conditions.

The surgery works by changing the structure or position of the stomach and small intestines. It affects the feeling of hunger and how quickly you burn calories. 

Several studies show the procedure results in better weight loss and Type 2 diabetes outcomes than non-surgical interventions. There are more benefits if one gets the surgery early and more significant survival advantages.

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Here are the criteria for the procedure according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS):

- Adults with a BMI ≥35, irrespective of other accompanying conditions

- Adults with Type 2 diabetes and a BMI ≥30

- Adults with a BMI between 30 and 34.9 who have not achieved long-term weight loss or positive changes with non-surgical options

You can check out the detailed guidelines by ASMBS by clicking this link.

Types of Bariatric Surgeries:

Some procedures change how your body absorbs nutrients, while some limit how much you can eat by reducing space in the stomach.

1. The lap band: The surgeon inserts an inflatable band around the stomach to create a small pouch, which is adjustable. It may need adjustments at least six times a year.

2. Sleeve gastrectomy: It is one of the several standard procedures. However, it can lead to higher weight regain. The surgeon removes a part of the stomach to about one-fifth of the original size. It affects the quantity of food intake and nutritional absorption.

3. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass: It is one of the most popular surgeries in the country. Why? Because it’s most effective in reducing potential cardiac problems such as heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. The surgeon creates a small pouch in the upper section of the stomach, reducing food intake, and divides small intestines into two small parts. The upper part is attached to the smaller stomach pouch to limit calorie absorption. The upper part of the small intestine is reconnected to a new location for complete digestion of the food.

4. One anastomosis gastric bypass (OAGB): The surgeon creates a long pouch by stapling the stomach, and only a small portion of the stomach is left to receive food. The surgeon reroutes a big portion of the small intestine. The procedure is also known as mini bypass because it’s less severe.

5. Duodenal switch: Even though it is similar to gastric sleeve or bypass surgery, a second procedure divides the small intestine into two tracks, and food bypasses most of the intestines. It reduces the absorption of calories and nutrients. It is the least performed procedure as it has the highest rate of complications.

Final Words:

There are several good surgeons in the country, but who will be the best for you depends on your case and financial situation. Nevertheless, don’t forget to do a background check on the surgeon. Read reviews of ex-patients and their experiences so you know you are making the right decision.

As mentioned, look for a practice working with Credee to take advantage of payment flexibility. With a 97% approval rate, it is one of your best options to pay for bariatric surgery without complicating your budget.

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