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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Appendectomy

Appendectomy Cost


How Much Does an Appendectomy Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copay + 10%-50% of Procedure Costhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $10,000-$35,000+
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An appendectomy is an operation to remove the appendix, a small organ connected to the intestine, usually when it becomes infected, swollen and painful. Risks of appendectomy can include reaction to anesthesia, bleeding and infection.

Typical costs:

  • An appendectomy would be covered by health insurance. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a doctor copay, possibly an emergency room copay, prescription drug copays, a hospital copay of $100 or more, and coinsurance of 10% to 50% for the procedure, which could reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, an appendectomy typically costs about $10,000-$35,000 or more, depending on the provider, whether the operation is open or laparoscopic, and whether there are complications. For example, at Wright Medical Center[1] in Iowa, an uncomplicated open appendectomy costs about $7,900, including a doctor fee of about $1,600, while a laparoscopic appendectomy costs just under $12,000, including a doctor fee of about $1,600. At Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] in Nebraska, an open appendectomy or laparoscopic appendectomy, when there is no abscess, typically costs $9,200-$19,500, not including the doctor fees, which can add several thousand dollars to the final bill. When abscess is present, the costs can range from $15,500 to $30,700 or more. An American College of Surgeons study[3] showed that laparoscopic appendectomy costs about 9%more than conventional surgery for patients with complicated appendicitis with abscess and 22%more for patients with uncomplicated appendicitis without abscess.
  • On eHealthForum.com[4] , patients discuss their appendectomy costs.
Related articles: Anesthesia, Emergency Room Visit, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Because there is no definitive test for appendicitis[5] , the doctor will evaluate symptoms and possibly test white blood cell count to look for infection and/or order an ultrasound or CT scan to make a diagnosis. Appendicitis usually requires emergency surgery because an infected appendix can burst and cause a life-threatening infection of the abdomen.
  • In open surgery, the patient will be placed under general anesthesia, and the surgeon will make a small incision on the right side of the abdomen, remove the appendix and close the incision. In laparoscopic surgery, the surgeon will make a much smaller incision and use surgical tools and a camera, inserted through the incision, to remove the appendix. In some cases, the surgeon will discover during surgery that there is no infection in the appendix; the surgeon might remove the appendix anyway as a preventive measure.
  • If the appendix has burst, the surgeon might need to insert a drainage tube in the abdomen to remove the pus; after a few weeks of drainage, the surgeon can then perform the appendectomy.
  • A hospital stay of one to three days typically is required, and full recovery can take up to six weeks.
  • The National Institutes of Health offers an overview[6] of the appendectomy procedure.
Additional costs:
  • For diagnosis, an ultrasound or CT scan of the abdomen can add up to $1,000 or more to the final bill.
  • The doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics, which can cost up to $150 or more, depending on the regimen.
Discounts:
  • Many doctors and hospitals give discounts of up to 40% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[7] in California offers a 35% discount.
  • In some cases, where the appendix has not ruptured, it might be possible to manage appendicitis solely with antibiotics. MedicineNet.com has information on non-surgical appendicitis treatment[8] .
Shopping for an appendectomy:
  • Anyone who has symptoms that could indicate appendicitis -- such as pain, especially in the right lower abdomen, abdominal swelling, fever, nausea, vomiting or constipation -- should get to a doctor or emergency room as quickly as possible.
  • A family physician or emergency room doctor can make a referral to a surgeon. Or, the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery offers a locator[9] for board-certified colon and rectal surgeons by city and state.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Uncomplicated laparoscopic appy
Amount: $26,500.00
Posted by: Retired RN in Kalispell, MT.Posted: August 27th, 2013 12:08PM
Medical Center: Kalispell Regional Medical CenterPhysician:
~$2500 paid for two pathology reports/surgeon/labs, etc. The hospital bill was for the OR and 1 night in the hospital...pure, unadulterated greed. The country cannot last long when theft like this is done openly.
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Uncomplicated
Amount: $38.35
Posted by: so why do I have insurance? in Lakeport, CA.Posted: December 16th, 2012 08:12PM
Medical Center: Sutter Lakeside, Lakeport, CAPhysician: Dr. Keith Donald
Appendectomy with no complications for 10yo boy. Hospital stay from Fri (2pm-midnight er) Sat 3am-Sun 1pm med surg unit. My portion almost $10k!
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External Resources:
  1.  www.iowaspecialtyhospital.com/index.php?option=com_costestimator&Itemid=189
  2.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  3.  www.facs.org/news/jacs/treatingappendicitis0209.html
  4.  ehealthforum.com/health/topic8529.html
  5.  digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/appendicitis/
  6.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002921.htm
  7.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  8.  www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=86652
  9.  www.abcrs.org/cgi-bin/search.pl
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