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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Reproductive Health > Fibroid Treatment

Fibroid Treatment Cost


How Much Does Fibroid Treatment Cost?

 
low costWith Health Insurance: Copay + 10%-50% of Procedure Costaverage costTreatment With Drugs: $240-$6,000 Per Yearhigh costSurgical Treatment: $10,000-$20,000+
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Treatment for fibroids -- common, non-cancerous uterine growths -- can range from watchful waiting to drugs to hysterectomy. Between 20% and 80% of women will develop fibroids, but many do not have symptoms and are never diagnosed or treated. Risks vary depending on the treatment.

Typical costs:

  • Fibroid treatment typically is covered by health insurance when the patient is experiencing pain or other symptoms; some insurance companies only cover invasive treatments, such as fibroid removal or hysterectomy, after conservative management has failed to control symptoms. Certain treatments are considered investigational by some companies. Aetna[1] , for example, considers several treatments experimental. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs might consist of doctor visit copays, prescription drug copays, a hospital copay and coinsurance of 10%-50% for procedures.
  • For patients without health insurance, treatment with drugs typically ranges from $20 a month -- $240 per year -- up to $6,000 total for a six-month course of treatment with a name-brand drug. For example, birth control pills cost about $20-$50 a month -- for a total of $240-$600 per year. An IUD typically costs $175-$600. At Drugstore.com, a one-month supply of the generic synthetic male hormone drug Danazol costs about $200 -- for a total of $1,200 for a typical six-month course of treatment. And a one-month supply of Synarel costs about $1,000 -- for a total of $6,000 for a typical six-month-course of treatment.
  • A less-invasive procedure typically costs $5,000-$15,000 or more. For example, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] in Nebraska charges about $6,000-$10,000, not including doctor fee, for thermal endometrial ablation. And Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children[3] in Hawaii charges about $7,000 for that procedure -- or $4,200 if payment is made within 30 days or $4,900 within 90 days. According to a study[4] published in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, the average total per-patient cost of uterine artery embolization for fibroids was about $11,600.
  • Treatment with surgery -- either removal of the fibroids or the uterus -- typically costs $10,000-$20,000 or more. For example, Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[5] charges about $9,000, not including doctor fee, for removal of between one and four small fibroids up to almost $18,000, not including doctor fee, for removal of five or more large fibroids. A study[6] published in the Journal of Women's Health found that costs for surgical removal of fibroids (myomectomy) and hysterectomy were similar at about $15,000. A hysterectomy typically costs $10,000-$20,000 or more.
Related articles: Hysterectomy, IUD, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • Typically the treatment recommended will depend on the type and severity of symptoms, the number and size of the fibroids, desire to have children in the future and age. Medications or devices commonly prescribed include: birth control pills, a progestin-releasing IUD, medications that reduce estrogen and progesterone levels, such as Lupron[7] and Synarel[8] , or a synthetic male hormone such as Danazol[9] . Less invasive procedures sometimes recommended include uterine artery embolization[10] , in which a doctor injects material to block the arteries that supply blood to the fibroids; endometrial ablation[11] , in which a doctor uses a laser, heat, freezing or other methods to destroy the lining of the uterus; or myolysis, in which a doctor uses a laser, freezing or other methods to destroy fibroids. Surgical procedures can include myomectomy[12] , in which the surgeon removes the fibroids from the uterus, or a hysterectomy in which the surgeon removes the uterus. The Mayo Clinic has an overview of fibroid treatments[13] .
Additional costs:
  • During treatment, periodic pelvic exams and imaging tests, such as pelvic ultrasounds, might be required to check the growth of the fibroids. A routine pelvic exam typically costs $100-$250, and a pelvic ultrasound costs, on average, about $500.
Discounts:
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a locator[14] for clinics that provide discounts on an income-based sliding scale.
  • Some drug manufacturers offer free drugs or discounts for patients in need. For example, Pfizer[15] , which makes the drug Synarel, has discount programs ranging from free drugs for qualifying patients to a discount of 15%-36%.
  • Many hospitals and doctors give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[16] in California offers a 35% discount.
Shopping for fibroid treatment:
  • A patient's regular gynecologist can offer diagnosis and treatment for fibroids. Or, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists offers a doctor finder by state[17] . One fibroid treatment, uterine artery embolization, should be done by an interventional radiologist. The Society of Interventional Radiology offers a doctor finder by state[18] .
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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External Resources:
  1.  www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/300_399/0304.html
  2.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  3.  www.kapiolani.org/women-and-children/my-hospital-bill/uninsured-calculator.aspx
  4.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18589314
  5.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  6.  deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/63391/jwh.2008.0456.pdf?sequence=1
  7.  www.lupron.com/
  8.  www.pfizer.com/products/rx/rx_product_synarel.jsp
  9.  www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000725/
  10.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-artery-embolization/MY00502
  11.  women.webmd.com/endometrial-ablation-16200
  12.  women.webmd.com/uterine-fibroids/myomectomy-17717
  13.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/uterine-fibroids/DS00078/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs
  14.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  15.  www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com/pages/Find/find1.aspx
  16.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  17.  www.acog.org/About_ACOG/Find_an_Ob-Gyn
  18.  doctor-finder.sirweb.org/index.cfm
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