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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Gallbladder Surgery

Gallbladder Surgery Cost


How Much Does Gallbladder Surgery Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copay + 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $10,000-$20,000
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The gallbladder is an organ that stores bile, which helps to digest fats. Surgery to remove the gallbladder, also known as cholecystectomy, typically is done for gallstones or gallbladder function problems that cause symptoms such as pain, nausea or infection. Risks of gallbladder surgery can include reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, injury to other organs, and pancreatitis.

Typical costs:

  • Gallbladder surgery typically is covered by health insurance. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of a specialist copay, possibly 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 without health insurance, gallbladder surgery typically costs $10,000-$20,000. For example, at Wright Medical Center[1] in Iowa, open gallbladder surgery costs about $9,700, including a doctor fee of about $2,500, while laparoscopic gallbladder surgery costs about $12,600, including a doctor fee of about $3,200. At Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] in Nebraska, laparoscopic gallbladder removal, not including doctor fees, typically costs about $8,500-$14,000, or about $10,500-$16,400 if a special X-ray called a cholangiogram is done during surgery. Doctor fees can add several thousand dollars to the final bill. At Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center[3] , in New Hampshire, gallbladder surgery costs about $15,700, including the doctor fee, after an uninsured discount. According to HealthCareBlueBook.com[4] , a typical fee is about $16,500 including hospital charges and doctor fees.
Related articles: Anesthesia, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • The patient is placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen -- or, in laparoscopic surgery, several tiny incisions -- then severs the bile duct and some blood vessels, and removes the gallbladder. In some cases, an X-ray called a cholangiogram will be done to look for blockage or gallstones in the bile duct. Surgery takes about an hour and a half.
  • Many patients go home from the hospital on the day of surgery, but some require a short stay, usually one day. A few days off work usually are required, and the patient can resume normal activities in four to six weeks.
  • The National Institutes of Health offers overviews of open[5] and the more common laparoscopic[6] gallbladder-removal procedures.
Additional costs:
  • Some patients develop diarrhea[7] after gallbladder surgery, and the doctor might recommend an anti-diarrhea medication, which typically costs less than $20 per bottle.
Discounts:
  • Many doctors and hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[8] in California offers a 35% discount.
Shopping for gallbladder surgery:
  • A gastroenterologist typically will diagnose gallbladder problems and recommend surgery. A family doctor can provide a referral, or The American College of Gastroenterology offers a physician locator[9] . Make sure the gastroenterologist is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine[10] .
  • For surgery, the gastroenterologist typically will refer the patient to a general surgeon. It is important to make sure the surgeon is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery[11] and has experience performing gallbladder surgery.
  • Of course, it is crucial to consult with a doctor about the decision to have surgery. Also, WebMD offers a decision-making tool[12] on whether to have gallbladder-removal surgery for gallstone attacks.
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
Gall Bladder Surgery
Amount: $65,272.58
Posted by: Ronald Gorman in Florence, SC.Posted: December 5th, 2013 12:12PM
Medical Center: Carolinas HospitalType of Surgery: Gall Bladder lapo
Physician: Dr Lee
That ($65,272.58) was the total amount billed after discounts. Before discounts it was over $98K. Wife's surgery with no insurance because couldn't afford outrageous premiums due to preexisting condition. Hospital would negotiate no further. Sent it to collection company in less than 75 days in spite of two payments being paid. My son refers to it as "criminal" activity.
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ER Gallbladder Surgery
Amount: $27,461.00
Posted by: a user in San Antonio, TX.Posted: November 23rd, 2013 09:11PM
I had the worse experience in this hospital. The first day I got there, they took me in quickly because the abdominal pain I had was serious. It took them about 5 days to finally get me the surgery I needed to get done. My parents are broke, my dad is getting paid by social security. None of my family members make that much money. I have absolutely no idea how we'll be able to pay it off.
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ER Gallbladder no Surgery
Amount: $5,000.00
Posted by: mary8811 in Temecula, CA.Posted: June 22nd, 2013 08:06PM
Medical Center: Rancho Springs Medica CenterType of Surgery: none yet
Physician: N/A
I went in because I had pains and they didn't do anything but diagnose me with gallstones... and they sent me off. typical x ray and blood work. They gave me some strong pain medication that did the job three hours later. a week went by and they sent me bills of 500, 1000, 129, 3000... and more are still coming. Thank god for Emergency medical... I rather pay a couple of hundred dollar bills than thousands....I am still waiting on my appointment with the surgeon which can take up to 6 months... >:@
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douglas rogers
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: douglas rogers in north kansas city, MO.Posted: October 26th, 2012 10:10AM
Medical Center: nkc hospitalType of Surgery: laproscopic cholecyestomy
Physician: gengler
Stayed 2 extra days because of elevated liver lipids. Went to local clinic with protracted flulike symptoms, then to closest emergency room where diagnosed iflamed gall bladder. One week of acetaminophen-hydrocodone, amoxicillin-clavulanate. Asssisted walking in 1 day. Abdominal soreness, diarheia, low food tolerance for 1-2 weeks. Bathroom 2x/nite.
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daughters gall bladder surgery
Amount: $33,000.00
Posted by: Seriously shocked in Missouri in Springfield, MO.Posted: March 26th, 2012 12:03PM
Medical Center: Mercy Hospital-Springfield, MOType of Surgery: gall bladder
Totally shocked when I opened my daughters bills for her ER visit and outpatient hospital bill for her gallbladder surgery from a month and a half ago - totalling approximately $33000 for outpatient! She wasn't even admitted! If I didn't know it before, I do now......I am definately in the wrong field. Talk about highway robbery! OMG
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Gallbladder surgery a month ago (Feb. 2012)
Amount: $58,111.02
Posted by: Belin in Bullhead City, AZ.Posted: March 5th, 2012 09:03AM
Medical Center: Western Arizona Regional Medical CenterType of Surgery: Gallbladder
My wife had gallbladder surgery a month ago. Our bill came to $ 54,744.02. They discounted $ 13,561.02. She went into the ER at 23:00 on Sunday, had surgery at 16:00 hours on Monday, and discharged at 14:00 Tuesday. No complications, no diet, no restrictions, etc... And wait it is not over yet. In the following weeks we received additional bills. The first for $1235.00, the second for $808.00, the third for 794.00, the fourth for $310,the fifth bill for $220.00. A total of $58,111.02 (-13,561.02. My wife said that there is another bill of $2000 floating around but I can't find it. I am not going to include it for now). I retired last August. We both have no insurance because it cost too much for the both of us. I am not on Medicare yet. No criminal record. Excellent credit, always paid bills and now I don't know what will happen. I have a small retirement and social security. I wonder if I can get a bail out from my Uncle Sam that I served him so faithfully in the past. When I researched how much would have cost the surgery that figures given was between $6000-17000. It did not look too bad. But when I opened the mail and saw the total I thought I was going to have a cardiac arrest. Good thing I didn't or it would have probably cost me at least $250,000.02. Thank you for letting me share this info with you.
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gallbladder surgery at discounted price
Amount: $3,450.00
Posted by: 201147 in bakersfield, CA.Posted: July 20th, 2011 01:07PM
Medical Center: San Joaquin HospitalType of Surgery: Gallbladder
I got my gallbladder surgery a month ago. It cost me only 3,470.00 us dls. including everythin, surgeon, assistant, anesthesia, pathology and hospital of course. No more bills. Just that 3,470 dls. I didn't have medical insurance and I went through Cirugia Sin Fronteras wich means Surgery without borders in english. This program is in Bakersfield, CA.
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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.  patients.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/billing_questions/out_of_pocket_estimator_dhmc.html#St...
  4.  www.healthcarebluebook.com/page_Results.aspx?id=75&dataset=MD
  5.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002930.htm
  6.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007371.htm
  7.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/gallbladder-removal/AN00067
  8.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  9.  patients.gi.org/find-a-gastroenterologist/
  10.  www.abim.org/online/contact.aspx
  11.  home.absurgery.org/app.jsp?type=vc&id=27
  12.  www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/should-i-have-surgery-to-treat-gallstone-attacks
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