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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > General Surgery & Neurosurgery > Lap Band

Lap Band Cost


How Much Does Lap Band Cost?

 
average costMedium: Copays, deductibles and coinsurance with insurancehigh costHigh: Typically $12,000-$25,000 without insurance
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Adjustable gastric banding -- sometimes called LAP-BAND surgery -- is a form of weight loss surgery in which the doctor places an adjustable -- and removable -- belt at the opening between the esophagus and the stomach to control the amount of food the patient can comfortably eat. It is popular because it is less invasive and has fewer complications than some other types of weight loss surgery; however, weight loss usually takes longer.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of LAP-BAND surgery typically runs between $12,000 and $25,000, depending on the surgeon and the geographic region. It usually costs toward the higher end of the range in large, urban areas, especially on the East and West coasts. For example, Weight Loss Surgery Centers[1] in Houston, Dallas and Baton Rouge, offers a price of $12,500. Oakwood Healthcare System, with several locations in Michigan, offers a cash price of $15,000. And at the Videoscopic Institute of Atlanta, Dr. J.K. Champion, M.D. offers laparoscopic LAP-BAND surgery for $20,300 to $20,600.
  • LAP-BAND surgery sometimes is covered by insurance, but that varies based on the insurance company and the policy. Some health plans specifically exclude weight loss surgery no matter what -- such as all managed care plans for public employees in some states.
  • Medicare covers LAP-BAND surgery for individuals with a BMI of 35 or higher, an unsuccessful history of weight loss attempts and at least one co-morbidity -- other health problem -- associated with obesity.
  • For patients with insurance coverage, it is not uncommon for out-of-pocket costs for LAP-BAND surgery -- which often include copays for office visits and coinsurance for the surgery from hundreds to thousand of dollars. For example, federal employees covered by one Blue Cross Blue Shield plan pay 10 percent of the plan allowance for the surgery and a $100 hospital admission fee when using a preferred provider. At LapBandTalk.com, patients discuss their individual out-of-pocket costs.
Related articles: Gastric Bypass Surgery, Tummy Tuck, Liposuction, Breast Lift

What should be included:
  • The surgeon will meet with the patient for an initial screening, to make sure the patient is a candidate for the procedure and to explain the options, benefits and risks.
  • The total fee usually includes the hospital's facility and anesthesiologist's services.
  • Routine follow-up visits for the first year after surgery generally are included.
  • Many doctors include lifetime membership in a patient support group.
Additional costs:
  • Patients sometimes have to pay additional fees of a few hundred dollars or more for consultations with a nutritionist and psychologist, before and sometimes after surgery.
  • Some insured patients must pay part of the cost of a sleep study, to determine whether their weight is causing sleep problems, which helps some insurance companies decide whether to cover the operation. Out-of-pocket costs for a sleep study can run hundreds of dollars.
  • Patients sometimes pay for special meals and vitamins, which can add up to hundreds of dollars.
  • Follow-up visits after the first year usually cost between $35 and $200 each, depending on the length of the visit.
  • Complications can significantly add to the overall cost; minor complications can cost a few hundred dollars or more; major complications that require hospitalization can result in medical bills of thousands to tens of thousands of dollars or more. To lessen risks, some surgeons use the BLIS program, which offers insurance against complications.
  • Some patients, once they lose weight, require plastic surgery to remove loose, extra skin. Some also choose to have breast lifts, liposuction, or other surgeries.
Discounts:
  • A patient who pays for the surgery out-of-pocket might be eligible for tax breaks if the cost is high enough in relation to income. The U.S. Internal Revenue Service[2] has information on medical deductions.
Shopping for lap band:
  • A doctor performing LAP-BAND surgery should be board certified in general surgery by The American Board of Surgery[3] , and should have extensive additional training in bariatric -- weight loss -- surgery. Allergan, Inc., the manufacturer of the LAP-BAND system, which provides training in its product for surgeons, has a guide for prospective patients that includes information about finding a surgeon.
  • Most surgeons only will perform weight loss surgery on obese patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher -- which is about 80 pounds overweight for women and 100 for men. However, some will accept patients with a BMI of 35 to 39 if they have additional complications such as sleep apnea. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention[4] offers a BMI calculator.
  • LAP-BAND surgery is not recommended for people with Crohn's disease, large hiatal hernias or who have had gastric ulcers.
  • Although LAP-BAND surgery is generally considered less invasive than some other types of weight loss surgery, there are still serious risks involved, including death and nutritional deficiencies.
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
Lapband in Tijuana Mexico
Amount: $7,000.00
Posted by: Anthula in Tijuana, Mexico, Other.Posted: July 16th, 2009 08:07PM
Clinic or Doctor: Hospital AngelesInsurance Carrier: none
Type of Policy: none
I went through Planet Hospital to set up the surgery. My contact was Laureli, and she was wonderful! If you are well-educated on the procedure and attend seminars in the States then the Mexico option is a great deal. Just make sure you know what to expect. Lost 30 pounds and counting. It takes time to get the right fill, and everyone is different. I get my fills and aftercare at Fills USA.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.weightlosssurgerycenters.com/
  2.  www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
  3.  www.absurgery.org/default.jsp?aboutinquiries
  4.  www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/bmi/index.htm
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