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

Amputation Cost


How Much Does Amputation Cost?

 
average costWith Insurance: If Covered, Copays and Coinsurancehigh costWithout Insurance: $20,000-$60,000

Surgical amputation is the severing of a digit, hand or foot, or part or all of a limb, usually as a result of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) due to artherosclerosis, complications from diabetes, traumatic injury or cancer.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of an amputation ranges from $20,000 to $60,000 including the surgeon's fee, facility fee, anesthesia and medical supplies. The cost depends partly on the part of the body being amputated; a toe amputation would be at the lower end of the cost range, while an above-the-knee amputation would be at the higher end.
  • Amputation surgery generally is covered by health insurance, often even in cases where a patient chooses to undergo the surgery because of pain or a limb that is not useful.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs would include a copay or coinsurance for an inpatient surgery of 10 to 20 percent or more of the total cost, which would stop at the annual out-of-pocket maximum.
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What should be included:
  • Before the operation, the surgeon will do an examination to determine how much tissue to remove.
  • On the day of surgery, anesthesia will be administered and the patient will be hooked up to machines that monitor body functions. Then the surgeon cuts through skin and muscle, clamping and stitching healthy blood vessels and shaping skin and muscles to make sure a prosthesis will fit well onto the stump. In some cases, the surgeon leaves the flaps of skin open for a few days to check for unhealthy or infected tissue that might need to be removed before closure.
  • After surgery, a hospital stay of five days to two weeks usually is required.
  • The Society for Vascular Surgery offers an overview of amputation.
Additional costs:
  • After amputation, physical therapy is necessary.
  • Many patients who undergo amputation have a prosthesis made. The cost of a prosthesis ranges from a few thousand dollars for a very basic prosthetic limb to more than $40,000 for a more high-tech limb with a computer chip. Many health insurance companies have very low caps on the amount they will pay for prosthetics, so many patients end up paying out-of-pocket. Prosthetic limbs also wear out and have to be replaced.
Discounts:
  • The Amputee Coalition of America[1] offers information on seeking financial assistance for a prosthetic limb, including nonprofit organizations that help cover costs.
Shopping for amputation:
  • Usually, an orthopaedic surgeon performs an amputation. A primary care physician can provide a referral to a surgeon. Or, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons[2] offers a surgeon locator by zip code.
  • The Amputee Coalition of America offers a list of questions to ask the surgeon[3] and a guide to preparing for an undergoing[4] an amputation.
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.amputee-coalition.org/fact_sheets/assist_orgs.html
  2.  www7.aaos.org/member/directory/directory.aspx
  3.  www.amputee-coalition.org/fact_sheets/surgeonqs.html
  4.  www.amputee-coalition.org/fact_sheets/undergoingamp.html
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