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

Heart Surgery Cost


How Much Does Heart Surgery Cost?

 
average costWith Health Insurance: Copays and 10%-50% Coinsurancehigh costWithout Health Insurance: $30,000-$200,000+
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Heart surgery typically is used for patients with severe coronary artery disease, heart valve problems, aneurysm or heart failure, in which the heart cannot pump adequately. Risks include reaction to anesthesia, infection, blood loss, blood clots, heart attack, stroke, cognitive impairment and death.

Typical costs:

  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically consist of doctor visit copays, prescription drug copays and coinsurance of 10%-50% or more, which probably would reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum. Heart surgery typically is covered by health insurance.
  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of the most common types of heart surgery can range from less than $30,000 to almost $200,000 or more, depending on the facility, the doctor and the type of surgery. In general, removal of a blockage falls on the lower end of the range, heart bypass surgery toward the middle and heart valve replacement on the higher end -- but costs for a heart transplant are much higher. According to an American Heart Association report[1] , the average hospital charge for all common heart surgery and procedures -- not including doctor fee -- is $62,509. According to the report, plaque removal from an artery costs an average of $30,588, heart bypass costs an average of $117,094 and heart valve replacement cost an average of $164,238.
  • For example, Pali Momi Medical Center[2] in Hawaii charges about $31,000, not including doctor fee, for removal of plaque from blood vessels -- or $18,500 for uninsured patients who pay in full within 30 days, or $21,500 for those who pay in 60. Doctor fees can add up $5,000 or more to the final bill, depending on the procedure.
  • Heart bypass surgery typically costs about $70,000-$200,000 or more, and heart valve replacement surgery typically costs $80,000-$200,000 or more. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing[3] , the total cost of a heart transplant can reach almost $800,000 or more.
Related articles: Heart Bypass Surgery, Heart Valve Replacement, Heart Stent, Anesthesia, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • In angioplasty[4] -- which technically is considered a non-surgical procedure -- a catheter is inserted into a vein in the groin or arm and guided to the blocked artery near the heart to remove blockage with a tiny balloon or other tool. In coronary artery bypass grafting , also known as heart bypass surgery[5] , the surgeon takes a blood vessel from one part of the patient's body -- such as the chest, legs or arm -- and attaches it to the coronary artery to bypass blockage. If the surgeon bypasses more than one artery, the operation might be referred to as a double, triple or quadruple bypass.
  • In heart valve surgery[6] , the surgeon either repairs or replaces a defective heart valve.
  • In a heart transplant[7] , the patient is placed under general anesthesia and hooked up to a heart-lung bypass machine, and the surgeon removes the diseased heart and attaches the donor heart.
  • The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has an overview of heart surgery[8] .
Additional costs:
  • Patients typically require one or more sessions of physical therapy, typically $50-$350 per session, to learn how to move without harming the incision and to learn exercises to assist recovery. The University of Washington Medical Center Cardiac Surgery Clinic offers information on physical therapy[9] after heart surgery.
  • Various drugs typically are prescribed after heart surgery. Depending on the type of surgery, these might include a blood thinning medication such as warfarin (brand name Coumadin) or the brand-name drug Plavix to prevent blood clots, a beta-blocker to slow the heart rate, a statin to lower cholesterol and an ACE inhibitor to control blood pressure and heart failure. At Drugstore.com[10] , Warfarin typically costs about $15-$25 per month for the generic or $50-$70 for the brand name, and Plavix costs about $200 or more per month. Beta-blockers[11] and statins[12] can cost $10-$200 a month, depending on the drug. And ACE inhibitors[13] can cost $10-$100 per month.
Discounts:
  • Many hospitals give discounts of up to 30% or more to uninsured/cash-paying patients. For example, Washington Hospital Healthcare System[14] in California offers a 35% discount.
Shopping for heart surgery:
  • A patient may be referred to a thoracic surgeon[15] who specializes in surgery on the heart and is also sometimes referred to as a cardiac surgeon or cardiovascular surgeon. The CardioThoracic Surgery Network offers a state-by-state surgeon locator[16] . A cardiothoracic surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery and should have completed a general surgery residency and a residency in cardiothoracic surgery. U.S. News & World Report offers a list of the top cardiology and heart surgery hospitals [17] based on volume of patients treated.
  • Cleveland Clinic offers an FAQ on heart surgery[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.  circ.ahajournals.org/content/123/4/e18.full.pdf
  2.  www.palimomi.org/my-hospital-bill/uninsured-calculator.aspx
  3.  www.transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/financing-a-transplant/the-costs/
  4.  www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/treatment-angioplasty-stents
  5.  www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-bypass-surgery
  6.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002954.htm
  7.  www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003003.htm
  8.  www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hs/
  9.  healthonline.washington.edu/document/health_online/pdf/Physical_Therapy_After_Card...
  10.  www.drugstore.com/medicine-and-health/qxg180610-0
  11.  www.consumerreports.org/health/resources/pdf/best-buy-drugs/2pager_BetaBlockers.pdf
  12.  www.consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs/statins.htm
  13.  www.consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs/ace-inhibitors.htm
  14.  www.whhs.com/about/washington-hospital-discount-policy-for-uninsured/
  15.  www.sts.org/patient-information/what-thoracic-surgeon
  16.  www.ctsnet.org/members/bystate.cfm?ms=surgeons&o=sts
  17.  health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/search?city=City&zip=ZIP+Code&state=&sort_by=name...
  18.  my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/services/surgery/faqsurgery.aspx
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