Why Bariatric Surgery?
There are many reasons for people to desire weight loss. They may want to look better, feel better, or be healthier. Most people try diet and exercise for years, but despite the claims of the many diet “experts,” many find that this strategy doesn’t work for them. Some turn to unsafe diet pills or other dangerous strategies. For some people, liposuction is a good option. However, liposuction is not intended for general weight loss; it can only remove small pockets of fat from particular parts of the body for body contouring purposes. Others choose bariatric surgery, a medical procedure that can help you to safely lose weight fast. You’ll be under the supervision of your doctor during your weight loss, so you don’t have to worry. This procedure is more and more common, but you may wonder about the cost.
According to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, the cost for a bariatric surgical procedure is between $11,500 and $26,000. These are average costs; the exact cost may vary by region and by individual surgeon. You should check with the surgeon(s) you’re considering to find out the exact cost of the procedure.
When you’re planning your bariatric surgery, you have several different options available. You could have a traditional or laparoscopic gastric bypass, a laparoscopic gastric band (“lap band”), or a sleeve gastrectomy. For the cost of each specific procedure, please click its link at left. For more information about each procedure, visit our extensive Education Wiki.
Of course, cost shouldn’t be the main consideration when you’re choosing which procedure to have. Consider your goals with the procedure, your overall health, any previous surgeries you’ve had, and other factors. Consult with your surgeon for help deciding which bariatric surgery is right for you.
After Bariatric Surgery
After your procedure, you’ll undergo an extensive weight loss. All that weight you’ve been trying to lose for years will just melt away. You’ll feel better and be healthier, and you’ll look better too. However, many people find that their new body isn’t quite as tight and toned as they’d like; there’s a little sagging and some extra skin. For many men and women, the final step in achieving the healthy, slim body of their dreams is cosmetic surgery. A tummy tuck is the most common procedure, but other possibilities include a breast lift, thigh lift, and upper arm lift, to remove that extra skin and firm up the body. Our plastic surgery costs page has up-to-date information about the costs of these procedures, and you can visit our Education Wiki to learn more about your options.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Bariatric surgery isn’t just for your looks; it’s for your health. For this reason, many medical insurance plans cover all or most of the cost of these procedures. Call your insurance company to determine whether your plan covers bariatric surgery.
If you decide to add plastic surgery afterward, most medical insurance policies will not cover this, as it’s considered a cosmetic procedure (for your looks only). However, if the surgery will address a medical problem, such as rashes or sores forming in the folds of extra skin, then your insurance plan may cover all or part of the cost, ONLY of the specific procedure to address that problem. In general, you will need to pay for most of the cost of the plastic surgery, if you choose to have it after your bariatric surgery.
What Are the Financing Options?
That’s the bad news; the good news is that, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have a wide variety of financing options available. Many physicians offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have, so talk with your bank about the possibilities for financing your plastic surgery.