On average, a vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure will cost more than $10,000. Also known as gastric sleeve resection, tube gastrectomy, or sleeve gastrectomy, it’s one of the newer forms of bariatric surgery. Most insurance companies do not cover the procedure but some such as the Cigna and United Healthcare does.

Cost Breakdown

The cost of the procedure comprises of:

  • Fees associated with hospital facility or admission
  • Anesthesia
  • Your surgeon’s fee
  • X-ray and pre-op lab fees
  • Follow-up appointments
  • Post surgery diet counseling, exercise as well as the cost of supplements and vitamins needed for your new diet.
  • Secondary procedures such as a duodenal switch or gastric bypass. This occurs if the vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure is a staged approach to facilitate a more complex procedure.
  • Surgeries to get rid of excess skin following extreme weight loss, lift sagging parts of the body and manage the loss of muscle. These procedures include panniculectomy, body lift, breast augmentation using implants, breast reduction, and labiaplasty. These follow-up plastic surgeries impact the overall cost of the initial vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure.

Factors That Affect Gastric Sleeve Surgery several factors determine how much you’ll end up paying for the procedure.

  • Geography. It will cost you more to have the surgery performed in an urban area such as Philadelphia or New York. This is because overhead in these areas is higher and competent surgeons are also in higher demand due to the dense population in the region.
  • Your health plan
  • If your hospital or surgeon is an in-network provider.
  • If your procedure is inpatient or outpatient.

What You Should Ask Your Surgeon

Before going through the procedure, you need to be aware of several things. You should ask your surgeon the following:

  • Cost of surgery. Find out if there are any hidden charges not indicated or revealed during a consultation.
  • Get details of the cost breakdown so that you know what you’re paying for e.g hospital charges, follow-up care, medicines etc.
  • If the procedure a secondary bariatric surgery and what will a subsequent surgery cost?
  • Do you expect any discounts from the procedure?
  • Will your insurance pay for the procedure fully, partially or not at all?
  • Should you get complications following surgery, will your insurance cover for treatment and any re-operations?
  • Does the hospital or surgeon offer financing plans that will help with paying for the cost of surgery?

Comparing Prices

In Canada, the National Health Care System covers the cost of gastric sleeve surgery. You have to be Canadian to enjoy this privilege and the wait lists are very long so it could take years before you go through surgery. If you choose to pay for your surgery, it will cost you about $19,000.

In Mexico, the cost of is lowest; about a third of what you pay in the US and Canada. From here you expect to pay between $5,000 and $11,000 depending on the hospital and surgeon you opt for. Caution should be exercised when going to Mexico for the surgery so that you ensure that you find a credible and qualified surgeon to perform surgery. It is also important to find out if the cost of surgery includes post-op care.