How Much Does Lap Band Surgery Cost?

August 26, 2009 · Filed Under Weight Loss Surgery 

If you’re thinking about getting lap band surgery after trying and failing to lose weight for any reason, one of your first considerations will be to find out how much it will cost? Prices vary and this article will give you an idea of what the costs will be for this adjustable gastric banding surgery and what additional or associated costs to consider also.

The cost of lap band surgery depends first of all on whether you plan to have it done in the United States or whether you plan to travel to another country. But more so before you investigate you want to make sure you’re qualified for the lap band procedure because it’s not an elective surgery. The National Institutes of Health have certain guidelines that weight loss or bariatric surgeons use to determine whether you’re a qualified candidate or not.

Lap band surgery won’t even be considered if you aren’t 18 years of age or older or don’t have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 40 and 60. The exception is if it’s 35 or greater with co-morbid, obesity-related or associated conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes mellitus, infertility, metabolic syndrome or high cholesterol among others. The list includes many other diseases that are often associated with obesity.

You must also have made a significant effort to lose weight by weight loss programs that are supervised by physicians or other authorized weight loss programs over an extended period of time without achieving a sustainable weight loss.

So if you meet the NIH criteria and your doctor certifies you then your health insurance should cover it but if you don’t qualify you may have to pay for it yourself if you can get a bariatric surgeon, perhaps in Mexico or another country to agree to perform the surgery.

When determining the cost of the surgery you must consider all the other associated costs. These costs include lab tests, your surgeon’s fees and the hospital expenses. After surgery you’ll have follow up tests, doctor visits perhaps psychological support and food, diet and nutritional counseling.

If you have the surgery in the United States the cost of lap band surgery has been steadily going down over the past few years. Perhaps because more weight loss surgeons are performing it and there is more emphasis in the news and/or from increased competition from weight loss surgeons in Europe and Australia and countries such as Mexico, Brazil, India, and Canada. There may be more competition, making lap band surgery cheaper, in popular gastric banding cities like Houston, Chicago, and Dallas and in states such as Texas, Florida, Illinois, and California.

Cost of lap band surgery in the US can cost from $13,000 on up, not including any of the associated costs that you’ll have before or after surgery. It would be difficult to estimate all the costs you’ll have prior to surgery. Complications may occur following surgery that would drive the cost up also. If you have health insurance coverage this may be less of a concern.

Cost of lap band surgery can be as little as $8000 in Mexico and has been going down considerably in the past few years. But you must make sure that you add on all your travel costs – airfare and airfare for any return visits if necessary, hotel stays, rental cars, etc. The procedure itself is usually a one-night stay or less. The actual hospital costs will be less. Surgery outside the United States will probably not be covered by your health insurance company.

If you’re covered by your health insurance policy then it would be better and safer to have your lap band surgery in the United States. Plus if medical complications arise you will be better protected legally. If you’re not covered then make sure to weigh all the costs of the surgery – the costs to have gastric banding procedures in the US compared to Mexico for example, where your travel costs may be considerably less and you may be close to home or in Canada if it’s closer geographically to you. Many lap band procedures are done there as well. Canada has free health benefits that you may be eligible for.

In any case make sure to weigh all the pros and cons of the surgery as well as the cost of lap band surgery. Even though the lap bad can be removed (it’s reversible) you want to be aware of all the risks and side effects besides the weight loss benefits.

For more nurse’s tips and info on lap band weight loss surgery and lap band surgery complications go to for tips on lap band surgery, adjustable gastric band surgery, medical travel for low cost lap band surgery and cost of lap band surgery

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