Type of Surgery
Introduction to Gastric Bypass Surgery
Last updated: 01/28/2009
Gastric bypasses are one of the most popular types of weight loss surgeries performed. Through a relatively simple procedure that involves stapling off the stomach and a portion of the intestine, your surgeon creates a small alternate pouch and redirects the route of food being digested. The result is that the patient requires less food to reach a feeling of fullness and less calories are absorbed. Gastric bypass is a good alternative weight loss solution for anyone who has struggled with more traditional methodsâ€”diets, therapy, or drug regimentsâ€”and failed to keep obesity at bay.
Costs of Gastric Bypass Surgery
The National Institute of Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates the cost of the average gastric bypass surgery to range from $20,000 to $25,000. If the fee is off-putting, then you may first want to look at the possible forms of financial assistance available to you.
Can My Insurance Plan Help?
The answer depends on your personal health. Physicians are beginning to recommend surgical procedures such as gastric bypasses for morbidly obese patients. If obesity is strongly linked to potential dangerous and costly complications such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke in the future, there is a good chance that insurance companies will be open to providing financial assistance. Speak to your surgeon first to see how strong your case is, and ask him or her to provide a Letter of Medical Necessity to your insurance company. Your surgeon can increase your chances by arguing the health risks of your current obesity problem and detailing the possible benefits of a gastric bypass operation. Insurance companies may contact your physician for further information about previous attempts to address your weight issues.
The actual day of surgery is the scariest and most important event that a gastric bypass patient will go through, but it is far from the only. There are pre- and post-operation procedures to take into consideration when calculating the costs of gastric bypass surgery.
Before your operation, some minor issues may have to be addressed: checkups, pre-treatment programs, and even counseling. These pale in comparison to the more extensive nature of post-op costs, however.
To begin with, there is the required hospital care immediately after the gastric bypass operation. In addition to this immediate mandatory hospital stay, future visits for check-ups and potential surgical complications have to be taken into consideration. Donâ€™t forget that gastric bypass surgery doesnâ€™t end with closing the patient up! A lifestyle adjustment, including dietary changes, exercise regiments, drug treatments, and counseling comes along with the surgical procedure itself. Gastric bypass surgery makes the problem of obesity far easier to deal with for many patients, but it doesnâ€™t eliminate it completely.
How Much Will Insurance Help?
While those who fall into the category of morbidly obese have a good chance of receiving financial aid from their insurance companies, the additional costs outlined above are not necessarily covered. Rarely will your healthcare provider completely cover the pills and treatments often required after gastric bypass surgery, not to mention cosmetic surgeries that gastric bypass patients often opt for. Do your research and speak to your surgeon and your insurance company about your financial situation beforehandâ€”a gastric bypass can improve your quality of life immensely, but make sure that youâ€™re fully aware of the costs first!
Last Updated: 01/28/2009
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