How much does gastric sleeve surgery cost?

The average cost of a gastric sleeve surgery is $14.900, but it can vary widely from state to state. Since 2010 many insurance companies cover the costs of gastric sleeve surgery as a primary weight loss method, so make sure you check with your insurer.

Because gastric sleeve surgery is no longer considered experimental, today there are many insurance providers that cover surgery expenses for those who qualify. Check your insurance policy for terms and conditions regarding bariatric surgery in general and gastric sleeve procedure specifically. Depending on the geographical area and several other details, like your general health, or whether your surgery is performed on an in- or outpatient basis, gastric sleeve costs may range anywhere between $15,000 and $25,000.

Insurance may cover all or some of the procedure costs. When you are planning for a significant expense such as a gastric sleeve operation, it’s important to know what’s involved. A lot of preparatory work, follow-up care, and support services are involved.

The procedure is performed laparoscopically

After preparations have been completed and you check in for surgery, you will be placed under general anesthesia (which means you’ll be unconscious).

Your surgeon will begin by making two to five small cuts in your abdomen, through which the instruments will be inserted in order to perform the surgery.

The surgeon will use a laparoscope, a tiny camera that lets the surgical team see inside the abdominal cavity without opening it up.

The stomach is sectioned off using surgical staples, and the resulting "sleeve" is about the size and shape of a banana. The rest of the stomach is thus separated from the digestive tract, and this "extra" is removed.

Laparoscopic surgery generally takes a much shorter time than more invasive types of surgery. Recovery times are also usually much shorter, so patients can return to their daily lives more quickly. The procedure usually takes 60 to 90 minutes. It is permanent and cannot be reversed.

Costs included in the gastric sleeve surgery price

Gastric sleeve procedure involves the work of several different specialists including a bariatric surgeon and nurses.  The final fee for gastric sleeve surgery may include the following costs:

  • Hospitalization fees
  • Weight loss surgeon’s fees
  • Anesthesia costs
  • X-ray and lab work fees
  • Follow-up appointments

Out of the pocket costs typically include after-care counseling on nutrition and exercise. Other costs you may want to plan for are purchasing healthier more nutritious foods; though because you are eating less your overall food budget may not change. Some patients also elect to have a plastic surgery procedure several years after their gastric sleeve surgery to correct the presence of excess skin, sagging areas, and loose muscles.

The average cost of gastric sleeve in California and what to do if your insurance won’t cover it

California is the state with the greatest number of bariatric surgeries performed each year, representing 19% of the procedures performed in the United States. California is also one of the most expensive states for bariatric surgery. Although prices have dropped over the years, patients deciding to have their gastric sleeve surgery performed in California can expect an average price of $14,900. The price can vary depending on the type of facility, the experience of the surgeon, the general health of the patient, and the chosen payment method.

If insurance does not cover bariatric surgery, some people elect to change insurance providers. However, this option is not available for everyone. Other options include

  • Your weight-loss surgeon may offer payment plans through his or her office.
  • Your weight-loss surgeon may partner with a third-party financing company to help you fund your procedure.

If gastric sleeve procedure is covered by insurance, then complications are usually covered as well. Make sure to ask beforehand about the costs of possible complications.

Disclaimer: We do not assume responsibility for the use of the provided information or its interpretation. Our efforts are towards providing current and reliable information; however these should not be considered, or used as a substitute for diagnosis or treatment.