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Average Cost Of Weight Loss Surgery

by Lyndon Langley
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Average Cost Of Weight Loss Surgery

Average Cost Of Weight Loss Surgery

The average person weighs about 200 pounds (91 kilograms). That’s not too bad compared with some other parts of the world that have people who weigh much more than that. For example, in India, the average weight gain during adulthood is just 20 pounds (9 kilograms), while in China it’s 70 pounds (31 kilograms). In America, obesity has become one of our biggest health problems. A third of Americans are considered obese. This means they’re at least 30 percent over their ideal weight. Obesity increases your risk of developing several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure and sleep apnea. It also puts strain on your joints and bones. You may be wondering how you can lose weight if you’re already carrying so much extra baggage around. If you’ve tried dieting without success or exercising without results, then there could be another answer — weight loss surgery.
We all know that diets don’t work long-term. They’re hard enough to stick to when we’re young because we don’t yet have children to feed or aging parents to take care of. And even once we reach adulthood, many of us still find ourselves putting on those few extra pounds here and there. But what happens if we don’t have any choice? What if we’re so overweight that our body doesn’t let us get out of bed every morning? Then maybe you’ll need to consider getting a little help from modern medicine.
There are three types of bariatric procedures that can help you shed excess fat. These include gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric band. All of these surgeries cause you to go through a period of fasting before recovering. Afterward, you should be able to eat whatever you want. There are different requirements depending upon which type of surgery you choose. Some require special foods to provide nutrients after their operation, but most do not. However, you won’t have to worry about eating as much as you used to, since each procedure reduces your stomach size. So instead of being able to eat a huge meal, you’ll only be allowed small portions of food per day. Plus, you shouldn’t feel hungry often since your stomach isn’t big enough to hold anything substantial.
But even though losing weight might sound like a great idea, it comes with its own set of challenges. First off, you’ll have to pay for your surgery. Depending on where you live, the costs vary greatly. Even if you have insurance, you may end up paying thousands of dollars out of pocket. In addition, you’ll probably have to spend months preparing yourself mentally for such an important life change. Most importantly, you should keep in mind that weight loss surgery is permanent. Not only does this mean that you’ll never regain weight, but it also means that you’ll always look the way you did immediately following your operation. Finally, you’ll need to recover properly after all of the stress that accompanies major changes to your lifestyle. Luckily, there are plenty of support groups available to help you along the way.
So now you know what weight loss surgery entails. Before you make the decision to undergo the procedure, however, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not you’re healthy enough to handle the impact that the surgery will have on your daily routine. Your doctor will also discuss your options and possible outcomes. If you decide that you’d prefer to consult with a surgeon, don’t forget that you have until 2010 to apply for coverage under certain health plans. Once your application is approved, you can contact the American Society for Bariatric Surgeons to learn about the various types of bariatric procedures and what kind of experience surgeons have performing them.
If you think you’re ready to face the challenge of weight loss surgery, read on for some numbers that may give you some perspective on the subject.
Costs Associated With Weight Loss Surgery
According to the National Institutes of Health, the average cost of gastric bypass ranges between $25,000 and $35,000. While this price tag seems steep, it actually represents a bargain compared to the total medical bill of someone suffering from morbid obesity. Gastric bypass patients typically see their hospital bills rise above $100,000 within two years of their operations. If you compare this to the $5,300 spent on laparoscopic gastric bands, you can clearly see why the price difference exists. Sleeve gastrectomies range in price anywhere from $19,000 to $27,000.
Since your insurance company pays part of the overall cost of your surgery, you’ll likely have to come up with the rest of the money. As previously mentioned, finding cheap surgery is difficult; therefore, you should shop around for the best deal. Keep in mind that cheaper prices usually aren’t associated with better quality. Don’t automatically assume that the cheapest option is necessarily the right choice for you. Make sure that the surgeon you choose has extensive training and good track record. Ask friends who have undergone similar procedures or check online reviews to determine the pros and cons of each particular clinic.
Once you’ve chosen a facility, you’ll need to start thinking about what sort of recovery plan you’ll follow. It’s common practice for hospitals to offer rehabilitation programs designed specifically for patients who are going to undergo bariatric surgery. These programs generally focus on teaching you how to eat properly and safely use a fork, spoon and knife. You should expect to stay in the hospital for about five days, although you can return home earlier if you wish. During your time away from home, you’ll be asked to participate in physical therapy sessions. One thing to remember is that you’ll have a lot of free time on your hands. Since you’ll no longer be able to cook meals, prepare snacks or munch on chips throughout the day, you may feel bored. To avoid boredom, try watching TV shows or reading books. You should also ask your physician for recommendations regarding local bars and restaurants.
Overall, weight loss surgery is a relatively safe procedure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than 1 percent of patients die during the first year following their operation, and the mortality rate drops down to 0.3 percent in subsequent years. Complication rates are also low, hovering around 10 percent. The main complications are infections, bleeding and internal organ damage. Patients who had bariatric surgery back in 2000 saw complication rates as high as 60 percent. Today, thanks to improvements in technology and techniques, these numbers are significantly lower.

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