Tips For Covering the Costs of Gastric Band Surgery

Making the decision to address obesity head on is a great one that can have benefits that ripple throughout life. Not only does shedding pounds help people feel better about themselves, it can improve health while lowering the risks for a long list of serious medical conditions. Footing the bill for gastric band surgery, however, can sometimes be a tricky prospect even when medical insurance is available and there’s a genuine need to have surgery performed to address obesity and safeguard health.

There are some things patients can do to help better position themselves to handle the costs so they can gain the benefits of a procedure like the gastric band. Here are a few tips that may help:

• Know the costs – Get a complete estimate from the bariatric surgeon who will be performing the procedure. The costs range from about $12,500 to $26,000, depending on region, hospital and other factors. The total bottom line generally includes such necessities as access to counselors, medication, supplements and other items.
• Work with doctors and insurance companies – If there is a genuine medical need to address weight, many insurance companies will cover most of the costs associated with lap band surgery. To facilitate this, take time to get appropriate referrals and recommendations. Talk with the insurance company to find out exactly what is covered and what is not. If a second opinion is required, go in for it.
• Consider financing – Finance companies will often help patients cover some or all of the costs associated with surgery. Many bariatric surgeons offer their patients access to such companies. Be sure to ask about this option if insurance coverage isn’t likely.

Lap band surgery can help people get control of their weight while improving their overall health. Losing weight can reduce the risks for some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious concerns. If this surgery is deemed necessary, there are ways to make it happen even if insurance isn’t readily available. Be sure to talk with a reputable surgeon for advice on covering the costs.


Weight Loss Option May Offer Results Without Surgery

Obesity is a serious concern for an estimated third of the American population. If left unchecked, excess weight can take its toll on the body, opening the door for serious medical complications. Long linked to heart disease, some forms of cancer and diabetes, among other complications, obesity is considered a slow killer by many. While the risk of health complications is high for those who carry an excess of excess weight, that doesn’t mean everyone who is overweight wants to rush into the operating room to undergo a bariatric procedure to help. There are other options that can assist people in shedding pounds. One new procedure, in fact, is showing a great deal of promise.

Known as a bariatric arterial embolization, the non-surgical option developed largely by accident. The procedure is used in emergency situations to control bleeding in the stomach. It works by injecting microscopic beads into one of the arteries that feeds the stomach. While long used for bleeding control, doctors began noticing those who underwent the procedure also lost weight.

Hoping to investigate further, small-scale studies have been performed on translating this procedure for weight loss patients. So far, the results have been quite promising. In a recent study, patients reported an 80 percent decrease in hunger after the procedure. They also experienced weight loss of about 13 percent at the six-month mark.

Although still very much in the investigational phase, this non-surgical option may someday offer an option for those who need to lose weight achieve the goal without having to undergo a costly operation. In the meantime, doctors do have a variety of procedures at their disposal to help patients lose weight and potentially improve their health. To find out more about weight loss options – surgical and nonsurgical – speak with a licensed healthcare provider. The best recommendations will depend on the particulars of a person’s unique case.