The cost of Lap Band surgery depends mainly on the factor of whether or not your insurance company will cover the procedure for weight loss surgery.
Lap Band insurance
If your insurance will cover the Lap Band surgery then generally your out-of-pocket expenses are dictated by your specific deductible and/or copayment as noted on your policy. Also, if your insurance will cover the surgery they will generally cover the cost of follow-up visits. We recommend having your physician’s office verify your benefits.
It is often the case that when patients call insurance companies they are told one thing by the insurance customer service representative but the experienced Lap Band physicians’ office personnel often uncovers other insurance requirements.
Lap Band financing
If your insurance company does not cover weight loss surgery and you will find yourself financing it to pay for Lap Band surgery out-of-pocket. Also, many patients who have excessive insurance requirements for weight loss surgery, such as a delay of many months or even a year or longer, find that they prefer to make the investment in their own health and pay for bariatric surgery rather than suffer from the health effects of obesity.
You should know that there are potentially many advantages to financing your own weight loss surgery. Firstly, you don’t have to deal with the hassles of the insurance company. Secondly, you don’t have to undergo the time and expense of excessive requirements which some insurance companies have. You should note that if you self-pay for your LapBand that surgery for obesity is often tax-deductible and you may get money back on your tax refund. Some people can save as much as $2000 in tax refunds. Speak to your accountant and refer them to IRS publication 502.
Selecting a doctor for self financed Lap Band surgery
Firstly, you might be tempted to find someone doing weight loss surgery at the lowest price. However you have to realize that there are expenses beyond the cost of surgery. An important factor is to consider the cost of post operative follow-up. In order to expect the best results for weight loss after gastric banding surgery you must realize that you should ideally have routine follow-up after your weight loss surgery.
For example, many surgeons will have their patients follow up once every 4 to 6 weeks for the first year after surgery. During that time many patients need four to six adjustments to fill up their gastric band. You need to check with your Lap Band doctor to see what their policy for charges is for those visits. If you are paying out of pocket because your insurance didn’t cover the Lap Band, you need to take into account what your post-operative costs will be. For example, if you pay to have your Lap Band performed far away from where you live, and then you want a local doctor to see you for follow-up you may find that this is not an option.
There are many physicians that elect to not routinely accept weight loss surgery patients who have their procedure performed by another doctor so they can focus on the patients that they have operated upon. If you develop an issue with your Lap Band that needs to be evaluated, but you had your surgery far away from home, you may find that local doctors won’t see you and you have to go all the way back to your original doctor.
In many cases it is preferable to have your gastric band surgery performed by a surgeon close to where you live who will be available not only for the routine frequent followup that is required for success, but also for any unepxected issues that may arise.