Obesity is a medical condition that is often difficult to treat with behavioral changes alone. While adopting a healthy diet and regularly exercising are key to losing weight, some patients may also need other medically supervised weight loss programs, which can range from pharmacotherapy to surgery. There are different types of weight loss surgeries, including laparoscopic gastric banding surgery and Lap-Band system, the least invasive type.

Treatment with a Lap-Band system consists of the placement of an inflatable, adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach to create a small pouch. Despite the fact that the Lap-Band does not provoke weight loss alone, the system will limit the amount of food that the stomach can hold, which means that patients feel full faster and with smaller amounts of food. However, in addition to the surgical requirements, patients need to consider the costs associated with it as well.

Average Costs Associated With Lap-Band Surgery

There isn’t one fixed price for a Lap-Band and it depends on numerous factors that can make costs vary from $8,800 to $22,500, according to the patients’ location. The average Lap-Band cost in the United States is $14,532, with a tendency to decrease yearly. In states where the prevalence of obesity and weight loss surgery is higher, the prices are usually lower. Therefore, Oklahoma, Texas, and Nebraska are the states where patients pay less: $8,800, $10,085 and $10,680 respectively. On the contrary, patients in Minnesota are the ones who pay more, $22,500, while in Idaho patients pay $20,580 and in New Mexico, $18,952.

Factors that Influence Lap-Band Cost

In addition to location, there are other variables that can make the Lap-Band cost vary. The patient’s own health characteristics influence the overall cost, while the surgeon and hospital chosen also contribute to it as well. Having the surgery at a surgical center is often less expensive than having it at a hospital. A patient’s health plan, insurance coverage, and financing options also alter the price of the procedure. According to the producer of the Lap-Band, Apollo Endosurgery, more than 90% of the cases were reimbursed in full or in part by insurance in 2012, but some policies only cover the procedure when medically necessary, followed by the national guidelines for the care of morbid obesity.

Additional Costs Following the Lap-Band Placement

The procedure itself is only part of the costs that are associated with the entire weight loss process. After the surgery, patients need to be monitored by a nutritionist, which can cost from $50 to $100 per visit. Lap-Band fills or adjustments are usually covered by insurance during the first year, but can cost $75 to $300 per visit if not covered, which can be added to follow-up medical visits. In the case of medical complications, it can also be very experience. In addition, behavioral alterations may also mean new costs, including gym memberships, healthier and more expensive foods, and new clothes.

Lap-Band Costs Compared to Not Having the Surgery

Despite the fact that the costs associated with a Lap-Band system are high, undergoing other types of treatment or not doing anything is also expensive. Struggling with obesity makes patients spend an average of $1,566 every year in medical care alone, while morbidly obese patients spend at least $2,845, compared to people with a healthy weight. Extra weight is often related to extra medical costs, and the health costs are increasingly high. Taking action sooner may help patients avoid potential costs in the future by preventing other medical conditions, as well as help patients regain confidence and the ability to enjoy physical, social, and family activities.

Note: Obesity News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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