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There are many factors that can affect the cost of bariatric surgery. They include the specific type of surgery a patient has, as there are different types of procedures from which a person can choose. The cost may also depend on the facility in which the surgery is performed, the country or region in which the patient has surgery, and the surgeon who performs the procedure. Additionally, the aftercare a person needs as well as any prescriptions required will typically influence the total cost of bariatric surgery.
One of the primary influences on the cost of bariatric surgery is the type of surgery a person has. For example, a person may choose to have a restrictive type of weight loss surgery or a malabsorptive procedure. With a restrictive surgery, the surgeon works to reduce the size of the patient's stomach, and therefore, the amount of food it can hold at one time. This prevents the patient from eating more than a small amount of food and may also help to slow down the rate at which his food is digested. With malabsorptive procedures, on the other hand, surgeons not only work to make the stomach smaller, but also to make it more difficult for the patient to absorb calories from food.
Restrictive and malabsorptive procedures may vary in cost, but this is not the end of the variation. There are also different types of surgeries that fall under each of these categories, and every variation in the type of procedure can translate into a change in cost for the patient. Additionally, charges for any special procedures the patient needs, follow-up care, and prescription medications — including those for pain relief — can all factor into the cost of bariatric surgery.
The facility in which the procedure is performed as well as the surgeon who handles the surgery can also affect the cost of bariatric surgery. Facilities typically vary in terms of how much they charge for bariatric surgeries, though they often stick reasonably close to the average costs in a particular area. Surgeon fees also vary, and more experienced surgeons who have better reputations often charge more than others.
While a person may expect the cost of bariatric surgery to stay within a certain range no matter where he seeks care, this is not always the case. Often, dramatic cost discrepancies exist from one country to another. Costs may even vary from region to region within a single country.