What Factors Affect the Cost of Gastric Banding?

Liz Thomas

A gastric band is a device that is placed around the top section of the stomach as a type of obesity treatment. The device works by restricting the patient's intake of food, which reduces caloric intake to stimulate weight loss. There are several factors that affect the cost of gastric banding. The patient’s choice of surgeon, chosen medical facility and geographic location are all considered main cost factors. Others include associated surgical costs, necessary aftercare appointments, and the patient's overall health.

Gastic banding makes the stomach smaller, so people feel fuller sooner.
Gastic banding makes the stomach smaller, so people feel fuller sooner.

One of the biggest factors in the price of surgery is the choice of surgeon. Prices vary widely from surgeon to surgeon. Those with more experience and training in gastric banding, for example, may cost more than a doctor that has less experience.

Another influence on the cost of gastric banding can be the medical facility where the surgery takes place. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) certifies some facilities as Centers of Excellence®. These facilities are considered to have high standards for patient safety and quality of care. The cost for this quality will be greater than for facilities that have not been named Centers of Excellence®.

Geographical location also has an impact on cost. Gastric banding prices will vary from country to country. Additional expenditures may be incurred when traveling to another country, which must be factored into the overall price of the procedure. Surgery in a larger city may be priced higher compared to surgery in a more rural location.

Additional surgery costs that may not be included in the original cost of gastric banding include the fee for the anesthesiologist. Gastric banding is typically performed under general anesthesia, when a patient is completely asleep. In many circumstance a psychological evaluation is preformed prior to surgery, adding to the overall cost of the procedure. A number of exams and tests are performed prior to surgery, which will have their own associated costs as well.

Follow ups or aftercare associated with the procedure can extend the cost of gastric banding for an additional three to five years. These appointments are generally needed to follow the patient’s health and progress, and to make any necessary adjustments to the gastric band. Other aftercare costs may be incurred for behavioral therapy, nutrition counseling and exercise programs to assist in the success of the procedure. These costs can vary widely, depending on the patient.

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