How Much Does Weight Loss Surgery Cost?

Mar 13, 2019 | Cost

Many overweight Australians have for years been in the cycle of fad diets, exercise regimes, and weight loss programs … and regardless of their best intentions, none of these have delivered the results they want. This is why many are increasingly being advised to consider weight loss surgery as a means of helping them towards a healthier future.

Not surprisingly, the demand for weight loss surgery in Australia is increasing each year. According to data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), the number of weight loss surgeries in our country more than doubled from around 9,300 in 2005-2006 to 22,713 in 2014-2015[1].

We know that weight loss surgery is an effective way to take off the kilos, improve your health, and add years to your life. But before embarking on this journey, it is important to be financially prepared, and to balance the cost of surgery against the health and financial costs of continuing on the same path you’ve been on up until now.

Be financially prepared

It is important to obtain accurate information from your weight loss surgeon regarding the costs of the surgery, associated medical costs, and the details of any follow up procedures that may be required. If you have private health insurance, you should contact your provider to obtain confirmation that you are, in fact, covered for this surgery. Knowing this in advance will help you to determine what out of pocket expenses will need to be paid by you.

There are other financial considerations, including lost wages during your recovery period (if you don’t have sick leave provisions), so understanding how long you may need to be off work is important.

On the flip side though, it is worth bearing in mind how much money you will potentially save on medical bills, medications, and food, should you not have the surgery and remain as you are now. And of course, no price tag can be put on becoming a fitter and healthier you.

How much does weight loss surgery cost with insurance?

The amount you can expect to pay for your weight loss surgery will vary depending on your level of private insurance cover, the fund itself, and Medicare. The out-of-pocket expenses listed below are estimates ONLY and include the cost for a surgeon, anaesthesia, and assistant[2]:

  • Gastric Balloon (no Medicare item number) – $6,000 (includes insertion and removal)
  • Gastric Band (Medicare item number 31569) – $5,799.55
  • Gastric Sleeve (Medicare item number 31575) – $6,799.55
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery (Medicare item number 31572) – $,7995.40

How much does weight loss surgery cost when uninsured?

Those without private health insurance can expect to incur the following approximate expenses for weight loss surgery. The costs also include the cost for the surgeon, the anaesthesia, and a private hospital accommodation[3].

  • Gastric Balloon (no Medicare item number) – $6,000 (includes insertion and removal)
  • Gastric Band (Medicare item number 31569) – $11,000 to $15,000
  • Gastric Sleeve (Medicare item number 31575) – $25,000 to $30,000
  • Gastric Bypass Surgery (Medicare item number 31572) – $25,000 to $30,000

(Variations to these estimates are likely based on individual circumstances)

How can you fund your weight loss surgery?

Once you have an accurate idea of the cost of your surgery, you will be in a position to decide whether or not you can afford it, or whether you should considering other ways of funding it, like self funding, taking Medical loan or drawing down on your Superannuation savings. All of these are options that should be discussed with your financial advisor or accountant and you need to know the implications of the same.

We invite you to call us today on (03) 9466 7799 or to arrange a time with our Patient Advisor to discuss this further.

Melbourne Gastro Surgery was the leading contributor to the Australian Bariatric Registry in 2018.

[1]https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/hospitals/ahs-2014-15-weight-loss-surgery/contents/table-of-contents

[2] https://centreforweightloss.com.au/how-much-does-weight-loss-surgery-cost/insured/

[3] https://centreforweightloss.com.au/how-much-does-weight-loss-surgery-cost/not-insured/

Bariatric Surgery Registry Leading Contributor