The battle with obesity can be difficult, and many individuals who have struggled to lose weight through diet and exercise alone often turn to weight loss surgery as a last resort. Bariatric surgery has become an increasingly popular and effective way to help people achieve significant weight loss and potentially improve their overall health. In this blog post, we will discuss various weight loss surgery options, how they work, their costs, and how to finance these procedures.
Gastric Bypass (Roux-en-Y)
Gastric bypass is one of the most common weight loss surgery options. The procedure involves dividing the stomach into two parts, with the smaller part (called the pouch) being connected directly to the small intestine. This bypasses the larger part of the stomach and a portion of the small intestine, leading to reduced calorie and nutrient absorption.
How it works: Gastric bypass surgery works by restricting the amount of food that can be consumed and reducing the absorption of calories and nutrients. This leads to significant weight loss and improved health.
Cost: The cost of gastric bypass surgery ranges from $20,000 to $35,000, depending on factors such as location and surgeon expertise.
Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, involves the removal of approximately 80% of the stomach, leaving a banana-shaped sleeve. This procedure does not involve rearranging the intestines.
How it works: The remaining smaller stomach restricts the amount of food that can be consumed, leading to weight loss. Additionally, the procedure reduces the production of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating hunger, which further helps control appetite.
Cost: The cost of sleeve gastrectomy ranges from $15,000 to $25,000, depending on the location and surgeon’s expertise.
Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding (LAGB)
In this procedure, an adjustable silicone band is placed around the upper portion of the stomach, creating a small pouch above the band and the remaining larger part of the stomach below. The surgeon can adjust this band to control the rate at which food passes through the stomach.
How it works: LAGB works by restricting the amount of food consumed, leading to weight loss. The adjustable nature of the band allows for a personalized approach to weight loss.
Cost: LAGB costs range from $15,000 to $30,000, depending on the location and surgeon’s expertise.
Biliopancreatic Diversion with Duodenal Switch (BPD-DS)
This complex procedure combines restrictive and malabsorptive elements. It involves removing a large portion of the stomach, similar to sleeve gastrectomy, and rerouting the small intestine. This creates a shorter path for food to travel, which results in reduced calorie and nutrient absorption.
How it works: BPD-DS works by restricting the amount of food that can be consumed and reducing the absorption of calories and nutrients. This leads to significant weight loss and improved health.
Cost: The cost of BPD-DS ranges from $25,000 to $50,000, depending on the location and surgeon’s expertise.
Weight loss surgery can be expensive, but there are several options to help cover the costs:
Many health insurance plans cover weight loss surgery if deemed medically necessary. Be sure to check with your insurance provider to determine if your plan covers bariatric surgery and the requirements. You may need to provide documentation of previous weight loss attempts, such as diet and exercise programs, or undergo a medically supervised weight loss program before surgery is approved.
Medical loans are specifically designed to finance medical procedures, including weight loss surgery. These loans are offered by banks, credit unions, and specialized medical financing companies. The interest rates and terms vary depending on the lender and your credit history. It’s essential to compare different loan options and choose the one that best suits your financial situation.
Many bariatric surgery centers offer in-house financing or payment plans to help patients manage the cost of surgery. These plans typically involve an initial down payment followed by monthly installments. Be sure to discuss your options with your surgeon’s office and understand the terms and conditions before committing to a payment plan.
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can use the funds in these accounts to pay for weight loss surgery. HSAs and FSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that allow you to set aside pre-tax income for medical expenses. Be sure to check the specific rules and regulations for your HSA or FSA to ensure that bariatric surgery is an eligible expense.
Grants and Scholarships
There are organizations, such as the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (WLSFA), that offer grants and scholarships to individuals who need financial assistance for weight loss surgery. These programs often require an application and may have specific eligibility criteria. Be sure to research and apply for any grants or scholarships that may be available to you.
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United Credit strives to keep the content shared on this blog accurate and up to date. You are urged to consult with business, financial, legal, tax and/or other advisors and/or medical providers with respect to any information presented. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been approved or otherwise endorsed by any financial or medical institution. This content is intended for informational purposes only.
As Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Nate expertly drives revenue growth for United Credit by leading sales and marketing strategies across all channels. With over 20 years of experience working with global brands in various industries, Nate has a proven track record of boosting sales, expanding market share, and building strong relationships. His unique ‘right-brain + left-brain’ approach combines business acumen and strategic thinking with striking creative execution, ensuring United Credit’s sales and marketing efforts consistently deliver results for continued success.
Matthew is the President and Founder of United Credit. Matt founded fintech company United Medical Credit in 2011 to connect consumers and businesses with an array of experienced, innovative financing solutions. In 2022, the company grew and became United Credit, fueling an expansion into retail markets while retaining its expertise in specialty healthcare.
Since its founding, Matt has provided leadership for all aspects of the Company, emphasizing long-term growth while ensuring United Credit delivers value to its consumers, merchants, and business partners. The Company has risen in the fintech space as a preferred consumer financing partner under his tenure.
Matt is also an active member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization), the world’s largest leadership community of company chief executives.