The Cost of Lap Band Surgery


The cost of lap band surgery varies by region, facility and doctor, but the initial procedure generally costs between $15,000 to $25,000. The post-operative monitoring that is an integral part of the lap band procedure includes regular office visits to your lap band doctor. Your doctor can make lap band adjustments in a routine office visit, changing the fill level to suit your current status. These quick and painless adjustments are a necessary part of the lap band procedure, and generally cost up to about $200.

Once you’ve been approved as a suitable candidate for lap band surgery, you will have to undergo medical tests and exams to make sure you are healthy enough for surgery. The costs of these tests are generally included in the price of the initial surgery, but not always. Your doctor’s office will be well-versed in this process and will help you understand the breakdown of costs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Make sure you understand all the cost elements of the procedure. Although the cost of lap band surgery has declined as its popularity has risen, it remains a costly procedure.

Fortunately, most patients with health insurance have a reasonable chance of getting their insurance provider to cover some or all of the costs of surgery, depending on the policy and your specific medical condition.

If your doctor establishes medical need, the insurance company may require you to document previous, unsuccessful attempts at weight loss through more traditional means such as diet and exercise. As long as certain conditions are met, insurance companies are becoming more likely to approve of lap band surgery. Your doctor’s office will be able to help you navigate the insurance approval process.

Post-operative costs, including followup care and band adjustments, are generally not included as part of the surgery costs. Usually, your lap band doctor will need to see you three or four times in the first year after surgery in order to monitor your progress and make any adjustments to band to suit your condition. The costs of these adjustments usually fall into the $100 to $300 range.

Even with coverage from private health insurance, out-of-pocket costs can be significant. Because of this, some people seek treatment in foreign countries. Mexico, Costa Rica and India are some of the most popular foreign countries sought out by travelers seeking lap band surgery at a discount. The procedure can cost as little as $7,500 in these countries, but don’t forget to factor in elements such as travel and lodging costs as well as the post-operative monitoring and maintenance costs that are a necessary part of the procedure. Finding a lap band doctor in your area to perform adjustments to the band that was implanted by another doctor in a foreign country is generally not a problem, but they may charge more for this adjustment than they would charge for adjusting a band they implanted themselves.

For those undergoing treatment in the U.S., there are payment options that can help patients with or without health insurance manage costs. Most hospitals and surgery centers offer payment plans to patients at low or no interest. Many medical providers offer financing options (almost always through third-party financing companies) to help self-pay patients afford procedures such as lap band surgery that can help them lose weight and improve their health.

Related: Financing for Weight Loss Surgery | Insurance for Weight Loss Surgery