Gastric sleeve surgery is the most common bariatric surgery performed in the United States. It is an option for people who have or are at risk for obesity-related health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, infertility, severe sleep apnea, and stroke. This surgery is typically recommended only when other weight loss methods, such as diet and exercise, have failed.
During a gastric sleeve procedure, a surgeon makes your stomach smaller by dividing it into two separate sections. The outer section is removed completely, leaving only a smaller inner section about the size and shape of a banana. After the surgery, you’ll be given specific nutritional advice for your recovery and beyond to help you heal, lose weight, and keep the weight off.
Gastric sleeve surgery isn’t an instant fix for obesity, but it can be the first step that makes all the difference for people who have struggled for years to lose weight.
How much does gastric sleeve surgery cost?
The average cost for gastric sleeve surgery in the United States is $16,750, though prices can range from $9,500 to $26,850 and more.
There are many factors that can affect the cost of your gastric sleeve surgery. One of the main ones is whether you get the surgery in an inpatient facility, like a hospital, or an outpatient surgery center. In the past, gastric surgeries were only performed in hospitals. Now, more and more bariatric surgeries are being performed in outpatient facilities.
Outpatient centers are just as safe as hospitals but could save you thousands on your medical bill.
Based on our data, the target fair price for gastric sleeve surgery is $11,250, whether you have health insurance or not.
- National Average: $16,750
- National Range: $9,500 – $26,850+
- Outpatient Facility Average: $14,590
- Inpatient Facility Average: $23,990
- Target Fair Price: $11,250
Read on to learn more about which factors can affect the cost of your gastric sleeve surgery and how you can find a fair price for your procedure.
Gastric sleeve surgery cost averages in the U.S.
Which factors affect how much gastric sleeve surgery costs?
Many things can affect the cost of healthcare, regardless of which type of procedure you’re getting. Generally, three main factors can cause the price of your surgery to vary:
- Facility setting — Where you have your medical procedure done will affect the price you pay. Having gastric sleeve surgery done in a hospital as an inpatient costs far more than having it done in an outpatient center. Inpatient facilities tend to cost more to run, so patients end up paying more for care.
- Insured or uninsured — If you have health insurance, the price of your gastric sleeve surgery can depend on your insurance provider. The change in price largely depends on how much of the procedure your insurance plan covers, if any at all. If you don’t have health insurance, you can expect to pay for the full cost of the procedure out-of-pocket.
- Location — The region, state, and even city you live in can affect the cost of your medical procedure. If you live in a rural area with fewer facilities to choose from, you can expect to pay more than you would if you lived in a city with many providers. Traveling for a medical procedure can be a great money-saving option.
What is the cost difference between inpatient and outpatient facilities?
The cost of weight loss surgery will vary greatly between inpatient and outpatient facilities. The national average price for gastric sleeve surgery at inpatient facilities is $23,990, while the same procedure at outpatient facilities averages $14,590.
How much is gastric sleeve surgery with or without insurance?
Insured patients can usually expect to pay less than uninsured patients for gastric sleeve surgery, especially when they stay in-network. The average price of gastric sleeve surgery for an uninsured patient is $17,250, while the average cost for an insured patient is $14,650.
In-network vs. out-of-network cost differences
If you have health insurance, you’ll need to pay attention to whether your healthcare providers are in-network or out-of-network for your insurance plan. In-network providers will almost always be cheaper than out-of-network providers. The national in-network price for gastric sleeve surgery is $19,470, and the out-of-network price is $25,740.
How much does gastric sleeve surgery cost out-of-pocket?
Almost everyone who has gastric sleeve surgery will have to pay some portion of the cost out-of-pocket. For insured patients, that portion can vary. Uninsured patients, on the other hand, will be responsible for the total cost of their surgery.
If you have health insurance, you’ll be responsible for paying your deductible, copay, and coinsurance amounts. The exact amount of each of these costs will depend on your specific health plan.
More factors that affect the cost of gastric sleeve surgery
- Prescriptions — A physician may prescribe painkillers or antibiotics after your surgery. To avoid high prescription prices, make sure your insurance policy covers the prescriptions you receive. If you don’t have insurance (or you do, but the prescription is still expensive), you can ask if there is a generic version of the same medicine, which can help lower the cost.
- Additional office visits — Sometimes, you may be charged a separate fee for an initial consultation with the surgeon before the surgery. You will also need to schedule multiple follow-up appointments during your gastric sleeve surgery recovery — usually around two weeks, six weeks, three months, and six months. After the first six months, you’ll continue seeing your doctor every six months to a year to monitor your health and progress. Ask which, if any, of these follow-up visits are included in the total cost of your procedure.
Are there alternatives to gastric sleeve surgery?
If your doctor tells you that you need gastric sleeve surgery, it’s typically because your weight is putting you at risk for health problems and you’ve tried other weight-loss options without success. There are two surgical alternatives to gastric sleeve surgery. However, you’ll want to check with your doctor if you’re considering one of the following:
- Gastric bypass surgery: Also called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, this surgery involves creating a small pouch in the stomach and connecting it directly to the small intestine. This surgery is more complex than gastric sleeve surgery. Gastric bypass can result in greater weight loss than the gastric sleeve procedure, but it also has a higher risk of complications and malnutrition after surgery.
- Lap band surgery: Gastric banding, also called lap band surgery, used to be a common procedure. However, it’s gotten less popular in recent years because of its link to long-term complications and unsuccessful weight loss. During this procedure, a surgeon places a band around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small pouch that limits the amount of food a patient can eat in one sitting.
The weight loss procedure you get will depend on your personal health and your doctor’s recommendations. If you have any questions, you can always ask your doctor why they’re recommending any procedure. You also have the right to get a second opinion before you commit to anything.
Your gastric sleeve surgery checklist
- Review the total cost of your gastric sleeve surgery with your surgeon, including prescriptions and follow-up visits. Ask them to explain what each fee is for, and make sure to keep a record of everything in writing. If you get a medical bill that’s higher than you expected, this information will come in handy.
- Ask your surgeon if they can perform the gastric sleeve procedure in an outpatient setting.
- Check that all of your providers are in-network, not just your main surgeon. For example, patients are often surprised by fees associated with out-of-network anesthesiologists. You can avoid this by asking your surgeon whether all the providers who will treat you are in-network for your insurance.
- Ask what the typical cost is if the surgeon encounters complications during your procedure.
Finding a fair price for your gastric sleeve surgery
The national average for gastric sleeve surgery is $16,750, but you may be able to pay significantly less by scheduling your procedure through New Choice Health’s Bariatric Surgery Assistance program. Take advantage of all-inclusive discounted pricing ranging from $9,000 to $11,500, as well as financial assistance programs that can help you pay for the cost of your surgery. Click here to learn more about the Patient Assist Bariatric Surgery Assistance program today.