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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Obesity surgery: how much does it cost ?

By-pass, gastric band or sleeve, obesity surgery is always a heavy operation whose cost is important. In fact, in addition to the surgery itself, the pre and post-operative follow-ups that can or even must last several months increase the bill. How much does bariatric surgery really cost and how is the patient reimbursed ?

Bariatric surgery, a heavy operation and a high bill

Bariatric surgery is a risky operation and is only proposed to people with a BMI equal to or higher than 40 or with a BMI between 35 and 40 and who present serious pathologies related to their overweight. It is finally considered when alternative treatments have not significantly reduced the excess weight.

For some people, it can be considered as a last chance operation. Because let’s not forget that bariatric surgery is never a comfort operation, even if some people still consider it as the easy way out.

In reality, this operation transforms and even upsets the lives of the people who undergo it. Obesity surgery includes the surgical act itself but also a pre- and post-operative follow-up with a multidisciplinary team (psychologist, nutritionist, etc.), the total duration of which is in fact spread over a year or more and must last throughout one’s life. The Figaro newspaper recently stated that the cost of this operation could reach 15,000 euros. A very expensive bill, therefore.

The cost of the operation

Of course, as this operation is not a comfort operation, health insurance covers most of the cost, 70% in total. But for this to happen, the patient must choose an approved center to undergo the operation and his or her case must also meet the criteria previously mentioned.

The part that is not covered by the health insurance is covered by the patient’s complementary mutual insurance company if he/she has one. It is therefore essential to make sure that your health insurance company covers this type of operation properly, otherwise you will have to pay part of the bill yourself, which is not fully reimbursed by the social security. So take the time to compare each health insurance and ask for advice on the subject from those who have already been through it.

What does the patient pay in the end?

Even with the coverage of the care by the health insurance and a health insurance, it is rare to see the totality of the costs related to this type of surgery being totally reimbursed. One thinks in particular of the surgeons’ or anesthetists’ extra fees that are not always covered if the health insurance does not follow. Of course, this is not specific to obesity surgery.

Finally, there are the extras, such as dietary supplements that may not always be reimbursed and that you will have to take throughout your life.

In any case, your doctor must help you with the reimbursement of your obesity surgery by making a request for prior agreement with your social security center.

After bariatric surgery, the cost of reconstructive surgery

In general, after a sleeve or a bypass, the body is very damaged, especially with regard to excess skin.

It may then be necessary to resort to reconstructive surgery. The most common is abdominoplasty (bodylift, mini tummy tuck)on the stomach, but excess skin on the arms or thighs, for example, can also be removed, and even the breast can be remade.

The problem is that there is no absolute guarantee of reimbursement by the social security for all these reconstructive surgeries. It is therefore necessary to plan to be able to assume the costs.

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