Weight Loss Surgeries That You Could Not Afford in America

A surgery for weight-loss is the most effective means of losing weight for those who cannot get rid of their excess weight by following a proper diet and exercise routine. With approximately one-third of the U.S adult population falling in the category of 'obese', surgical methods remain the most reliable means of sustainable weight-loss for the extremely obese. Even though the number of bariatric surgeries performed in the United States rose to a whopping 804 percent in six years, between 1998 and 2004, to 121,055 from 13,386, according to a study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the surgery only remains a distant reality for most Americans. Affordable weight-loss surgery in America can be tough to come by. In fact, getting a weight-loss surgery may be almost impossible or prohibitively expensive if one is not covered by a health insurance.

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A study conducted by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) in 2008 proves that diet, exercise and modification rarely achieve adequate and durable weight loss. On the other hand, with the help of minimally invasive bariatric procedures, patients are now able to achieve sustainable weight-loss with minimal complications. Gastric Bypass was one of the first bariatric procedures to gain popularity in America and several modifications of the original surgical procedure have evolved over the years. Gastric bypass involves cutting the size of the patient's stomach, so the patient will feel satiated with less food. It also decreases the body's ability to fully absorb food. The second most popular surgery for weight loss in the U.S is gastric banding. In this form of surgery, a silicone band is placed around the top portion of the stomach, thus limiting the amount of food consumed.

Both gastric bypass and gastric banding are expensive procedures, costing anywhere between $15000 and $35000, depending on the specific surgical procedure. This is not all. Most patients have to shell out thousands of dollars more on the diet counseling, behavioral counseling and even on cosmetic surgery to rebuild the sagging skin after the bariatric procedure. If you are one of those lucky ones who are covered by a health insurance, your bariatric surgery may be taken care of by the insurance company. However, the whopping bills that you face for the unexpected treatments that you may need to undergo after the surgery may put a damper on your enthusiasm for a weight-loss surgery.

Health plans by small employers in America almost never cover weight loss surgery, while only about 50% of the large employer insurance plans may provide you with a cover for a bariatric surgery. Even when the insurance company covers the cost of the surgery, it may not cover the costs of any complications that may occur after the surgery. The health plan may also not cover a second surgery, which is not a rarity in bariatric procedures, if the need arises. Also, many insurance plans may levy a substantial co-payment for such as operation, which may turn out to be quite hefty.

The high cost of weight loss surgeries in America motivates a lot of people to scout for cheaper options abroad. Countries in Asia and Latin America, such as India and Mexico, have emerged as the popular destinations for weight loss surgery. The cost of a weight loss procedure, such as Gastric Plication in Mexico, is only a fraction of the cost of a similar procedure in the U.S. By choosing the doctor and hospital abroad carefully and making adequate arrangements for follow up care back home, one can escape the exaggerated costs of surgery in America and avail a cost-effective bariatric procedure abroad.

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