How To Get The Most For Your Money
Even if your insurance does cover some or most of your gallbladder removal, youll likely pay some portion of the cost out-of-pocket. To make sure youre getting the most care for your money:
Ask your insurance company about your costs, like co-insurance, copays, and deductibles.
Utilize your Health Savings Account , Flexible Spending Account , or Health Reimbursement Account to cover out-of-pocket expenses.
Use Amino to compare prices for different doctors.
Look into outpatient centersthey often have more affordable surgery options.
Have a conversation with your doctor. This is especially important if you dont have insurance and are paying for your surgery yourself. Some doctors will offer a discount or an interest-free payment plan if they know youre shouldering the cost on your own.
Why Dont I Need My Gallbladder
The gallbladder, while helpful, is not necessary. It is storage and regulating organ. Even without it, your liver will continue to produce bile and deliver it to your small intestine. The gallbladder simply allows the release of extra bile when youve eaten a particularly high-fat meal, but your body can adjust to living without it. Rarely, some people may need to avoid super high-fat meals after gallbladder surgery, however.
Payment Plans For Surgery
Some surgeons and hospitals offer payment plans for their services. Payment plans are most commonly offered when your surgery is routinely paid for by the patient instead of an insurance company.
A hysterectomy is almost universally covered by insurance, so surgeons who specialize in hysterectomy might not offer a payment plan conversely, plastic surgery is almost never paid for by insurance, so the surgeon would be more likely to know about self-pay options.
In some cases, payment plans are a formal agreement that you will make monthly payments in order to pay for the expenses of your surgery. In other cases, the payment plan is a loan, but the hospital or surgeon is involved in the financial arrangements.
Some hospitals may offer a payment plan for their services, but the plan is a monthly pre-payment plan that is finished by the time surgery occurs.
In the case of an unplanned surgery or emergency surgery when the procedure is performed on an uninsured patient, hospitals are highly motivated to establish a payment plan with willing patients.
Monthly payments, even if they are not large, are more attractive to the billing department than no payments, and it may keep the debt from appearing on your credit report as a negative account.
Don’t Miss: Can Pancreatic Cancer Cause Low Blood Sugar
Why Do I Need Gallbladder Surgery
The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is found beneath the right side of your liver. Its main purpose is to collect bile, a liquid produced by the liver. Bile travels through ducts and is then delivered into the small intestine where it helps you digest the fat in your food.
Some people, however, tend to form gallstones. These are hard, rock-like lumps varying in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters and made up of cholesterol, bile salts and calcium. If you have a tendency to form stones, they may gather in your gall bladder and block the flow of bile. This can cause pain, vomiting, indigestion, and occasionally, fever. Some people may also develop jaundice, a yellowing of the skin. Attacks can last from a few minutes to several hours.
No one understands why some people form gallstones and others dont, but both family history and hormones are thought to play a role. Women, people who are overweight, anyone with high cholesterol, people with chronic intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and people over 40 are all at higher risk.
How Much Does Gallbladder Removal Surgery Cost
If you develop gallstoneshardened deposits of digestive fluidand have symptoms like pain in your upper right abdomen, pain between your shoulder blades, nausea, or vomiting, a gastroenterologist may refer you to a general surgeon for gallbladder removal.
Amino found that the median network rate for laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery is $8,461, while the median network rate for open gallbladder removal surgery is $10,874. Keep in mindthis is an estimate for what you and your health insurance company might pay together for your surgery.
Read on to learn more about what gallbladder removal surgery is and who might need to have it done.
You May Like: Herbs For Liver And Kidney
What Is Gallbladder Removal Surgery
Gallbladder removal surgery, also known as a cholecystectomy, is a surgery to remove your gallbladdera small organ on the right side of your abdomen, just underneath your liver.
The need for surgery is often diagnosed by a gastroenterologist , but the surgery itself is usually performed by a general surgeon. There are two main types of gallbladder removal surgeries: laparoscopic cholecystectomy and open cholecystectomy.
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most common type for gallbladder removal. During a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, your doctor will make several small incisions in your abdomen and insert a laparoscope . This helps to guide the surgeon’s instruments as they remove your gallbladder. Generally, a laparoscopic gallbladder removal is safe and effective, comes with few risks, and has a shorter recovery time.
Open cholecystectomy is less common and more invasive than laparoscopic removal. During an open cholecystectomy, a surgeon will make a large incision across your abdomen to remove your gallbladder. Although there are more risks associated with open surgery, it is sometimes preferred for removing severely diseased gallbladders.
If you have an open gallbladder removal, you can expect a hospital stay of two to four days and a recovery time of four to six weeks. If you have a laparoscopic gallbladder removal, you will probably be able to go home the same or next day, and your recovery time should only be about one week.
Questions To Ask Before Surgery
Millions of Americans will undergo surgery each year. It is important to be informed about the surgery being recommended, particularly if it is elective surgery , rather than an emergency surgery. All surgeries have risks and benefits. It’s important to understand them before deciding whether the procedure is appropriate for you.
The following are important questions to review with your healthcare provider before surgery. Ask your healthcare provider to explain the answers clearly and ask for further explanation if you are having trouble understanding an explanation and/or any medical terms. Some people find it helpful to write their questions down ahead of time.
It is important to remember that a well-informed patient tends to be more satisfied with the outcome or results of a procedure:
Don’t Miss: Bone Broth For Leaky Gut
Learning About Your Surgeon
It is important to have confidence in the healthcare provider who will be doing your surgery. Whether this is someone you have chosen yourself, or a healthcare provider or surgeon you have been referred to, you can make sure that he or she is qualified. This may include any or all of the following:
Ask your primary healthcare provider, your local medical society, or health insurance company for information about the healthcare provider or surgeon’s experience with the procedure.
Ask about the healthcare provider or surgeon’s credentials and whether he or she has any additional certifications or experience in doing the procedure.
Make certain the healthcare provider or surgeon is affiliated with an accredited healthcare facility. When considering surgery, where it is done is often as important as who is doing the procedure.
Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
The coronary arteries provide blood and nutrients to the heart. Sometimes these arteries get clogged with plaque. This surgery improves circulation by rerouting blood around a blocked or narrowed part of the artery with a healthy vessel from elsewhere.
Hospitals charge an average of $77,177 for this procedure.
Please Contact Blanca In Our Office For Complete Details: 972
Also, the prices listed do not include mesh, should it be required for hernia repairs .
Please note, these are approximate prices, and may not be current price. Also, surgery is a field that occasionally has unexpected consequences and thus potentially unexpected costs. These prices do not include additional charges that could be encountered with increased care, complications, or need for additional procedures. Prices do not include initial office consultation For hernia surgery, mesh usage will affect cost Average Dallas prices from guroo.com* May include small fee for pathology
How Much Does Gallbladder Surgery Cost $5865 Or $94897
Q: How much does gallbladder surgery cost, and how much does gallbladder removal cost?
A: Anywhere from $5,865 to $94,897.
Heres another one: How can a person with good insurance wind up paying $6,104.64 for gallbladder surgery? Well, its not hard.
We set out on this quest after hearing from Justin Evans, of Bonney Lake, Wash., who has pretty good employer-sponsored insurance, and who after his gallbladder surgery got bills for around $50,000. He is being asked to pay $6,104.64 as his responsibility, though he was in-network and his insurance has a $2,000 deductible.
Evans email said:
On Jan. 11th, I underwent an emergency Gall Bladder removal surgery. It went extremely well and from the time I walked into the ER until the time I walked out after surgery was a total of 13 hours. Im just now starting to get bills and it is ridiculous! The Hospital stay alone was over $44,000, for 13 hours! Insurance and adjustments left me with over $3,600 out of pocket for the hospital. Thats not to mention the ultrasound charges, xray charges, surgeon charges & anesthesiologist and any other bills Ive yet to see. So far its nearly $50k in charges. I cant understand how 13 hours in the hospital can cost more than my monthly mortgage for 4 years or the same price as a fully loaded BMW X5! Im just not sure why such a routine surgery performed between 500,000 700,000 times a year can cost so much.
Evans made a spreadsheet of the prices and reimbursement rates, shown below.
Don’t Miss: How Long Do You Survive With Pancreatic Cancer
How To Pay For Surgery Without Insurance
Patients should not have to fret about paying for surgery without insurance, given many viable options. Yet, it still happens.
Everyone can get affordable coverage that pays for preexisting conditions with no waiting period, but the timing is significant. Many patients can get immediate coverage to address emergencies, while others may have to delay until January for a new plan to kick in.
Insured Vs Uninsured Cost Differences
Insured patients have historically paid less than uninsured patients for a gallbladder removal, especially when they stay in-network. When a patient has insurance, they share payment responsibility with their insurance company. For patients who dont have health insurance, the cost of gallbladder removal surgery falls on them and, ultimately, costs more.
Also Check: Cost To Gut And Remodel House
What Determines The Cost Of Gallbladder Removal Surgery
Amino found the median network rate for gallbladder removal surgery depends on what type of surgery you have. Laparoscopic gallbladder removal tends to cost less, with a median network rate of $8,461. Open gallbladder removal is typically more expensive, with a median network rate of $10,874. In addition, we found that the cost ranges across the US for both types of surgery from $5,491 to $17,391a huge difference.
Here are some factors that could impact how much your gallbladder removal surgery costs:
Now that you know how much gallbladder removal surgery could cost, lets explore insurance coverage and how to get the most care for your money.
First Some Prices For Gall
We have a big dataset with cash or self-pay prices for bigger-ticket items, so weve learned a lot about what cash patients pay for things like gallbladder surgery. To find prices, you need to look under gallbladder and also cholecystectomy, which is another word for this procedure.
At the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, in Oklahoma City, the price is $5,865, all-inclusive. So Evans could have gotten his entire operation for less than his co-pay, and also a round-trip airline ticket from Seattle to Oklahoma City, which is around $300, would have brought him in around $6,165 just a smidge more than what he is being asked to pay on top of the insurance companys stated outlay of $15,754.15.
The self-pay price for a gallbladder removal at Rochester General hospital in Rochester, N.Y., is $6,260.91, without anesthesia and doctors bill. Heres Rochesters general pricing page, from the web archive.
At the Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, Ariz., the price for a laparoscopic gallbladder removal without complications is listed as $64,189, but the self-pay discounted price was listed from $9,608 to $12,240.
One friend who lives in the New York metro area told us about her gallbladder surgery that had a total bill of $13,975.21 and the insurance company paid $7,752.57 and she paid $1,111.52.
You May Like: Can You Take Excedrin On An Empty Stomach
Patient Stories Emergency Gallbladder Surgery Funded By Charity Care
Alta Bates Summit Medical Center
Fifty-eight-year-old Jose Dueñas of Oakland has always worked hard to support his family, first in the fields, and then for 23 years at a large grocery store. His daughter describes him as “the rock of our familyand the one who holds us together.”
To the people that gave attention to me, Im really thankful.
The night that Jose began to experience stomach pains, he thought he had a case of indigestion. His wife offered him a few home remedies, and he expected to soon feel better. But instead, the pain grew much worse. By the third day, his discomfort was so severe that he was doubled over. That is when his daughter took him to the emergency room at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center.
Once there, he underwent tests and learned that the source of his pain was his gallbladder. The doctors explained that, with immediate surgery, his pain should be relieved. But Dueñas had no medical insurance, and he was worried.
He explained his situation to the hospital medical team. “I asked them, ‘What am I going to do, how am I going to pay for this?'” He immediately began thinking of ways he could afford the medical care, including refinancing or selling his house. But the staff members at Alta Bates Summit were warm and reassuring. “They told me, ‘Don’t worry about it right now. First we need to treat you,'” Dueñas says.
Using Your Home Equity
Home equity loans are borrowed against the value of your home that is greater than the balance of your mortgage. For example, if your home is currently worth $300,000, but you owe only $200,000 to the bank, you may be able to borrow against the $100,000 in equity.
It is typically easier to obtain this type of loan than an unsecured loan because the house is your collateral. This type of loan also provides a tax break as the interest is tax-deductible like a standard mortgage.
Keep in mind that if you are unable to make the payments on a home equity loan, the consequences can be dire. Failure to pay the loan back can result in foreclosure and eviction from your home.
Read Also: Signs Of Inflammation In The Gut
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Gallbladder Surgery
Your recovery time will depend on which procedure you had.
- Laparoscopic: Most people can leave the hospital on the same day or the day after the operation. If you leave that day, have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours as you may still be feeling the effects of the anesthesia. Youll likely be able to return to your normal activities in about two weeks.
- Open: Usually youll have to stay in the hospital for three to five days afterwards. Recovery takes about six to eight weeks.
What Is A Cholecystectomy
A cholecystectomy is surgery to remove your gallbladder.
The gallbladder is a small organ under your liver. It is on the upper right side of your belly or abdomen. The gallbladder stores a digestive juice called bile which is made in the liver.
There are 2 types of surgery to remove the gallbladder:
Open method. In this method, 1 cut about 4 to 6 inches long is made in the upper right-hand side of your belly. The surgeon finds the gallbladder and takes it out through the incision.
Laparoscopic method. This method uses 3 to 4 very small incisions. It uses a long, thin tube called a laparoscope. The tube has a tiny video camera and surgical tools. The tube, camera and tools are put in through the incisions. The surgeon does the surgery while looking at a TV monitor. The gallbladder is removed through 1 of the incisions.
A laparoscopic cholecystectomy is less invasive. That means it uses very small incisions in your belly. There is less bleeding. The recovery time is usually shorter than an open surgery.
In some cases the laparoscope may show that your gallbladder is very diseased. Or it may show other problems. Then the surgeon may have to use an open surgery method to remove your gallbladder safely.
Recommended Reading: Average Cost Of Gallbladder Surgery
It’s Easy To Get The Care You Need
See a Premier Physician Network provider near you.
Unless youve felt the stabbing pain of gallstones, most likely youve never given your gallbladder a second thought. But this small organ can trigger big problems. Learn the signs and symptoms of gallbladder trouble, and when its time to seek a surgeons advice.
Questions To Ask Before Financing
Before you finance your surgery, ask these important questions of the lender and of yourself:
- How long will you have to repay the loan?
- What will the payments be on the debt?
- Will you be able to manage the payments or will you be struggling to pay your bills on time?
- Will you be paying your credit cards off forever because you will be unable to make a payment larger than the minimum?
- What will you do if the cost of surgery is higher than estimated by your surgeon?
- Will you be driven into bankruptcy if the cost, and therefore the payments, are underestimated?
- Will you be able to afford the prescription medication you require after surgery if you are paying your credit card bill?
- Will you be unable to save for your future needs if you are paying for your surgery?
Don’t Miss: Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea For 4 Days