Weight Loss Surgery Costs & Frequently Asked Questions

Lap band surgery costs, gastric sleeve surgery costs and other weight loss surgery questions…

New patients

For a specialist appointment, Medicare states that a patient must have a current referral from a general practitioner or other specialist. If you do not have a valid referral, you will not obtain your Medicare rebate. You can always make an appointment and then arrange for your general practitioner to fax through a referral prior to your appointment date.

You can still have an appointment WITHOUT a referral. It just means that you have to pay the full consulting fee with no medicare rebate.

Cost Of Weight Loss Surgery

This depends entirely on whether you have private health insurance cover or not.

The cost of all procedures will be discussed beforehand and you will receive a written quotation.

For weight loss surgery including lap band surgery cost, insured patients will be out of pocket about $3,500. This is the same of gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass. This fee covers everything including surgery, follow-up, dietician, bariatric physician and psychologist advice. If you require further operations for complications within the first two years, as long as you are covered by your health fund, there will be no further charges from the surgeon. Revision from band to sleeve or sleeve to bypass will incur further charges.  Check with your health fund that you are covered for item number 31575 for gastric sleeve.  For gastric bypass, the item number is 31572

There will be extra costs related to the anaesthetist, surgical assistant, nutritional supplements and pathology services. These costs are not associated with our clinic and independent enquiries are recommended with these parties. To give an approximate idea of the extra costs on top of the $3,500, anesthetic out-of-pocket costs can be up to $1000, depending on the time it takes to complete the operation, the surgical assistant’s fee can be about $250 out of pocket and pathology services could cost up to about $200.

For non-insured patients, you are looking at approximately $20,000. This covers everything. Of this $3500 is payable four to six weeks prior to surgery.

The out-of-pocket costs may be taken from superannuation funds if required. This link gives you the relevant information.
www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/early-release-of-superannuation/compassionate-grounds-medical-treatment

The online link for early release of super can be found at:

https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/applying-early-superannuation-release

FREE: Removal of lap bands – no fee.

Lap band removal incurs no out-of-pocket surgical fees if you are covered by your private health fund. Inquire with your fund about whether you are covered for item number 31584. Our clinic is happy to organise removal of lap bands regardless of where you had your band inserted originally. Our clinic has substantial experience in removal of lap bands and then converting to sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass subsequently. Generally, we advise waiting three months between removal of lap band before undertaking further surgery such as sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass. For removal of lap bands, there may be a small out-of-pocket cost from the anesthetist. Generally, removal of lap bands will mean one overnight stay in hospital if all goes well. Occasionally, this procedure can be done as a day case procedure, especially if the patient lives locally on the Central Coast.

Weight loss surgery and lap band surgery cost is not offered in the public hospitals of the Central Coast and therefore non-insured patients will have to bear the full cost. It is cheapest to join a health fund and book in for surgery after the waiting period is up. Again, you may access your superannuation funds on Centrelink Early Release of Superannuation in order to cover the costs of weight loss surgery. We do not offer payment plans as we believe that this adds unnecessary stress to the weight loss journey.

Is weight loss surgery dangerous?

Any type of surgery can carry serious risks and complications. The risks of surgery differs according to patient features and the type of surgery being performed.

Recovery time and stay in hospital

Key hole surgery usually means quicker recovery time. Everyone recovers differently. Generally, after keyhole procedures, patients are back to light activities and desk jobs in 2-3 weeks and back to physical work in 6 weeks. Most stay 1 to 2 nights in hospital after surgery. Removal of lap bands may be performed as day case surgery in selected situations.

Will I be able to eat normally after weight loss surgery?

This depends on the type of weight loss surgery undertaken. Generally, patients after sleeve gastrectomy will have less dietary restrictions than gastric band patients. However, it is best to keep in close contact with our dietician.