Gastric Sleeve Cost – Breakdown of Gastric Sleeve Pricing Australia
How Much Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost in Australia?
The cost of getting gastric sleeve surgery in Australia will depend greatly on your Medicare or private health insurance status. If you’re covered by a private health fund, your out of pocket expenses will likely be much lower. Your expenses will also depend on expertise of the operating surgeon and the overall hospital costs where your procedure takes place.
If you’re privately insured and this is cleared with the hospital, then the cost of gastric sleeve surgery in Australia is usually around $3,500 AUD for out-of-pocket expenses. Meanwhile, if you aren’t privately insured, the out-of-pocket cost of gastric sleeve surgery can be over $20,0000.
These estimated costs cover the fees for the surgeon, the anaesthetics, and additional costs associated with completing the procedure through the hospital you visit.
While it may seem like a no-brainer to take out private health insurance ahead of gastric sleeve surgery, it’s important to remember that most insurance plans will have pre-defined waiting periods and specific requirements to qualify for coverage. Be sure to consult with your private health insurance provider to better understand waiting periods and coverage before taking out a policy.
In this comprehensive guide for 2023, we provide up-to-date pricing for gastric sleeve costs in Australia while considering factors such as hospital expenses, surgeon fees, and additional services. We’ll also break down the costs for insured and non-insured patients to help you understand what you’ll be paying for and how to effectively navigate the process.
The Growing Popularity of Gastric Sleeve Procedures in Australia
Gastric sleeve surgery has been performed in Australia for more than ten years. For more than a decade, gastric sleeve surgery has been aiding Australians in rapidly losing weight, changing their food consumption patterns, and radically transforming unhealthy lifestyle behaviours.
The latest ABS data shows us that 67% of adults in Australia are either overweight or obese. It therefore comes as no surprise that interest in gastric sleeve and other bariatric surgeries is stronger than ever. With two-thirds of Australians experiencing and battling obesity, the amount of people who consider undergoing weight loss surgery in 2023 is only increasing. Furthermore, bariatric surgery practices are less invasive and more accessible than other procedures, leading more people online to learn about the cost of Gastric Sleeve surgery in Australia.
What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery & Who is Eligible?
Gastric sleeve surgery is a type of surgery that specifically targets a goal of weight loss and lifestyle behavioural change. Gastric sleeve surgery is a bariatric procedure that permanently reduces the size of the stomach. In the procedure, part of the stomach is removed. Then, the remainder of the stomach is sealed and closed with staples. Like other types of weight-specific surgery procedures, gastric sleeve surgery intends to limit the amount of food the patient can consume — this contributes to their efforts to avoid excessive and dangerous weight gain.
Obesity surgery is typically recommended if:
• The patient has a very high body mass index (BMI).
• The patient has already seriously undertaken and attempted other weight loss methods.
• The patient is suffering from a condition that makes excessive weight loss and lifestyle change essential for their health.
Gastric sleeve surgery costs in Australia will vary from surgeon to surgeon, relying heavily on the scope of the procedure, the hospital, the surgical clinic, and whether or not the patient is privately insured or not. At Central Coast Surgery, we strive to be as transparent as possible with our gastric sleeve surgery costs. Those who are considered morbidly obese, in which their weight has the potential to be life-threatening if left untreated, may qualify for further Medicare covering than others.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
When a patient decides to go ahead with bariatric surgery, we take them through a step by step process to ensure they are entirely aware of every aspect of the procedure. In the case of gastric sleeve costs, our Central Coast Surgery clinic will follow a process to work with a dietician, a surgeon, a psychologist and a nutrition plan.
Patients who undergo bariatric surgery (and gastric sleeve surgery in particular) experience faster weight loss than with most other surgical and non-surgical options, with an expected weight loss of around 30% total body weight over a 12-month period.
It's important to consider what's inclusive of surgery fees and what may be excluded. At Central Coast Surgery, we work closely with each patient, and the following services are a part of our gastric sleeve surgery cost Australia inclusions:
• Initial consultation with the surgeon
• Pre-operative assessment with a specialist physician
• Surgical procedure
• Clinical psychologist consultation
• Dietician consultations
Furthermore, if a patient requires further operations for complications within the first two years, as long as their health fund covers them, there will be no additional charges from our surgeon.
The additional costs not included in our clinical fees include:
• Surgical assistant
• Nutritional supplements
• Pathology services
What is the Process for New Patients?
For new patients, the first thing we’ll do for you is set up with a specialist appointment with our bariatric surgeon. In Australia, Medicare requires patients to have a verified referral from your GP (or another specialist to be eligible for your initial consultation rebate.
If you are a new patient with us, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to decrease the chance of complications, speed up the recovery and help you adjust to your lifestyle post-gastric sleeve surgery. Here are some possible steps you’ll have to follow as part of the pre-operative process:
Eating smaller portions
Educating yourself about healthy lifestyles
Following a dietary and exercise plan.
Following these steps can significantly aid the post-operative process and thus, decrease the chances of unnecessary additional surgery complications and costs.
Types of Weight Loss Surgery Available in Australia
The cost of bariatric surgery will depend upon the procedure you go through with. Different surgeries will require appropriately different approaches, operating times, procedures, and hospital stays — as such, they have different costs to accommodate these approaches. The three most common procedures include:
Gastric Sleeve Surgery – Gastric sleeve surgery is a non-reversible laparoscopic procedure. It involves the doctor removing approximately 70-90% of the patient’s stomach, leaving behind a small pouch. Gastric sleeve operating time is typically about one hour, but the patient will be required to stay at the hospital for a few days to recover and for monitoring. After surgery, gastric sleeve patients will attend routine follow-up visits every 1-2 months for the first six months. After six months, they will visit every 3-6 months to review the results and progress of the procedure.
Gastric Bypass Surgery – Gastric bypass surgery involves the surgeon dividing the stomach into two sections and reconnecting the small intestine to the stomach’s smaller, upper pouch. Gastric bypass is a relatively invasive laparoscopic procedure, involving multiple areas of the abdomen, and essentially changing the normal processes of the body’s digestion. Gastric bypass surgery is typically reversible. The patient will spend on average 60-90 minutes in the operating room and 2-4 days in hospital.
Gastric Band Surgery – Gastric band surgery — also known as lap band surgery — i uses an inflatable band, which goes around the upper part of the stomach. This creates a small stomach pouch above the band, with the rest sitting below the band. Gastric band surgery is entirely reversible, can be adjusted, and will require eventual removal. The average operating time is 30-40 minutes, with an average hospital stay of one day (day surgery).
Factors Influencing Gastric Sleeve Cost Australia
There are a few variables involved in determining gastric sleeve costs in Australia. The associated fees of gastric sleeve surgery cost Australia are made up of several components, including:
• Hospital Costs for Stay
• Hospital Costs for Operating Theatre
• Equipment Used During Operation, including:
• The gastric band itself or other bariatric surgery device
• Fees associated with the surgeon, anaesthetist and surgeon assistants
How Much Does Bariatric Surgery Cost?
At Central Coast surgery, our Gastric sleeve costs Australia prices will depend entirely on whether a patient has private health insurance or not. The cost of any procedure is discussed in the initial consultation with a written quotation.
For weight loss surgery, including gastric band surgery, sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery, insured patients will be out of pocket approximately $3,500 with Central Coast Surgery.
Our clinic fees at Central Cost Surgery include the operation, follow-ups, dietician consultations, bariatric physician appointments, and psychologist advice. Revision from band to sleeve or sleeve to bypass will incur further charges.
The additional costs not included in our clinical fees are those that are not directly associated with Central Coast Surgery and entail:
• Anaesthetic out of pocket costs can be approximately $1,000.
• Depending on how long it takes to complete the procedure, surgical assistance can cost about $250.
• Pathology services can cost around $200.
Surgery Risks & Complications Explained
Like all surgical procedures, gastric sleeve surgery comes with the risk of complication. Surgery risks include bleeding, infection, damage to other organs and pulmonary embolus. However, the risks typically associated with laparoscopic gastric sleeve surgery are quite rare — due to the fact that the procedure is conducted as keyhole surgery. The risk associated with these types of procedures is very minimal.
Usually, those with significant weight problems have a higher risk of complications during any bariatric surgery procedure. While serious complications are uncommon, it’s essential to take steps to reduce those risks. This goes a long way in speeding up recovery and minimising the chances of any additional post-operation costs.
The complication most specific to gastric sleeve surgery is leakage. Leakage refers to when the stomach staples fail to seal properly, and stomach contents leak into the abdominal cavity. Leakage is a very serious complication that only occurs in about 1% of patients. Leakage may increase the stay in a hospital and require a further operation.
Finally, failing to follow the general bariatric surgery protocol that is set out can lead to complications post-surgery that will increase the costs of the procedure and after-care.
Good and long-lasting results are only achieved when the patient is well-informed, educated about the procedure, willing to make serious lifestyle changes, and is working with an experienced and multi-disciplinary team like Central Coast Surgery.
Does Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost the Same at All Clinics?
Depending on who you decide to engage with, gastric band or lap band surgery cost Australia can vary from practice to practice. Lap band surgery will also involve the management and after-care of the lap band, as well as frequent check-ups to ensure everything is operating smoothly. Lap band costs may or may not include lap band adjustment and removal fees, depending on the clinic and surgeon performing the procedure.
How Much Does Gastric Band Cost at Central Coast Surgery?
At Central Coast Surgery, our costs between gastric sleeve and gastric band surgery don’t vary too much. Most of our weight loss bariatric procedures fall into relatively similar price brackets. However, the out-of-pocket expenses associated with gastric band surgery may be lower than gastric sleeve costs because the operating time is often shorter, and the procedure is usually completed as day surgery.
Gastric Sleeve Cost Without Insurance Australia
The costs of weight loss surgery, including gastric sleeves, gastric bands, and gastric bypasses will weigh heavily on insurance. Patients with an appropriate level of private health insurance cover will find that most hospital and equipment charges will incur a ‘no gap’ fee. The out of pocket expenses for those with Medicare or private health insurance are related to professional and clinic fees charged by the surgeon, anaesthetist and the surgical assistants.
For most weight loss surgeries, insured patients will be out of pocket about $3,500. These fees at Central Coast Surgery are roughly the same for gastric band, gastric sleeve, and gastric bypass procedures. This fee will cover everything from the surgery, to the follow-up appointments, dietician consultations, bariatric physician and psychologist advice.
Insured patients will experience extra costs related to the anaesthetist, surgical assistant, nutritional supplements, general hospital and theatre costs and pathology services. Given that these additional costs are independent additions and not associated with the clinic, they are not inclusive of what is covered from the clinic.
For non-insured patients, bariatric surgery expenses can be overwhelming. The average gastric sleeve costs without Medicare or private health insurance in Australia is approximately a $20,000 procedure. This covers everything, from clinic fees to additional hospital or theatre costs.
If you aren’t insured for weight-loss surgery, you can still reduce your out of pocket expenses. You can do this by upgrading your insurance cover or finding a different insurance provider who can get you the cover you need for the procedure. Typically, the insurance company applies a waiting period of 12 months for bariatric surgery. However, if you’re waiting to be approved, you can easily set up a consultation with our clinic to discuss your options.
How Much Does Gastric Band Removal Cost?
Lap band removal incurs no out-of-pocket fee if you are covered by private health insurance. There may, however, be a small fee. This fee usually covers the costs of the anaesthetist used in lap or gastric band removal. If you are not insured with private health insurance, you may have to pay the full costs of lap band removal, which can vary depending on the hospital and surgeon.
Why Does Weight Loss Surgery Cost So Much?
Gastric sleeve costs and other procedure costs can be confronting. However, the reality is, bariatric surgery covers a long-term process of weight loss and lifestyle change. The gastric sleeve costs Australia cover subsequent operations for complications and any issues with inadequate weight loss within the first two years of the initial surgery.
The costs of bariatric surgery with Central Coast Surgery are as stated because they cover access to dieticians, clinical psychologists, experienced and exceptionally trained surgeons, and physician follow-ups. Furthermore, our research reveals that the cost of weight loss surgery is often recouped within the first two years from money saved on food and medication.
How Can I Raise Money for Weight-loss Surgery?
A health fund for weight loss surgery, whether it be for lap band, gastric sleeve, gastric bypass can be obtained from superannuation funds. In many cases, it can be claimed as a tax deduction. Individual financial advice should be sought.
Central Coast Surgery Gastric Sleeve Clinic
At the Central Coast Surgical Clinic, we do not wish to have the cost of surgery influence the type of weight loss surgery that you decide to have. If you are covered by Medicare or private health insurance, the one-off up-front fee of $3,500 applies whether you choose to have surgery, whether it’s lap band surgery, gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass, or revisional surgery. Without Medicare of private health insurance, surgery can cost you up to about $20,000. Removal of lap bands are free of charge.
Central Coast Surgery is a nationally recognised clinic providing gastric sleeve surgery and weight loss procedures on the Central Coast and in Newcastle, Australia. The principal surgeon at Central Coast Weight Loss Surgery is Dr Ken Wong, a highly experienced surgeon specialising in keyhole surgeries.
At Central Coast Surgery, our staff works with each patient individually to understand their personal needs. This allows us to provide the best results for you and achieve the progress you desire. With our tailor-made and comprehensive multi-disciplinary approach, our surgeons and staff can help to change your life for the better. In terms of gastric sleeve costs Australia, we strive to provide exceptional weight-loss procedures at cost-effective prices. Our weight loss clinic covers the coastline from Sydney, Newcastle, and the Central Coast. Contact Central Coast Surgery today to discover more and schedule your initial consultation. Explore the cost gastric sleeve surgery in Australia and decide if it's the right option for you and your weight-loss goals.