What does Weight Loss Surgery generally cost?

Three main types of weight loss surgery regularly performed in Australia are gastric sleeve surgery, gastric band (lap band) surgery and gastric bypass.  The costs of these procedures varies. Some cost estimates for gastric surgery patients with Medicare and private health cover are listed below.

The FEE for your weight loss surgery will depend on your surgical needs and how long you’ll be in surgery.
  • Surgery needs vary from patient to patient.
  • The amount of time you’ll be in theatre often depends on the gastric surgery procedure performed and your overall health.
  • Some individuals have conditions that require extensive customisation, special modes of anaesthetic or longer times in theatre to manage risks.
  • Other individuals may have anatomy challenges that result in more time in theatre.

To best understand what your weight loss procedure will cost, please schedule a consultation with Dr Arun Dhir by phoning us on (03) 9466 7799.  Dr Dhir and his team will help you find out precisely what your personal weight loss care needs are as well as a Surgery Quote and lifestyle support options.

You can ask him about your best weight loss surgery options as well as how to prepare for surgery to enable a successful result.

  • Remember, too, that surgery sometimes ends up being more complex than initially planned.
  • This is not uncommon as theatre times depend on many factors; including how your body responds to having a procedure AND your overall health levels.
  • For most individuals, however, the Quoted amount will be equal to what you’ll be paying for your procedure.

Ask us more about your options for Bariatric Surgery such as the Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Band (Lap Band) or Gastric Bypass for weight loss.


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Weight Loss Surgery Costs in Australia

Is there a Gap Fee for Weight Loss Surgery & Gastric Procedures?

  • If you undergo medical treatment by Specialists or other Medical Professionals, you’ll typically be required by to pay the GAP fee (Medicare Gap amount).
  • The GAP fee is the portion of care fees above what Medicare reimburses you or the doctor.
  • This fee helps cover the costs of your healthcare provider and his or her medical practice.
  • Depending on the procedure, this gap can sometimes be a significant expense for some patients and/or procedure types.

There is typically a GAP fee payable by patients having weight loss surgery or Bariatric Care by a top Surgeon operating in a best-practice, quality medical facility.


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Why are there Medicare “Gap” fees to have a Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Band or Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Medicare Gap Fees and Gastric Surgery for weight loss to treat Obesity:

So called “Gap” payments for health care are often part of Australia’s medical care system due to numerous reasons.

  • The main reason is that the cost of providing quality medical care rises every year.
  • Part of the rise in medical costs in Australia relates to the advent of more precise technologies and better patient care systems.
  • There are many benefits to having better technology and improved patient safety, but it does increase costs.
  • The contributions from Medicare haven’t kept up with rising costs of providing good surgical care and running a medical facility.

So the factors that tend to increase health care costs at your Doctor’s office are usually the same factors other types of businesses experience. However, costs of providing good medical services may rise even faster because of the nature of medicine, such as the high cost of medical related equipment, medical training & surgical sterilisation.

Factors that influence the Medicare GAP fee typically required for a good practitioner to provide quality Surgical care in Australia include:

  • Consumer Price Index
  • Health Care Support staff
  • Sterilisation equipment and Processes
  • Software and medical record keeping systems
  • Medical memberships & continuing education
In medical practices, there is also the additional cost of Indemnity Protection and other types of Insurances.
  • There are numerous annual licensing and professional medical and surgical industry Membership fees.
  • For Surgeons to maintain good standing with Medical Board requirements and to improve patient care and patient safety levels, there are also ongoing Continuing Education costs.

Medicare Gap Fees and Support for Patients needing Surgery for Obesity

Unfortunately, the government’s contribution to the costs of providing good medical care in Australia have been falling away each year. But the costs of providing good surgery care continue to rise, especially in Bariatric Surgery used to treat Obesity.

Hence, a Gap Fee applies to most Weight Loss Surgery procedures for Bariatric Care (these fees are known as “out of pocket” costs).

Gap fees are paid directly by the patient to the Surgeon and other healthcare providers.


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Reasons GAP fees may apply for Gastric Surgery & Weight Loss Surgery

  • Good quality medical care means having good equipment, highly trained staff and sufficiently high levels of patient safety monitoring.
  • It also involves using best-practice sterilisation methods to offer excellent surgical care while reducing risks. Ensuring patient safety and successful surgery outcomes requires a huge investment by the Medical Practitioner, Clinic, Hospital or other provider.
  • But the Medicare contributions, known as Medicare rebates, haven’t matched the rising costs of providing great medical care.

The difference between the consumer price index increasing average weekly earnings and the costs of medical practices, compared to the Medicare fees as determined by Commonwealth Government, is now quite large.  It is estimated by the AMA (Australian Medical Association) that Medicare fees have only increased to meet only two thirds of the actual cost increases to health care over the last 25 years.

A Gap fee hence applies for most Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery procedures.

The GAP fees for Gastric Weight Loss Surgery are estimated as follows:

Gastric Sleeve

Medicare Item Number: 31575


$4950 GAP FEE (Your contribution)

 

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Medicare Item Number: 31572


$5000 GAP FEE (Your Contribution)

Revisional Gastric Surgery

Revisions surgery needs vary greatly from patient to patient. Please discuss this with your Surgeon.

Secondary Surgery

If you need more than one procedure performed, please discuss this with your Surgeons.


At Melbourne Gastro Surgery, you will be charged this Surgery GAP fee only ONCE as a patient.


Surgeons Gap Fee: First Weight Loss Surgery vs Revision Gastric Surgery

At Melbourne Gastro Surgery, you will be charged this Surgery GAP fee only ONCE as a patient for your primary surgery.

  • If Revision Surgery is required within 5 years of your original procedure, then there will NOT be any additional GAP fee(s) charged by the Surgeon or Assistants.
  • This applies only under the following scenario: your Revision Surgery occurs within 5 years of your original surgery date; you’ve attended all required follow-up appointments with your surgeon; you’ve fully followed all of your post-surgery instructions.

Exceptions to GAP FEE being charged only once in a 5 year follow up period:

  • Where a Revision Weight Loss Surgery is requested by a patient AND
  • There is NO technical flaw in the Gastric Band, Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass procedure  THEN
  • A Revision GAP FEE will apply.

Weight loss surgery costs of gastric sleeve, cost gastric bypass, lap band cost, medicare gaps

Revision Surgery by our Team at Melbourne Gastro Surgery when you had your first surgery elsewhere.
  • A GAP FEE for Revision Surgery WILL be charged to patients who have had their first (primary) weight loss surgery performed by another Surgeon or Surgeon who is not currently on the team at Melbourne Gastro Surgery.
  • If this Surgery is planned as a 2-stage procedure, the GAP FEE is applied only once.

When there is NO technical flaw in the original procedure, band or sleeve involved in the Revision Surgery:

As above, Patients who had their first Weight Loss Surgery performed by our current Team at Melbourne Gastro Surgery, who later request Revision Surgery AND there is found to be no technical flaw in the Gastric Band, Gastric Sleeve or Gastric Bypass procedure, will be required to pay a Surgeon’s GAP fee.

Other service providers and clinicians may or may not charge gap fees.


Dietitian Consultations after weight loss surgery gastric sleeve, gastric band, lap band costs


Dietitian Support AFTER Surgery is included in your Surgery Gap fees

  • Your FIRST Dietitian visit must be paid for by you as a patient.
  • However, the Gap Fee for Weight Loss Surgery covers you for 3 (three) consecutive Dietitian Consultations within a specific time frame.
  • Ask us about our Weight Loss Surgery Packages that include bonus support services and extra tools to be successful with Bariatric Surgery.  Phone us on (03) 9466 7799 and get started on your journey today (request an appointment and a free Guide “Super Success After Weight Loss Surgery”).

Hospital Costs for Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery for Obesity

  • Hospital costs vary and are frequently changing.
  • We suggest you ring the Hospital you are going to be operated on, directly, to obtain the estimated Hospital costs for your procedure.
  • Hospital costs are paid separately and paid directly to the hospital.

Northpark Private Hospital: 9468 0100

Jessie McPherson Hospital: 9594 2776

Knox Private Hospital: 9210 7000

Warringal Private Hospital: 9274 1300

Epworth Freemasons: 9483 3833


Additional Costs Involved with Weight Loss Surgery

  • Pathology Services are likely to be required during your episode of care.
  • There are likely to be out-of-pocket expenses above whatever Medicare will reimburse you so prepare for these additional medical expenses.
  • Radiology Services are also likely to be required during your episode of care and will typically involve out of pocket expenses.

The financial responsibility for Surgery and radiology and pathology expenses is yours (but with your paid Surgery Fees you’ll also get the Weight Loss Surgery Package BONUS BOX).

Financial consent is obtained from you PRIOR to you proceeding with the operation.

These fees and out of pocket estimates for Weight Loss Surgery and Bariatric Care are ESTIMATES only.


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  • Fees, GAP payments and radiology and pathology fees may vary from person to person depending on what’s needed.
  • Fees also tend to vary from hospital to hospital and between different imaging and radiology service providers.
  • They are also subject to changes by the providers and hospitals.

Understanding Other Fees and Costs for Weight Loss Surgery with the team at Melbourne Gastro Surgery

  • The FEES we charge do NOT cover the services provided to you by other Doctors or Practices (including Radiologists or Pathologists).
  • Nor do our FEES cover other costs associated with your stay in hospital or in a day surgery unit (such as accommodation, pharmacy, physiotherapy and more).
  • In the event of unforeseen circumstances it may be necessary to arrange additional medical services, which might also result in further charges to you for your medical care at this time.

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Paying for your Weight Loss Surgery (Gastric Sleeve, Gastric Band or Gastric Bypass)

How to reduce stress about having Bariatric Surgery:

Please plan ahead and be prepared for these expenses so you can concentrate on the important necessities of healing after surgery.

After all, you’ll want to focus on resting and changing your nutritional intake in preparation for surgery AND after weight loss surgery to ensure your long-term success after Weight Loss Surgery.

  • The more planning, the less stress.
  • The less stress, the better weight loss surgery experience.
  • Be sure you also read our free GUIDES to Surgery Success and ask any and all questions you have about surgery during a consultation with our leading Team of Bariatric Surgeons.

What IS INCLUDED in our Weight Loss Surgery Package?

In addition to your Specialist Surgeon’s fee for your Gastric Sleeve (Lap Sleeve), Gastric Band or Gastric Bypass, you’ll get FREE Bonus items in a special Weight Loss Package BONUS BOX.   Click HERE to see what our Weight Loss Surgery Package includes.

Do you have our FREE Guidebook, Super Success After Weight Loss Surgery? 


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Phone us today on (03) 9466 7799 to get your copy or email admin@melbournegastrosurgery.com.au.


Private Health Insurance

Will my Private Health Cover help me with my Weight Loss Surgery?

  • All quotes, as well as the estimated out of pocket fees listed above, are based on a patient maintaining adequate private health cover and private health insurance.
  • Hence these estimates are for patients with applicable Private Health Insurance.

It is recommended that patients maintain their private health insurance to enable comprehensive aftercare.  This costing information is also of a general nature and is not a guarantee or estimate of your costs.

  • Remember, each patient is unique.
  • Every surgical procedure is also performed in relation to the specific needs of the individual patient.
  • You should request a formal Estimate or Quote at the time of your consultation.

Questions? Phone us on (03) 9466 7799 or read more about our Weight Loss Surgery Package including the BONUS BOX.

This information is general in nature and may be subject to change. Other conditions and limitations to this advice may apply.