How Much Does Weight Loss Surgery Cost? 2018-07-27T06:18:30+00:00


Three main types of weight loss surgery are regularly performed in Australia. Described as bariatric surgery for weight loss, these procedures include: Gastric Sleeve Surgery, Gastric Band (lap band) Surgery and Gastric Bypass. There is also a Gastric Balloon but it is currently less commonly performed.

The cost of these weight loss surgery options 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.

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

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

Gastric Band

Gastric Band Medicare Item Number: 31569

Out of Pocket costs if you have private health insurance


  • Uninsured – please call our rooms to discuss.

Gastric Balloon

Gastric Balloon has no Medicare Item number

Out of pocket costs  $6,000
(Costs include insertion and removal of balloon)

Gastric Sleeve

Gastric Sleeve Medicare Item Number: 31575

Out of Pocket costs if you have private health insurance
  • Uninsured – please call our rooms to discuss.
  • Costs may vary for revisional surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery

Gastric Bypass Surgery Medicare Item Number: 31572

Out of Pocket costs if you have private health insurance

  • Uninsured – please call our rooms to discuss.
  • (We highly recommend taking out private health insurance before a gastric bypass)

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

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

Melbourne’s leading Weight Loss Surgery & Nutritional  Team can help you get your BMI to a healthier level.

Understanding Medicare GAP Fees For Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery

To best understand how much weight loss surgery costs, for your gastric surgery procedure such as a gastric sleeve, gastric band (lapband) or gastric bypass, please schedule an in person consultation with Specialist Dr Arun Dhir. Phone us now on (03) 9466 7799 or send an enquiry to us via our contacts page.

Dr Dhir and his leading Melbourne weight loss surgery team will help you find out precisely what your personal surgery requirements are, as well as provide you with a Surgery Quote and lifestyle support options to help you improve your BMI.

You can ask Dr Dhir and his team what they consider to be your best weight loss surgery options as well as how to best prepare for weight loss 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.

Weight Loss Surgery Cost in Australia: An Overview

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.

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.

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.

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

At Melbourne Gastro Surgery, you will be charged this Weight Loss Surgery GAP fee only ONCE as a patient at our practice (for the procedure you select).

What Additional Value Do You Get In Having Your Weight Loss Surgery With Us?

In addition to expert care by our team,there are several  additional “VALUE” items that have been included in the Weight Loss Surgery Package.Regardless of whether you are having , Gastric Sleeve (Lap Sleeve), Gastric (Lap)  Band or Gastric Bypass, you’ll get FREE Bonus items and consultations.

Do you have our FREE ebook on Super Success After Weight Loss Surgery?

Phone us today on (03) 9466 7799 to get your copy or email

Funding Your Weight Loss Surgery (Ask our team for a copy of our newest blog article, coming soon). We understand the Out of Pocket costs can seem to be very steep for many patients wanting weight loss surgery. However, if you look at the bigger picture – for a small initial investment, you can actually save a lot of money in the future. To find out about the potential for saving money after weight loss surgery, read our blog

Can I Use My Super To Fund Weight Loss Surgery?

This is certainly an option that many have used,however the rules around this option are very stringent.You will need to discuss this with your Super fund and comply with their requirements. We can assist by providing documentation to support the claim as is reasonable and defensible on medical grounds.
A date of surgery will not be determined until documentation is provided with approval of fund release.

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.

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.
  • 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.

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.


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.