Introduction

There are many bariatric surgery procedures available, and the decision on which one to undergo should be based on your personal circumstances and preferences. 

This guide will focus purely on the cost of weight loss procedures. For detailed information about the procedure types, benefits, risks, and side effects, a good information source is the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in the US or the NHS in the UK.

We also have procedure-specific information on our gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, gastric balloon treatment, and gastric band procedure pages.

The cost estimates in this guide show the total cost of bariatric surgery without insurance, including pre-op testing, surgery itself, hospital stay, and follow-up appointments. Do note, though, that the final cost of treatment varies depending on one’s medical profile and history.

Weight loss surgery options and how much they cost

It’s hard to get a good estimate of weight loss surgery cost in the US because most estimates don’t include additional costs like hospital stay and post-surgery medications. The average cost of an overnight stay alone is $2,400, according to the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation.

The providers we list on Medigo.com are all accredited, and have been vetted by our quality team.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Cost

gastric bypass is the most common type of bariatric surgery, and it’s also the most difficult weight loss surgery to find accurate cost estimates on, particularly in the USA. This is because the total cost of a gastric bypass can include so many different elements, and there’s no standard of comparison.

USA

A gastric bypass in the USA costs on average between $25,000 and $30,000 when all costs are added (consultations, surgery, medications, hospital stay, and follow-up appointments).

Mexico

The average cost for a gastric bypass surgery in Mexico is $7,000. The lowest price available on Medigo is $5,500, while the most expensive is $10,950.  

After the costs of travel and accommodation, Mexico is still a lot cheaper than the US for a gastric bypass.

MexicoUSA
Gastric bypass surgery$7,000$21,000
Bariatric surgery consultationFree$200
Flights$200$0
Accommodation$300$0
Food$200$0
Total$7,700$21,300

There are probably cheaper options available in Mexico, but be wary of sacrificing on quality. Medigo's curated provider network is vetted to ensure high-quality surgeons that deliver great results for international patients.

The UAE 

The UAE is the hub in the Middle East for weight loss surgery, and its surgeons have usually trained in the USA or in Western Europe before returning to practice in the UAE. 

Zulekha Hospital is a quality hospital that offers the cheapest gastric bypass surgery in the UAE, at $9,600. The average cost is $13,000. 

Lithuania

Gastric bypass surgery in Lithuania costs $5,600. This is the most affordable destination in Europe, and quality isn’t sacrificed as hospitals in Lithuania meet EU-wide standards. 

Lithuania is a particularly popular destination as hospitals generally offer all-inclusive packages for patients who travel from abroad. 

Turkey

A gastric bypass in Turkey costs from $5,500.

UK

The NHS estimate for a private gastric bypass surgery in the UK is £8,000 to £15,000. It can be covered by the NHS, but strict conditions need to be met.

Australia

Private gastric bypass surgery in Australia costs about AU$ 25,000.

What happens in a gastric bypass surgery?

A surgeon makes a small pouch in the stomach to limit food intake. A Y-shaped section of the small intestine is attached to the pouch, so food can pass from the stomach into the intestines. The food bypasses the lower stomach and the beginning of the intestines, meaning less calories are absorbed.

Gastric Sleeve Surgery Cost

Gastric sleeve surgery is cheaper than a gastric bypass as it is less complicated to perform. The two procedures are quite similar in terms of length-of-stay (both require 2-3 days in hospital) and both are irreversible. 

Gastric sleeve cost around the world:

What is gastric sleeve surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery, also known as a sleeve gastrectomy, simply reduces the size of the stomach. The surgery is permanent, as part of the stomach is removed, leaving a smaller “tube” or “sleeve”. The function of the stomach is the same, but people can only eat a small amount before feeling full.

Gastric Band Surgery Cost

Gastric band surgery, also known as lap band, has a similar cost to gastric sleeve and is often requested by patients because it is reversible. 

However, most surgeons recommend either gastric sleeve surgery, gastric bypass surgery, or mini gastric bypass surgery as the outcomes are better and complication rates are lower (lap band complication rates are at around 26%, according to a 2013 study of lap band outcomes in Annals of Surgery).

Lap band cost around the world:

  • $15,400 in the USA, according to Obesity Coverage3
  • AU$ 13,000 in Australia, according to Bariatric Surgery Source2
  • Between £4,000 and £8,000 in the UK, according to the NHS
  • From $4,500 in Mexico
  • From $7,650 in the UAE
What is gastric band surgery?

Gastric band surgery is a reversible weight loss procedure in which the surgeon places an inflatable silicone band around the top of the stomach. This creates a small pouch, meaning that food intake is restricted and one feels full quickly. The band can be inflated using saline solution to adjust the level of restriction. Once a target weight has been met, the band may be removed.

Gastric Balloon Cost

Gastric balloon treatment is the most affordable weight loss surgery option and is minimally invasive. However, it offers only temporary benefits, and it requires two trips abroad (one to insert the balloon, and one to remove it). 

Gastric balloon cost around the world

There isn’t much variation in the price of a gastric balloon cost because the procedure is quite straightforward, although it is comparatively expensive in the USA. Once expenses like travel and accommodation are taken into account, the overall cost of going abroad is not too dissimilar to having the procedure done at home:

What is gastric balloon treatment?

Gastric balloon treatment is a non-surgical option for rapid weight loss. Despite not involving surgery, the procedure requires expert monitoring to ensure the balloon is correctly positioned. The deflated balloon is positioned in the stomach, carefully through the mouth, and then inflated with saline solution. This will make you feel full, and as a result you should eat less.

The balloon is usually kept in the stomach for 6 months or 12 months. After this time, it needs to be removed. In some cases, patients may be given a gastric balloon as a first step, in order to lose weight before other types of bariatric surgery.

Other weight loss treatment costs

Less common weight loss procedures include gastric plication surgery, the POSE procedure, and the mini gastric bypass. 

We’re in the process of receiving detailed prices for these procedures from our network, so for now we have only a limited number of prices.

Gastric plication surgery costs about $4,000 in Lithuania and $5,000 in Mexico and in Poland. For POSE procedure abroad, please submit an inquiry to get a personalized quote. Finally, a mini gastric bypass abroad costs from $5,000 in Mexico and $6,200 in Turkey.

Other cost factors to consider

Complications

One of the biggest issues with bariatric surgery is that complication rates can be quite high, which may lead to additional costs. Being fully informed about the risks and discussing them with the surgeon can help you plan financially in case of complications

Recovery time

The different procedures each will have a different time needed for your body to recuperate. Depending on your occupation, this may mean time off work. 

Side effects

Certain bariatric surgery side effects can lead to health problems that may require medication or surgery. If you’ve already returned to your country of residence when the side effects hit, this may be a considerable expense.

Time abroad

This may seem like an obvious one, but have you considered the full cost of your stay? For example, after some procedures it may be difficult to move freely to access meals. Many providers offer “all-inclusive” packages, yet you should make sure the details of these packages are fully detailed. 

Exercise

Regular exercise should be a part of any post-bariatric surgery plan, so this needs to be considered. If you’re unable to exercise at home, you might need to factor in a gym membership.

Weight loss surgery abroad - Medigo patient story

Neil was an active scuba diver and was finding that his increasing weight was impacting his favourite hobby. In addition, he was beginning to experience health issues such as high blood pressure and pre-diabetes. Action was needed, so he looked into weight loss surgery.

After researching several options online, Neil felt that Medigo offered the best opportunity in terms of options and support. After years of working in the hotel industry, Neil was quite comfortable travelling abroad and selected the UAE for treatment as it offered excellent quality of care at an affordable price. He flew from Thailand to Dubai for the surgery since the surgery was more expensive in Thailand.

Before surgery, Neil contacted the Medigo Care Team at various points, who were able to answer all his questions and coordinate the surgery. The surgery itself was a success and today Neil is already noticing dramatic improvements in his lifestyle and health. (He has lost 3.5 st=50 lbs, start weight 308 lbs.)

Straight after his surgery, Neil said:

"I was gaining weight and beginning to encounter health problems – I was pre-diabetic and had high blood pressure. I wanted to take action before the problems became irreversible. I’ve always keen a keen scuba diver and instructor, and if I gained any more weight it would have become impossible to carry on diving."

Two years later, we spoke with Neil again to see how he was doing.

“I was 146 kg, and now I’m averaging 92-95 kg. It changed my lifestyle – changed everything about what I do. I’m feeling incredibly fit, and full of energy – Much, much better than I even anticipated would be possible, to be honest."

Bariatric surgery cost – Frequently asked questions

Where is the cheapest weight loss surgery?

Mexico offers the cheapest weight loss surgery options, but it’s vital to not just think about the low cost. Other questions like “what qualifications does the surgeon have?”, “how many times have they performed this procedure?”, and “have all of my questions been answered?” are very important

What is the safest weight loss surgery?

This really depends on one’s individual circumstances. A consultation with a qualified doctor will help determine the safest and best option to take.

Am I eligible for weight loss surgery?

Information on what makes a good weight-loss-surgery candidate can be found at the NIDDK website, but, in general, suitable candidates for weight loss surgery should meet all of these conditions:

  • Be aged between 18 & 65 years of age,
  • Have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 30 (minimum of 35 for some procedures),
  • Have already tried to lose weight (e.g. through professional weight loss plans), and
  • Understand the risks associated with bariatric surgery.

Make a free inquiry for weight loss surgery abroad

More than 200,000 patients have used Medigo to find quality, affordable treatment abroad.

References

  1. “Cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery – 2015 Price Survey”, Obesity Coverage. Accessed 13 Aug. 2019.
  2. “Weight Loss Surgery Australia – All You Need to Know”, Bariatric Surgery Source. Accessed 13 Aug. 2019.
  3. “Average Cost of Lap Band Surgery”, Obesity Coverage. Accessed 14 Aug. 2019.
  4. “Before and After Your Gastric Balloon”, Obesity Coverage. Accessed 14 Aug. 2019.

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