Bariatric Surgery Cost Without Insurance

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Meet Dr. Joshua Long:
Our Bariatric Surgeon

A nationally renowned and double-board-certified Denver bariatric surgeon, Dr. Long uses a partnership care model with each patient to tailor care to their individual needs. Patients routinely thank Dr. Long for his warm, compassionate bedside manner. He’s considered to be at the top of his field, having performed over 1,000 bariatric surgeries. Peers praise his technical skill, and he has some of the lowest complication rates among bariatric surgeons in the nation. Dr. Long and the staff at the Bariatric and Metabolic Center of Colorado consider it an honor to serve every patient with the highest quality of care.

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Dr. Joshua Long headshot

Dr. Joshua Long


At the BMCC, we understand that weight loss surgery can change your life. Our patients have had success in losing 100-200 pounds of their unhealthy body weight. They enjoy more energy, a healthier and happier lifestyle, and take far fewer medications than before surgery. Bariatric surgery isn’t a magical cure, but it can be a very useful first step on your way to dramatic, healthy weight loss. But, if you find yourself struggling with obesity without a health insurance plan to pay for bariatric surgery, the idea of surgery may seem to be wishful thinking.

To be fair, patients who need to pursue cash pay options will pay more out of pocket for weight loss surgery than those who do have insurance. However, weight loss surgery is often more affordable than many people think—we offer some of the lowest cash pay prices in Colorado so that even if your circumstances don’t include insurance coverage, you can still have surgery and get your life back. We are committed to the health of our patients and that is why we offer self-payment options for each of the surgical procedures that can transform your life. Weight loss surgery is an investment in your health, and we are committed to helping you every step of the way.

What Is the Most Affordable Bariatric Surgery?

Nationally, the average cost of bariatric surgery can range from $14,000 to more than $30,000 with an average of $23,000. But the cost depends on several factors: the type of surgery chosen, the location, and the services provided. At the BMCC, we offer three different kinds of bariatric surgery: sleeve gastrectomy, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, and loop duodenal switch. All of these procedures can be done minimally invasively shortening, the hospital stay and recovery time.

The laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, as the simplest and most straightforward weight loss surgery, is the most affordable bariatric surgery we offer. This surgery costs $12,250, which includes all of your preoperative education, dietary and counseling support, surgical fee, anesthesia fee, hospital stay up to 2 nights, and up to 3 months of outpatient care. This inclusive price of $12,250—which is substantially below the average cost both nationwide and in Colorado—represents substantial value for you. Additionally, our comprehensive care pathway minimizes risk, optimizes your results, and leaves you with the support you need to realize your dreams of a transformed future.

What If My Insurance Doesn’t Cover Weight Loss Surgery?

Unfortunately, not all health insurance providers offer bariatric surgery coverage. If you do not have insurance, or your plan doesn’t offer coverage, the BMCC does offer cash-payment options. We offer some of the lowest prices in Denver for the three different types of bariatric surgery that we provide. Our prices are also listed transparently, meaning the price you see is the price you will pay without additional hidden fees. Call or email our Denver office to discuss pricing in detail.

What Are My Options If I Have Health Insurance?

If you have insurance coverage for weight loss surgery, we do accept most Colorado and national health insurance providers, as well as Medicare. Medicaid also offers medical weight loss surgery coverage. You can check out the detailed list of Medicaid coverage here. From time to time due to demand, we may have a wait list for Medicaid patients.

Our self-pay costs are listed comprehensively so that you can plan the total fees you will be paying out of pocket. On the other hand if your insurance policy includes bariatric benefits  like most policies do, your cost will be based off of the coverage you have minus your copays and deductibles.

How Much Does Each Bariatric Procedure Cost Without Insurance?

The good news is that if you don’t have insurance or your plan doesn’t offer bariatric coverage, you can still pay out of pocket without breaking the bank. And there is not a better investment you can make than your health. However, if you’re still unsure of which surgery you would like to pursue and the cost of each, let’s break it down even further.

What Is the Cost of Gastric Sleeve Surgery If You Don’t Have (Or Use) Insurance?

Nationally, the average cost of gastric sleeve surgery is $14,500. At the BMCC in coordination with Parker Adventist Hospital, if you aren’t insured and are paying cash, your price will be substantially lower: $12,250. This price also includes dietary services, behavioral services, bariatric classes, and bariatric education at our Denver center. While this may seem like a lot of money, it is actually a more affordable price than you would pay at even many Denver area surgery centers. Also, it is much less expensive than dealing with the progressively failing health that often results from obesity; and the surgery may even be lifesaving to some people. Just as importantly, weight loss surgery can help you reclaim the quality of life that you deserve. This may be the most important investment that you ever make… an investment in you.

Do I Qualify for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?

Gastric sleeve surgery is perfect for patients looking to lose 60-80% of their unhealthy body weight. It’s also usually the safest weight loss surgery for people who already have underlying vitamin deficiencies or nutritional concerns, medical conditions that require anti-inflammatory medication, a history of previous abdominal surgeries, or who suffer from Chron’s disease.

If you suffer from type II diabetes or chronic heartburn or reflux, or if you have a BMI>50 and you’re looking for the most effective form of weight loss, another bariatric procedure might be best for you.

What Is the Cost of Gastric Bypass Surgery Without Insurance?

The average cost of gastric bypass surgery nationally is $23,000. At the BMCC, if you aren’t insured and are paying cash, you can expect to pay only $18,650 for our total package gastric bypass. There are several pre-surgery planning steps that have to happen before every bariatric procedure such as an initial consultation, a psychological evaluation, a dietary consultation, a physician consultation, and a presurgical meeting with your surgeon. Our price includes all of these steps as well as bariatric education and up to 3 months of postop care.

Do I Qualify for Gastric Bypass Surgery?

Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery may be a better choice for many patients who suffer from type II diabetes or patients who want to lose 65-90% of their unhealthy body weight. However, if you suffer from vitamin/mineral deficiencies or Chron’s disease, this may not be the best weight loss surgery for you.

What is the Cash-Pay Cost of Loop Duodenal Switch Surgery?

The average national cost for loop duodenal switch out of pocket is also around $23,000. Our comprehensive care package price for the loop duodenal switch at the BMCC is $20,060. Good education and support is a huge piece of weight loss surgery. Patients need to know how to succeed and the best way to maximize their results. The cost of our entire curriculum of bariatric classes (up to 6 months of education), one-on-one dietary and counseling assessments, up to 3 months of post-operative clinical care, and lifelong ongoing post-operative support groups is all covered in our prices, and we offer them to all of our patients both locally and regionally (via virtual telemedicine options) from our location in Lone Tree.

Postop care is also important in maximizing weight loss results. After surgery, in order to realize the best and most lasting success, patients need to commit to a regular program of diet and exercise. Bariatric surgery requires a complete lifestyle change that can feel overwhelming to patients who don’t know how to create healthy habits. Along with education, support groups can be useful aids to keep you on track and make your goals feel more attainable. Throughout the process we enable, support, and encourage your behavioral transformation which works synergistically with the surgery of your choice to yield the best long-term weight loss possible.

Do I Qualify for Loop Duodenal Switch Surgery?

Loop duodenal switch surgery is the best option for patients with type II diabetes as it’s 98% effective at curing type II diabetes. This is also a good surgery option if you have a BMI >50 and know that you can commit consistently to a life-long vitamin supplement program. However, if you suffer from Chron’s disease, vitamin deficiencies, irritable bowel syndrome, or severe reflux, another form of weight loss surgery might fit you best.

It’s important to note that the overall decision of which bariatric surgery will work best for you is a complex interplay of individualized personal expectations balanced with baseline medical diagnosis and conditions. This is why expert bariatric assessment is needed to optimize your decision in a way that will safely support your weight loss goals. If you would like more information on whether this or another bariatric surgical option would suite you best, please reach out to our office today to schedule an initial consultation.

Should I Consider Going to Mexico for Bariatric Surgery?

Over the past 10-15 years as insurance plans have changed, medical tourism has become increasingly popular for a host of elective surgeries when patients don’t have insurance coverage for their desired procedure. While this may play out favorably for some patients, it rarely works well for bariatric surgery patients. One reason is that medical tourism is more feasible for procedures that do not require preoperative education and ongoing post-operative support relationships, which bariatric surgery does. Saving a few dollars cannot begin to compare with the increased risk of a poor surgical outcome and the absence of a long-term support relationship. You can always make more money, but you only get one life to live.

Through the years we have heard many sad and frightening stories from patients who went out of the US to a non-MBSAQIP and non-FDA regulated country just save a few dollars. Many unfortunately found themselves with otherwise preventable complications and ongoing problems, which were compounded by the fact that they didn’t have a relationship with a bariatric surgeon upon their return to get them through it. If a complication were to occur or additional long-term needs were to arise (as they often do with bariatric surgical tourism), the cost of revision, repair or establishing the bariatric support relationship to help the patient through this usually far outweighs any meager initial savings. For bariatric surgery, both the financial and health risk associated with this approach can be substantial.

At the BMCC, we believe only in high quality care from the beginning until forever: comprehensive education, careful surgical technique, and ongoing expert support relationships. This is how we minimize bariatric surgical risk, achieve high quality outcomes, and support patients on their journey to a better life. To us this is not simply a transactional surgery. You are a valuable individual. You deserve a complete pathway to happiness and fulfillment. So, please make a thoughtful and careful decision with your health. Let’s begin writing your story together today.

Invest in Your Health

The price of weight loss surgery can seem daunting, especially if you don’t have insurance coverage for it. But, the price of suffering with obesity, ruined health, and limited quality of life is so much higher that it does not even come close to comparing. Today, you need to ask yourself how much you are willing to invest in your health. Although the costs may appear steep at first glance, weight loss surgery can actually help you save money, save your health, and save your life in the long run.

On average people who suffer from obesity pay 81% more for healthcare. This comes in the form of higher insurance deductibles, more prescription drugs, and more medical bills. Aside from lowering these costs, weight loss surgery can help you feel healthier and can give you the energy to live a happier, more active, and more fulfilling life.

Let Us Be A Part of Your Weight Loss Journey

If you suffer from obesity, we want you to know that you’re not alone. Millions of people struggle with losing unwanted weight and keeping it off long-term. We want to help you level the playing field. If you’ve tried everything you can think of — every fad diet or exercise program out there — and you still haven’t seen the results you expected, it might be time to consider weight loss surgery.

Our patients are proof that bariatric procedures can be the first step in a dramatic, life-changing journey. So, whether you have health insurance or not, contact our friendly office staff today and see how we can help you.

Dr. Joshua Long headshot

This page was medically reviewed by Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS. Dr. Long is a double-board-certified bariatric surgeon and bariatric medical director for Parker Adventist Hospital.
Full Bio: Dr. Joshua Long, MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Page Updated: December 16th, 2020

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