Self Pay Gastric Sleeve in ColoradoStart Assessment
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.
Dr. Joshua Long
MD, MBA, FACS, FASMBS
Gastric sleeve (or sleeve gastrectomy) surgery is a safe, effective way to help you lose 60-80% of your unhealthy body weight over about a year*. If you’re considering any form of weight loss surgery but are unsure of your payment options, don’t worry. At the BMCC, we have some of the lowest costs for bariatric surgery in Denver. We care about the health of our Colorado patients and regional patients as well and offer flexible options, including cash pay options if you don’t have insurance, to fit the financial needs of everyone.
Gastric sleeve surgery, like any weight loss surgery, is not a complete cure. On top of their weight loss procedures, our patients will need to commit to a healthy diet and steady exercise program in order to maximize their results. Luckily, our prices include the cost of every step of the process — from gastric sleeve surgery and associated costs to comprehensive bariatric education and 90 days of outpatient post-op care.
We want to help you change your life no matter your personal payment options.
What is Gastric Sleeve Surgery
The gastric sleeve is a type of bariatric surgery that we perform minimally invasively. Because of this, often patients do not require a hospital stay (a minimum stay is required for some patients). In this procedure, about 85% of the left side of the stomach is removed, leaving a long narrow tube of stomach behind about the same caliber as your index finger. This limits the amount of food you can eat and helps you feel fuller quicker. Additionally, appetite is suppressed between meals by the stomach removal.
Although a large portion of the stomach is removed, there is no additional rearrangement of the anatomy or decreased absorption.
How Do I Know if I Qualify for Gastric Sleeve Surgery?
The type of weight loss surgery that’s right for you depends on your current health and needs. Different health issues such as type II diabetes and vitamin deficiencies are factors that may disqualify you from some procedures. Medical conditions that would make a person a better gastric sleeve candidate than another malabsorptive option include:
- Committed to loosing 60-80% of their excess weight
- Has current vitamin/mineral deficiencies (including anemia) or concerns about long-term implications of intestinal bypass
- Struggles with medical conditions that require prednisone or anti-inflammatory medications, has had many previous abdominal operations, or suffers from Chron’s disease (patients who suffer from these conditions find the gastric sleeve a better and safer surgical fit than gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery)
Indications that another malabsorptive option would be better than gastric sleeve are:
- Type II diabetes (if you suffer from type II diabetes, the gastric bypass or duodenal switch surgery can more effectively resolve this issue)
- A BMI >50 (if you’re looking for the most effective long-term weight loss solution)
- Chronic heartburn or reflux
Other Types of Weight Loss Surgery
If you suffer from any of the factors disqualifying you from gastric sleeve surgery, the good news is there are other options.
Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Gastric bypass surgery is best for people who suffer from type II diabetes and want a long-term solution. Patients at the BMCC have lost an average of 65-90% of their unhealthy body weight with a gastric bypass. However, if you suffer from vitamin/mineral deficiencies or Chron’s disease, gastric bypass surgery is not the best weight loss surgery for you.
Loop Duodenal Switch
Loop duodenal switch (SADI-S) surgery is the best option for patients with type II diabetes (it’s up to 98% effective at resolving diabetes). This is also a good option for patients who have a BMI >50 and know that they can commit to a life-long vitamin and protein supplement program. For those who suffer from Chron’s disease, vitamin deficiencies, irritable bowel syndrome, or severe reflux, however, another form of bariatric surgery may be best.
LAP-BAND Removal or Revisional Surgery
At BMCC, we do not offer LAP-BAND surgery because of its proven ineffectiveness in weight loss and long-term health concerns. The LAP-BAND is an inflatable device secured by a collar placed around the top of the stomach. The device creates a pouch that limits the amount of food the patient can eat.
This once-popular procedure is the least effective form of weight loss surgery with patients losing only 35-50% of their unhealthy body weight initially. It also has very poor long-term weight loss on average. Studies have also shown that 20-40% of these devices need replacement or repairs only five years after surgery.
However, because most patients who have had this surgery eventually experience problems we do offer LAP-BAND removal. More importantly, if you’ve already had a LAP-BAND, we also offer revision to an effective bariatric surgery with band removal. If you were considering the LAP-BAND, we encourage our patients to consider the other, more successful, and safer bariatric surgical weight loss procedures rather than a gastric band.
Pay Options for Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Colorado
The national average cost for bariatric surgery ranges from $14,000-$23,000 and this includes surgery center prices without an inpatient stay. At the Bariatric & Metabolic Center of Colorado in partnership with Parker Adventist Hospital, we offer gastric sleeve surgery for $11,800. This fee includes all of your preop education, the surgeon’s fee, the anesthesia fee, and your hospital fee for up to a 2-night stay if this is needed. It also includes up to 3 months of outpatient post-operative care. The only standard additional fee that is not included is the surgical assistant fee as the hospital does not employ surgical assistants. However, the surgical assistant fees average about $450 per sleeve (bringing the estimated total to $12,250)
If you are wondering what your payment options are for bariatric surgery in Denver and are considering partnering with the BMCC, here are some answers to some additional frequently asked questions.
Can I Pay Cash for My Gastric Sleeve?
Yes! At BMCC, we offer some of the lowest prices in Denver. Our transparent pricing assures our patients that the price you see is the price you pay. The cost of our procedures is also meant to include all parts of the weight loss surgical process: preop care, education, surgery, anesthesia, hospital stay, and three months of postop care.
You can schedule an appointment with our Denver office today to discuss all of the details of our cash payment option.
Does Medicaid Cover Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Denver?
Yes, Colorado Medicaid will cover the cost of bariatric surgery (including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and loop duodenal switch surgeries) if the patient meets the following criteria (these criteria may differ if the patient is under the age of 18):
- A BMI of 40 or higher (or a BMI between 35 and 40 if the patient also has documentation of co-morbid conditions such as type II diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnea, or severe joint or disc disease that interferes with daily function)
- The patient has had a qualifying BMI for at least two years
- The patient must have made at least one serious clinically monitored attempt to lose weight
- A medical history and psychiatric assessment have been made and approved by a surgeon to ensure the patient is committed to losing weight and has realistic expectations of the outcome of surgery
At the Bariatric & Metabolic Center of Colorado, we currently accept Medicaid but due to demand, we do sometimes have a waitlist. If you have Medicaid, please call to inquire about getting an appointment or if needed being placed on the waitlist. When we do have a waitlist, you can also visit this page to join the wait list.
What Are My Other Insurance Coverage Options?
If you have health care insurance and would like your insurance to pay for your procedure, we do accept most major insurance providers. Each coverage plan is different, and while most major payers do include bariatric benefits there are some rare legacy plans (even with major payers) that have worked with the employer to carve out bariatric benefits from the policy so that bariatric surgery is not covered. It’s best to check with your HR department to get a copy of your policy to verify that bariatric benefits are included and also to check with your insurance provider for details on benefits, costs, and premiums. We also accept Medicare as well as patients who have insurance through the Connect for Health Colorado Exchange.
If you schedule an appointment with our Denver office, we are happy to discuss all of your payment options for weight loss surgery.
Gastric Sleeve Surgery Can Change Your Life
We understand how life-changing weight loss surgery can be, and our patients are the proof. While not a miracle cure, gastric sleeve surgery is the first step on your journey to drastic weight loss. Imagine how different your life would be if you were able to lose 100-200 pounds. The health benefits that accompany weight loss are incomparable, and after surgery, you’ll likely be asking yourself, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
We know the physical and financial burden obesity can be. People who suffer from obesity often have higher healthcare costs in the form of prescription drugs and higher insurance premiums. That is why we are committed to providing the best care in Denver with flexible self-pay and insurance coverage options.
If you’re ready to change your life, go ahead and schedule an appointment with our friendly office today.
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: May 25th, 2023
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