Undergoing gallbladder surgery is one major operation that involves clinical steps before the actual procedure. Preoperative and postoperative steps are essential in the whole operative process, so expect to have extra expenses, which include lab tests, hospitalization, and professional fees.
Are You Undergoing Gallbladder Surgery?
You have been advised by your doctor to undergo gallbladder surgery, but you have no idea how to pay for it, how much it will cost you, and if you can afford all the expenses. You have been idle about it because you think your gallbladder is the least organ in your body to undergo surgery. However, when your health gets really bad, since your gallbladder performs a particular function in your digestive system and such feature is crucial for your daily living, you do not want to mess with the lingering pain and the risks of getting infections and complications. Even though people who opt to remove their gallbladder can live a healthy life, the cost of gallbladder surgery can be significantly expensive.
What is Involved in Gallbladder Surgery?
Gallbladder surgery may include open or laparoscopic surgery. Today, surgeons would recommend laparoscopic gallbladder surgery, as it is convenient, has minimal bleeding, lower risk of infection and complications, and shorter hospital stay. No one would want to stay any longer in a hospital if the patient already feels good, as everybody knows how much one in-hospital stay would cost. And if this piles up, the trouble will be in your pocket more than it will be in your head. Besides, laparoscopic gallbladder surgery would only take two to three hours to get done.
Gallstones bring severe discomfort if not treated immediately. And the only way to get rid of them is through the removal of the gallbladder from your system to further avoid affecting other digestive organs that will impede the process. Gallbladder removal using laparoscopic technique is called laparoscopic cholecystectomy.
Our gallbladder serves as a filtering organ that collects bile released by the liver. The bile is responsible for breaking down food and releasing fats. Although a person can live without a gallbladder, brief discomforts will be experienced as the bile from the liver will directly go to the small intestine, causing bloating and diarrhea. It is better to live without the gallbladder than suffer the presence of gallstones that bring more complications.
A gallstone can become as large as a golf ball, and such presence gives the condition of cholelithiasis. Imagine such size that will block the bile ducts that are essential for bile release. This substance is integral to dissolving fatty wastes that route to the small intestine for further process.
Other gallbladder problems that require surgery:
- Cholecystitis—gallbladder inflammation
- Choledocholithiasis—bile ducts obstruction
- Biliary dyskinesia—a defective flow of bile
- Pancreatitis—inflammation of the pancreas due to gallstones
Why Laparoscopy is Preferred
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the most preferred procedure because it has the least complication rate. Seek the service of the best surgeon for gallbladder removal. Dr. Clay Albrecht, MD FACS is a highly experienced surgeon doing laparoscopic and robotic surgeries. Dr. Albrecht believes in the integrity of laparoscopic method as he has handled thousands of gallbladder surgeries and different types of hernia cases, and not a single patient has ever complained, nor Dr. Albrecht and his team have ever received negative feedback.
When Money is Involved
The efficiency of laparoscopic gallbladder surgeons, such as Dr. Albrecht, has added to the advantages of laparoscopy, making it the better choice compared to open surgery. But the toughest part is when the patient and the family get involved in the financial aspect. How much would one really have to pay for the entire procedure? What are the considerations? What are the factors that affect gallbladder surgery cost?
The estimated cost for a gallbladder surgery may run from $4,000 to $99,000. That is astoundingly ridiculous but it is neither an actual nor an exact amount. Your gallbladder surgery cost may depend on many factors.
In the United States, the average cost would go for $24,000. But you have many options to trim that down and do the actual out-of-pocket computation. For some people, they only have been billed around $4,000 because they have used up their insurance and other healthcare coverage. Nevertheless, coming with this amount is significantly lower than $50,000 or $90,000 yet could still be difficult for a lot of people.
Wise Tips to Pay for Your Gallbladder Surgery:
- Know how much your cash out will be. If you are employed and have a health insurance plan, it will help you determine the final cost of the procedure. Learning it in advance will help you find other means if your health insurance is not enough or if the hospital will not allow the health insurance to cover up for everything.
- Secure a payment plan if you haven’t prepared a huge amount yet to cover for the entire expense.
- Compute the actual expense outcome from preliminary checkups, outpatient appointments, actual procedure, and postoperative care. Most of the time, you have to personally cover for the postoperative care when you have exhausted what is in the insurance or if your provider will stop paying after the procedure. Remember that medications are quite expensive to keep the operation successful.
- Check for help; could be a relative with funds, credit cards, loans, office offers, and other payment plans that will complement your existing fund capacity.
- A medical debt will put pressure on your shoulders. Plan as quickly as you can and secure the one that is in your payment ceiling. Never get a plan that is out of your budget because you do not want to miss a payment and get a bad credit in the end.
For laparoscopic cholecystectomy, it is usually covered by health insurance. Make sure you are pre-certified by your health provider before seeking treatment. Sometimes, these providers will require you certain documents before you can reach a final agreement. You do not want to mess with your procedure, and you cannot afford to be overwhelmed with medical bills and debt and find yourself in a symbolical jail of confinement.
Other Factors That Determine Your Total Cost of Gallbladder Surgery
A gallbladder patient who is about to undergo laparoscopic cholecystectomy will spend about 13 hours in the emergency room from the time he or she walks in up to when he or she walks out of the room after the surgery. Those few hours could mean thousands of dollars in your life. And you may find it absurd to pay around $50k in total charges from fees incurred by X-ray charges, anesthesiologist’s fee, surgeon’s fee, ultrasound charges, and other physical exam fees excluding the prescribed medications.
Cholecystectomy carries only a small risk especially if it is laparoscopic, but here are some of the rare complications you might encounter
- Bile leak
- Blood clotting
- Heart problems
- Injury to adjacent organs (liver, bile duct, small intestine, etc.)
Most Awaited Surgery
In the United States, there are more than a million people who are treated for gallstone disease and undergo cholecystectomy. The emergency visits are more common and expensive than the actual surgeries. And when these are combined, the cost is higher. The most significant contributing factor for cholecystectomy and hospitalization is the poor diet of Americans, from which the choice of fatty foods is high.
Gallbladder removal, or cholecystectomy, is the standard treatment for acute biliary pancreatitis, which results from gallstones. According to current reports, those who opt to have their gallbladders removed never revisit the hospital for a major illness.
Minimize the Costs
Cholecystectomy involves clinical tests, checkups, ER visits, confinement, advanced treatment and surgeries, and doctors’ monitoring. Performing early laparoscopic gallbladder removal may prevent recurrence of the condition and further admission to the hospital. Technically, knowing the tests involved may prepare you financially, and it will help you trim down the cost of treatment.
- Routine blood tests
- Radiographs—abdominal and chest
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
- Computed tomogram
For further knowledge of laparoscopic cholecystectomy, visit our website. Set up an appointment with our highly skilled and amiable surgeons. You can find the confidence in Dr. Albrecht and his team of surgeons, as you will receive the top-tier treatment you deserve. They look forward to helping you get back on your feet in no time at all.