Obesity is a well-established risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, sleep apnoea, hip and knee replacements, and even some cancers. These obesity-related conditions can have a major financial impact on an individual.
The cost of a LapBanding procedure is an important consideration for patients contemplating surgery. But a recent American study shows that the cost of a gastric banding procedure is offset by reductions in medical costs associated with obesity. In this study, the obesity-related medical costs of patients who didn’t have a gastric banding procedure continued to rise whereas for those who did have surgery, medical costs reduced. The study looked at healthcare claims data from over 7,000 patients who had undergone gastric banding compared with claims from a similar number of obese people who did not have surgery.
Importantly, within 4 years all gastric banding patients had broken even financially. Gastric banding patients with Diabetes broke even financially in 2¼ years. The results emphasise the important effect gastric banding can have on keeping healthcare costs down.
So although there is an initial financial outlay for a gastric banding procedure, the benefits in terms of reduction in healthcare costs can be significant within a short period, meaning it may be a cost effective option for weight loss and restoration of good health.
Finkelstein et al. Financial implications of coverage for laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 7 (2011) 295–303