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Can You Save Money After Weight-Loss Surgery?

Bariatric Dieting, Healthcare

Budgets after Weight Loss Surgery

Of the adult population in the US, about one third can be considered obese. According to a 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) study, the obesity rate was estimated to be about 32.2% for men and 35% for women. The situation did not get better over the years as the CDC roughly confirmed the figures in 2009-2010. Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death because of the several conditions that can be attributed to it. These include Type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease.

To combat obesity, several strategies can be formulated. As much as prevention is better than cure in most cases when someone is obese, they may find it difficult to maintain a healthy weight through changing their diet and exercising. For many, the most long-lasting solution is undergoing weight loss surgery the most viable, long-term solution. As much as there is a lot of literature and studies on weight loss surgeries, there are uncertainties concerning the degree to which it reduces health care costs and whether these are sustainable over time.

In two analyses carried out, bariatric surgery appeared to be cost-saving only over a short period. A study of 29820 enrollees of BlueCross BlueShield published in an issue of JAMA showed no cost savings. These results are consistent with previous studies carried out which demonstrated cost effectiveness but not cost savings for bariatric procedures compared to other medical intensive or lifestyle interventions.

Weight loss surgery can be costly and is therefore not likely to attain a cost-saving threshold for patients with obesity. For example, a Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can cost anywhere between $25,000 – $30,000, while Laprascopic Gastric Sleeve required between $15,000-$20,000.

However, by having weight loss surgery, patients may not save on total cost, but they will spend less money on some things which the study did not focus on. These include:

Food

Most post-operative bariatric patients will quickly realize that they can split meals with their partners, or only order side or even kids meals. Most patients cannot consume an entire portion of a regular meal at restaurants and home-cooked meals. We’ve had reports of patients savings $100s each month by having extra leftovers, ordering smaller meals, or splitting meals.

No more pricey diet plans

A proper diet consists of appropriate portioning and choosing nourishing foods for your body, and when you think of sustainable diets, diets help keep us on track. The downside, however, is that diet plans can be costly, and you may find yourself spending hundreds of dollars a month that may not get you your desired results.

As much as diet plans are recommended to eat healthily, they may not entirely give you your desired weight loss results because several other factors may contribute to obesity such as hormones and family history, making it just that more difficult to lose the weight.

The ADA’s 218 Standards of Care and Treatment of Diabetes has continued to suggest weight loss surgery as a leading treatment for type 2 diabetes. This is an advancement in medicine and some patients even stop needing their medication after the surgery.

Miracle solutions

If you have struggled with losing weight, chances are, you have come across solutions that claim to help you lose all that weight in record time. These random diet pills and fad diets can cost you quite the penny. Weight loss surgery does away with all this by circumventing metabolic changes that come with weight loss and even helps rewire the body, such as resetting the satiety hormone Leptin. Meaning you do not feel the constant urge to eat.

Gym equipment and memberships

Having weight loss surgery done does not mean that you should not go to the gym – if that’s your cup of tea. In fact, It is more effective when patients adhere to healthy lifestyles. Weight loss surgery also helps improve the symptoms related to obesity such as joint pain, allowing you to enjoy your workouts even more.

Medical bills

The cost of healthcare is sky-rocketing in the country, and there seems to be no apparent end in mind. Obesity has been linked to diseases such as hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, joint pain, cancer and others. Studies show that over 181,000 people die every year as a direct result of obesity. These conditions can be managed, but chances are, they will not completely go until the obesity itself has been dealt with. Weightloss surgery has been shown to not only improve these conditions, but it can also help them resolve completely.

All in all, there is a need to figure out whether specific weight loss procedures have the potential to save costs.

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our editorial team strives to present both sides of the argument with in-depth analysis and links to resources.

This article contains scientific and health-related references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.