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Realize Band Surgery Cost

By Denise Mann; reviewed by Christine Ren Fielding, MD, FACS

As part of your decision to have gastric banding surgery with the Realize Band, you need to consider the Realize Band surgery cost along with the potential health and lifestyle benefits. The cost of the Realize Band surgery ranges from $16,000 to $25,000, depending on hospital fees and surgeon fees. The hospital will purchase the device, usually billing it to you as a part of the entire cost of the procedure.

A growing number of insurance providers (including Medicare and, in some states, Medicaid) are footing the bill for all or part of the cost of Realize Band surgery if your doctor finds it is medically necessary and if you meet the National Institutes of Health insurance requirements for weight loss surgery.

Realize Band Cost Breakdown

The cost typically includes:

  • Anesthesia fees
  • The hospital facility fee
  • The surgeon's fee
  • Pre-op lab and X-ray fees
  • Follow-up appointments. The Realize Band surgery cost usually includes the fees associated with any adjustments or fills for the first year after surgery. Follow-up visits continue for as long as you have the band, but tend to become less frequent as time wears on. After the first year, follow-up visits will range from $100 to $750 each, depending on what is involved and your insurance coverage.

Some costs may not be included in the initial cost of Realize Band surgery, such as:

  • Post-surgery behavior, exercise and diet counseling, including the cost of vitamins and supplements.
  • Additional body contouring surgeries to remove excess skin, lift sagging body areas, improve loose muscles or treat fat deposits. Some of these additional procedures could include a facelift, liposuction, breast augmentation, breast lift, abdominoplasty, thigh lift or male breast reduction.

(Visit our sister site Consumer Guide to Plastic Surgery to learn more about plastic surgery procedures.)

Many factors affect the cost of Realize Band, including:

  • Geography. The cost is higher in urban areas, such as Boston and New York, because overhead is higher there, and surgeons are in greater demand in more densely populated areas.
  • Your health plan.
  • If your surgeon or hospital is an in-network provider.
  • If your procedure is done on an in-patient (overnight) or out-patient (same-day discharge) basis.

Questions to Ask About the Cost of Realize Band Surgery

  • What is the total Realize Band cost?
  • What does the price include? Some bariatric surgeons will quote one all-encompassing price, while others will quote the surgery cost only and not take into account pre-op tests, hospital charges, follow-up care and counseling appointments.
  • Will my insurer cover all or part of the cost of the Realize Band?
  • When do you start billing separately for the adjustments or fills?
  • Will my insurer cover these adjustments or fills?
  • Will my insurer cover the cost of complications or re-operations after Realize Band surgery?
  • Do you offer patient financing?
  • What is the cost to remove the Realize Band?
  • How does the cost of the Realize Band compare with the Lap-Band cost?
  • Does the company provide any free online support for the Realize Band? The manufacturers of the Realize Band offer the Realize mySuccess on-line support program, which can help develop personalized eating and exercise plans before and after gastric banding. This program can also help trouble-shoot any problems you are having and track your progress after bariatric surgery.

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