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How to Pick the Right Surgeon
- Research online and offline
- Create your inital list of surgeons
- Narrow your list
- In-person surgeon interviews
To find the best bariatric surgeon for you in your area, follow these steps:
- Do your research – Confirm that surgery is your best option, compare procedures, understand the downsides of surgery, and learn the important aspects of life after.
- Create an initial list of surgeons – Three ways to find the best surgeons for you include:
- Online searches
- Asking for a referral from your primary care physician
- Contacting one of the verified surgeons listed above
Average Cost of Weight Loss Surgery
- Costs vary, see table in the next section for state by state costs.
Total out-of-pocket costs for having a weight loss procedure done in your area depends on a variety of factors, including:
- Which procedure is right for you
- Whether your insurance covers your chosen procedure
- Your chosen hospital and surgeon
- How to pay for a weight loss procedure if you don’t have insurance
- Whether your income qualifies you for special tax write-offs
The tools and links below will give you a better understanding of each of the above.
For more cost information, see our Bariatric Surgery Cost page.
Which Procedure is Right for You
There are up to 4 weight loss procedures available in almost all areas of the United States, including:
- Gastric Sleeve – feel less hungry & full sooner while eating
- Gastric Bypass – feel full sooner while eating & absorb fewer minerals
- Duodenal Switch – feel full sooner while eating
- LAP-BAND® System – feel less hungry & full sooner while eating, absorb fewer calories and minerals
You will have an easier time finding a doctor who performs the more common procedures like gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, LAP-BAND®, and gastric balloon, although the other procedures may be available as well from select surgeons and gastroenterologists in your area.
To learn more about each procedure, see our Types of Bariatric Surgery page.
Does Your Insurance Cover Weight Loss Surgery?
Whether or not insurance pays for some or all of your weight loss procedure depends on your specific plan.
If your plan does cover it, it will likely only cover the following procedures:
- Gastric sleeve
- Gastric bypass
- Duodenal Switch
If you’re interested in a different procedure, you will probably have to take the self-pay route.
Your insurance company will also require that your body mass index (BMI) is at least 35 if you have obesity-related health problems like diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, or joint issues. If your BMI is 40 or more, no health issues are required.
Most insurance companies also mandate a 3, 6, or 9 month medically-supervised diet program before they will approve surgery.
Use the tool below to find out if your plan covers it.
For more information, see our Weight Loss Surgery Insurance page.
Your Chosen Hospital and Surgeon
If your insurance covers the weight loss procedure that you want, your out-of-pocket costs will be determined by your specific plan elements like:
- Office visit copay
- Deductible (how much you pay for surgery before your insurance starts to pay)
- Coinsurance (how much your insurance pays after your deductible)
- Prescription drug copays
If your insurance doesn’t cover your chosen weight loss procedure, the specific hospital and surgeon you select will have a much bigger impact on your out-of-pocket costs.
To compare average self-pay (no insurance) out-of-pocket costs in your state to those in surrounding states, use the interactive map below.
Click here to see the cost by location map: This map shows the average bariatric surgery cost by country and state/province/region based on our annual surgeon cost survey.
Alternatively, you can scroll through the table below.
|ALABAMA surgeons surveyed are located in Birmingham, Decatur, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa|
|ALASKA surgeons surveyed are located in Anchorage|
|ARIZONA surgeons surveyed are located in Flagstaff, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson|
|ARKANSAS surgeons surveyed are located in El Dorado, Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Little Rock and Pine Bluff|
|CALIFORNIA surgeons surveyed are located in Bakersfield, Burbank, Chico, Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, La Jolla, Modesto, Oakland, Poway, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Barbara|
|COLORADO surgeons surveyed are located in Colorado Springs, Denver and Fort Collins|
|CONNECTICUT surgeons surveyed are located in Farmington, Glastonbury, Meriden, Middletown, New Haven, Norwalk, Shelton and Stamford|
|DELAWARE surgeons surveyed are located in Dover, Newark and Wilmington|
|FLORIDA surgeons surveyed are located in Ft. Meyers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples, Ocala, Orlando, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach|
|GEORGIA surgeons surveyed are located in Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Decatur, Macon, Marietta and Savannah|
|HAWAII surgeons surveyed are located in Aiea, Kailua-Kona, Honolulu and Wailuku|
|IDAHO surgeons surveyed are located in Boise, Meridian, Montpelier, Nampa, Pocatello and Post Falls|
|ILLINOIS surgeons surveyed are located in Chicago, Champaign, Decatur, Naperville, Peoria, Rockford and Springfield|
|INDIANA surgeons surveyed are located in Bloomington, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Gary, Indianapolis and South Bend|
|IOWA surgeons surveyed are located in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines and Iowa City|
|KANSAS surgeons surveyed are located in Topeka, Lenexa, Wichita, Overland Park, Olathe, and Kansas City|
|KENTUCKY surgeons surveyed are located in Lexington, Louisville and other towns.|
|LOUISIANA surgeons surveyed are located in Alexandria, New Orleans, Shreveport and other towns|
|MAINE surgeons surveyed are located in Augusta, Bangor, Portland and other towns|
|MARYLAND surgeons surveyed are located in Baltimore, Salisbury and other towns|
|MASSACHUSETTS surgeons surveyed are located in Boston, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Springfield, Worcester and other towns.|
|MICHIGAN surgeons surveyed are located in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and other towns.|
|MINNESOTA surgeons surveyed are located in Minneapolis / St. Paul, Rochester and other towns|
|MISSISSIPPI surgeons surveyed are located in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Tupelo and other towns.|
|MISSOURI surgeons surveyed are located in Columbia, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis and other towns|
|MONTANA surgeons surveyed are located in Billings, Bozeman, Helena and other towns|
|NEBRASKA surgeons surveyed are located in Lincoln, Omaha and other towns|
|NEVADA surgeons surveyed are located in Henderson, Las Vegas and Reno Areas|
|NEW HAMPSHIRE surgeons surveyed are located in Manchester, Nashua and other towns|
|NEW JERSEY surgeons surveyed are located in Newark, Trenton and Other Areas|
|NEW MEXICO surgeons surveyed are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Other Areas|
|NEW YORK surgeons surveyed are located in Albany, Buffalo, New York City / Manhattan, Rochester, Watertown and Other Areas|
|NORTH CAROLINA surgeons surveyed are located in Asheville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Durham, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington, Winston-Salem and Other Areas|
|NORTH DAKOTA surgeons surveyed are located in Bismarck and Grand Forks|
|OHIO surgeons surveyed are located in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Other Areas|
|OKLAHOMA surgeons surveyed are located in Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Other Areas|
|OREGON surgeons surveyed are located in Portland, Bend, McMinnville, Salem, Medford, Springfield, Eugene, Beaverton, Corvallis, and Coos Bay|
|PENNSYLVANIA surgeons surveyed are located in Allentown, Altoona, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Other Areas|
|SOUTH CAROLINA surgeons surveyed are located in Anderson, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Rock Hill and Other Areas|
|TENNESSEE surgeons surveyed are located in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville|
|TEXAS surgeons surveyed are located in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas / Ft. Worth, Houston, Lubbock and San Antonio|
|UTAH surgeons surveyed are located in Provo, Salt Lake City and St. George|
|VERMONT surgeons surveyed are located in Burlington, Montpelier and Springfield|
|VIRGINIA surgeons surveyed are located in Charlottesville, Newport News, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach and Other Towns|
|WASHINGTON surgeons surveyed are located in Everett, Olympia, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver and Other Areas|
|WEST VIRGINIA surgeons surveyed are located in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown and Vienna|
|WISCONSIN surgeons surveyed are located in Eu Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Other Areas|
|WYOMING surgeons surveyed are located in Afton, Cheyenne and Riverton|
How to Pay for a Weight Loss Procedure if You Don’t Have Insurance
Some patients have enough money in savings to cover the cost of their procedure. If you do, don’t forget to discuss what happens in the event of an unforeseen issue arising that requires a longer hospital stay. Some surgeons will cover that in an all-inclusive package, others will not.
If you don’t have enough in savings, options for financing weight loss surgery include:
- Payment plan through your surgeon
- Secured medical loan (i.e., use your house as collateral)
- Unsecured medical loan (i.e., medical financing, credit card, etc.)
- Retirement plan loan (i.e., from your 401(k) plan)
- Life insurance policy loan
- Loan from family or friends
See our Financing Bariatric Surgery page for more information.
Whether Your Income Qualifies You for Special Tax Write-offs
If your medical costs total more than 10% of your adjusted gross income, you may be able to write off a portion of your costs.
Use the calculator below to see if you qualify for these special write-offs.