Gastric Sleeve in Boston – Surgeons, Costs, Insurance, Stats

Gastric sleeve details for Boston, Massachusetts:

  • Is performed about 1,400 times per year by 8 weight loss surgeons located within 25 miles of downtown Boston
  • Is covered by insurance, if your policy includes bariatric surgery
  • Costs $3,500 with insurance, on average (not including discounts & tax write-offs)
  • Without insurance, gastric sleeve costs about $21,500, but discounts are sometimes available

If you’d like to find a gastric sleeve surgeon in Boston now, click here. Otherwise, continue reading to learn everything you need to know about gastric sleeve in Boston.


Click on any of the topics below to jump directly to that section

  1. Gastric Sleeve Procedure Review
  2. Boston Gastric Sleeve Statistics
  3. Gastric Sleeve Insurance in Boston
  4. Cost of Gastric Sleeve in Boston
  5. Start to Finish
  6. Patient Community & Expert Advice
  7. Find a Boston Gastric Sleeve Surgeon
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Gastric Sleeve Procedure Review


  • Requires a body mass index (BMI) of at least 30
  • Reduces stomach size by 80%
  • Causes you to feel less hungry and full sooner while eating
  • Will cause you to lose up to three-fourths of your excess weight
  • Improves or cures at least 15 obesity-related health conditions
  • Has an extremely low mortality rate with a moderate risk of manageable complications

Gastric sleeve surgery, also called the Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG), is performed by removing a large portion of the stomach to create a long pouch that connects the esophagus to the small intestine. The pouch is stapled and the rest of the stomach is removed. Some surgeons take an additional step to reinforce the staple line, although whether that is effective is up for debate.

Full recovery happens within 4 to 6 weeks, but most patients are back to work within 2 weeks weeks. Pain will subside in a couple of weeks as well and is managed with medication.

Significant and permanent diet and lifestyle changes are required, including much smaller portion sizes and carefully adhering to a protein-heavy diet and a regimented exercise program.

Gastric sleeve patients lose weight very quickly, with a low point coming between 1 and 2 years after surgery. As long as you stick with the prescribed diet and exercise plan, you will keep most of the weight off over the long term.

Use the BMI calculator below to confirm that you qualify, and see our Gastric Sleeve Surgery page for everything you need to know about the procedure.


Boston Gastric Sleeve Statistics


  • 4.6 Million total metro population
  • 1.1 Million currently qualify for gastric sleeve
  • 1,400 have gastric sleeve each year

24.3% of Massachusetts’s population suffers from obesity (1). The metro area population of 4.6 million times the 24.3% obesity rate equals 1.1 million adults who currently qualify for gastric sleeve in Boston.

Roughly 108,000 gastric sleeve procedures are performed nationwide per year (2). Boston’s metro area population is about 1.3% of the total United States population, which means that about 1,400 people have a gastric sleeve procedure in Boston each year (3).

In other words, you are not alone. Over the last 10 years, close to 14,000 people in Boston have had gastric sleeve surgery, and 1.1 million could still benefit from it.


Gastric Sleeve Insurance in Boston


  • Gastric sleeve is covered if your policy includes bariatric surgery
  • Click here to check your insurance

Getting Boston-based insurance to pay for gastric sleeve will depend on your insurance policy:

  • Private Insurance – Individual Plan, Family Plan, or Small Employer Plan (50 or fewer employees): Gastric sleeve IS usually covered in Boston, since Massachusetts is on the list of states mandated to include bariatric surgery by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
  • Private Insurance – Large Employer Plan (51+ employees): Whether gastric sleeve is covered is up to your employer. Call your insurance company, review your plan documents, or contact your Human Resources department.
  • Medicare and Medicaid: Gastric sleeve IS covered in Boston, although not all surgeons in Boston will accept these insurance types.

If gastric sleeve is covered, your policy will require you to:

  • Complete a medically supervised diet program, if you have not already
  • Have a body mass index (BMI) over 35 with health problems (although some health issues may warrant approval with a BMI as low as 30) or over 40 without health problems (click here to calculate your BMI)

Click here to use our Check My Insurance Tool.

Most weight loss surgery practices in Boston will check your insurance benefits for free. Click here to find and contact a local surgeon.


Cost of Gastric Sleeve in Boston


  • $3,500 after insurance pays, on average
  • $21,681 without insurance, on average
  • Special promotions in Boston sometimes available

Gastric Sleeve Cost In Boston With Insurance

Even if your insurance coverage in Boston includes gastric sleeve surgery, you’ll still be responsible for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Your final out of pocket costs will depend on your specific plan, but average out-of-pocket costs are $3,500.

Click here to calculate your out of pocket costs after insurance.

Gastric Sleeve Cost In Boston Without Insurance

Without insurance, average out-of-pocket gastric sleeve costs in Boston are $21,681, although you should be able to find a reputable, experienced surgeon who charges less than that. Occasionally we come across gastric sleeve special prices in Boston as low as $10,000 or less.

If you cannot afford to pay the entire cost up front, most Boston-area surgeons offer access to loans or payment plans to make the procedure more affordable. Tax write-offs may also be available.

See our Gastric Sleeve Costs page for more information.

Bariatric Surgery Source

Start to Finish


  • 7 Steps to Getting Gastric Sleeve Surgery in Boston

Start Working with a Top Boston Surgeon As Soon As Possible

A top Boston-area surgeon will help you navigate the various procedure choices, pre-surgery steps, financing, and insurance options:

  1. Most surgeons in Boston will offer a free initial consultation, free local seminar, or free webinar. These will give you a better idea of what to expect and allow you to ask questions.
  2. Many also provide a free insurance check. They will also help you appeal any denials or find financing.
  3. Most insurance companies need proof of a medically supervised diet program. Your surgeon will set this up for you if you haven’t done so already.
  4. Your surgeon will push you towards new habits that will be essential to success after surgery. Many surgeons will recommend support group meetings for feedback from actual patients.

Two Weeks Out: Prepare for Surgery

You will have completed your pre-op tests, physical, and any other required steps. You should have insurance approval by this point.

You should also be well on your way towards developing your diet and lifestyle habits.

In the week or two leading up to surgery, you’ll go to the hospital pre-surgery department. They will perform an EKG, blood work, and any last minute tasks or other pre-op tests.

You’ll meet with the surgeon one more time to wrap up final tests and forms. The night before surgery, do not eat or drink anything starting at midnight.

Surgery Day

You’ll arrive at the hospital at least two hours before surgery to allow for prep time. The gastric sleeve procedure itself will take about 2 hours to perform. Immediately after surgery, you’ll have a dedicated nurse to manage your pain and check your vitals.

Click here for more about what to expect in the hospital.


Most gastric sleeve patients are in the hospital for 2 or 3 days. You can’t eat or drink anything for at least 24 hours after surgery. And your surgeon will want you to get up and walk around as soon as possible to start the healing process.

You’ll leave as soon as your surgeon is confident that you are well on the road to full recovery. You’ll need someone to drive you home from the hospital and care for you for at least a few days following surgery. Full recovery generally happens within 2 to 4 weeks.

Click here for more about the recovery process.

Adjust to Your New Post-Surgery Diet & Lifestyle

For the first 4 to 5 weeks after surgery, you will go from a clear liquid diet to your “new normal” gastric sleeve diet. You should also continue your transition into a more active lifestyle. You will feel full sooner, less hungry, and start to experience weight loss within a couple weeks.

Your surgeon’s dietitian or nutritionist will help you determine an appropriate diet. See the Diet & Life After section of this page for more information.

Attend Support Groups Regularly

Regular support group participation leads to:

  1. Reduce post-op recovery time
  2. Lead to as much as 12% more long-term weight loss

Your surgeon will be able to recommend an in-person Boston-based group near you. You can also check this site for a list of groups available in the Boston and surrounding areas.

Ongoing Doctor Visits

Your surgeon will schedule a follow up visit within 2 weeks to ensure you are recovering well and to answer any questions. Later visits will be scheduled as-needed.


Patient Community & Expert Advice


  • Ask the Expert & Patient Experiences

Ask the Expert & Patient Experiences*

To meet face-to-face and in-person with other patients, talk with your surgeon about weight loss surgery support groups available in the area.

Our community is also available to help, listen, or learn from your experiences with gastric sleeve surgery in Boston.

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Find a Boston Gastric Sleeve Surgeon


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