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Cheapest Surgery in United States???

iamchrisstone
on 10/1/09 3:05 pm - Orange Park, FL
I simply want to know who knows of the least expensive surgeon in the U.S. for Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy procedure for a self payer?  Thanks!
:: libguy ::
on 10/1/09 4:01 pm
VSG on 07/08/09 with
Dr. Pleatman! He's in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, which is about 30 or so miles outside of Detroit. He charges $11,200 for the sleeve.

http://laparoscopy.com/pleatman/

I believe I may have heard of one or two surgeons who were a *****eaper, though I can't confirm that. I know Dr. Pleatman is near the top of the list.
Mack
on 10/1/09 4:57 pm - Logan, OH
VSG on 07/16/09 with
The nice thing about Dr Pleatman is that he is a really great surgeon, easy going but with lots of VSG experience now, and a great program with Dr's hospital of MI.

One of the best with one of the best prices. Highly recommended.

Mack

CAUTION: Make sure Brain is engaged before putting Mouth into gear!!

Starting Weight 354/  PreOP 335/  Current 249/  Goal 195

Rosebud2
on 10/1/09 4:39 pm
VSG on 05/27/09 with
I am always disturbed when people choose a surgeon for such a serious surgery based on price.  There is a whole lot more than the cost of the surgery involved in making a choice.

 
 (23 prior to surgery)   

 I'm 5'8"
The old broad


 

downtownjulibrown
on 10/1/09 4:50 pm - Dallas, TX
VSG on 06/15/09 with
Was that supposed to be a supportive comment? How rude!!!!!!!!!!
          
        Living in Dallas,Tx.      current weight  233                                                                                               
:: libguy ::
on 10/1/09 8:38 pm
VSG on 07/08/09 with
You went to Mexico for this serious surgery. Do you know how many people would be disturbed by that? Maybe you should try being less rude and instead understand that for some people, price is one of, if not the most important factor. Period. And there's nothing wrong with that. With how f*cked up the USA's health care system is, the most important thing is that people are getting the tool that they need to succeed.

And besides that, there's a certain skill level that is to be expected from any surgeon you choose. That doesn't suddenly come into question just because they offer a self-pay price.
Rosebud2
on 10/1/09 11:35 pm
VSG on 05/27/09 with
We had a practice here that advertised low priced lasik and how many people they had operated on so people flocked to them.  They were eventually shut down by the State because of all of the people whose eyes they damaged permanently.

If someone is so much less expensive than others you need to question why.  You can't automatically say they are a surgeon so they are as qualified as others to do this surgery.

Personally, I don't care what others think of me going to Mexico for my surgery.  In my opinion my surgeon was far more qualified in this procedure than most in the USA.  I researched it and was comfortable.  Price was not the deciding factor.

If you consider that rude, then you don't see the big picture.  Your health is not where you should be cutting corners.

 
 (23 prior to surgery)   

 I'm 5'8"
The old broad


 

Deanna A.
on 10/1/09 4:45 pm - TX
VSG on 01/28/09 with
There's a doc in Louisiana that was $9300 when I was looking.  I spoke to his office, then decided to go with Dr. Aceves in Mexico, who had LOTS more experience and wasn't far from that price.  I'd do the same thing again!  I totally understand the reasons for wanting surgery in the US, but please make sure you compare apples with apples.  Consider length of hospital stay, leak test protocols, after care plans, and check out their stats.  It's too important a decision to risk for price.
Deanna



BrookeK
on 10/1/09 4:58 pm - Arlington, TX
Dr. Castro - Dallas Texas  $11,990

www.nbsurgical.com/content/
 I am 5'4" tall

downtownjulibrown
on 10/1/09 4:54 pm, edited 10/1/09 6:41 pm - Dallas, TX
VSG on 06/15/09 with
My Dr is recognized as Bariatric Center of Excellence & he is very reasonable. $12,300 all inclusive (even aftercare for 1 year) the surgery is done in a brand new state of the art hospital. Here's a link for you. www.drdkim.net Good Luck!
          
        Living in Dallas,Tx.      current weight  233                                                                                               
kellyinbigd
on 10/1/09 5:31 pm
VSG on 08/06/09 with
 I'll throw my awesome doc in the hat, too - I chose him because as the child of a doctor, I'm really selective about who I let treat me, and he is the head of bariatrics at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (one of the top, if not THE top hospital in Dallas) and before that he was head of vascular surgery there for 20 years. 

I felt good that he really knows the surgery well, and also knows what to do if something goes wrong - which to me is one of the main differences b/t an okay doc and a great one.  :)

I know there are TONS of good docs, but I was pleasantly surprised to find one who had such a great reputation (he's also a Bariatric Center of Excellence doc) and fairly affordable, when done in the surgicenter.

A big difference in cost is whether you have surgery in a hospital (high overhead = high cost) or in a surgicenter.    My dad (a plastic surgeon) operates in a surgicenter now after years of being at Baylor Dallas and he much prefers it, and it helps keep costs more manageable for self-pay patients.

So.... my surgery (also done where Dr. Kim does his - at the beautiful new Forest Park Medical Center) was $12,500 - soup to nuts, including all first-year follow up, and I've been very pleased.

Congrats on your decision to meet w/ a WL doc - it's one of the VERY best things I ever did for myself, as most people on this board would agree, I'm sure!!

Best,
Kelly
   
I am 5'4" tall and feeling great!  62 lbs down, 14 to go!   I LOVE my sleeve!
"You will lift up your face without shame... you will firmly stand with no fear inside,
You will surely forget your troubles and pain... recalling them only as waters gone by!"
- lyrics from "Waters Gone By" by Glory Revealed - taken from Job 11:13-15       
iamchrisstone
on 10/2/09 3:21 am - Orange Park, FL
thanks everyone!!!  kelly, do you have a website for your doctor?
kaykay9.0
on 10/2/09 8:15 am, edited 10/2/09 8:26 am - Plano (suburb of Dallas), TX
On October 1, 2009 at 5:31 PM Pacific Time, kellyinbigd wrote:  I'll throw my awesome doc in the hat, too - I chose him because as the child of a doctor, I'm really selective about who I let treat me, and he is the head of bariatrics at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas (one of the top, if not THE top hospital in Dallas) and before that he was head of vascular surgery there for 20 years. 

I felt good that he really knows the surgery well, and also knows what to do if something goes wrong - which to me is one of the main differences b/t an okay doc and a great one.  :)

I know there are TONS of good docs, but I was pleasantly surprised to find one who had such a great reputation (he's also a Bariatric Center of Excellence doc) and fairly affordable, when done in the surgicenter.

A big difference in cost is whether you have surgery in a hospital (high overhead = high cost) or in a surgicenter.    My dad (a plastic surgeon) operates in a surgicenter now after years of being at Baylor Dallas and he much prefers it, and it helps keep costs more manageable for self-pay patients.

So.... my surgery (also done where Dr. Kim does his - at the beautiful new Forest Park Medical Center) was $12,500 - soup to nuts, including all first-year follow up, and I've been very pleased.

Congrats on your decision to meet w/ a WL doc - it's one of the VERY best things I ever did for myself, as most people on this board would agree, I'm sure!!

Best,
Kelly
  Yes, let me echo Kelly's post regarding Dr.  Davidson.  He was also my husband's surgeon.  From the time, my husband met Dr. Davidson, he was very certain that this was who he wanted to perform any bariatric surgery  he might have.  He was just very impressed with him and when he had his surgery, I felt that he was in extremely capable hands because of Dr. Davidson's reputation and experience.
The website for Dr. Davidson is www.bscdallas.com
My husband had vertical sleeve gastrectomy done by Dr. James Davidson on 7/28/09 in Dallas.
akindofmagick
on 10/2/09 8:50 am - MD
Dr. Umbach in Henderson, NV (http://blossombariatrics.com) has just announced a very cheap program, also $11,200.

He's only done 3 VSG procedures, tho.

Meaning my kids will stay with my parents and brother in Henderson, less than a half-mile from his practice, while I have my procedure done in Mexico. 

I don't think Rosebud's original comment was at all rude.  She stated a fact, and a worry, not an accusation:  it concerns her, as it does me. Cost is only one of the factors to consider.... it's certainly a huge factor with me as I'm also self-pay, a single mom, and taking the $$ out of my retirement - but it's certainly not the only factor. Experience, Board Qualified certifications, quality of care, type of facility (e.g. hospital or clinic), and even reputation are all also hugely important - at least to me.

Rosebud's later example of lasik really hit home, too. I had lasik on my eyes in July 2000 and paid premium for it at http://furlongvision.com/  (not covered by insurance).  Dr. Furlong did Steve Jobs' eyes (think: Apple Computers). And the SF Bay football team. He was a pioneer in the field.  It was the second best thing I've ever done for myself (adopting my daughters was #1).  A couple of years later, when the price for lasik dropped, my sister went to a low-cost chain lasik place in Virginia.  The technician used the wrong dilution of cleaning fluid on the machine that day, all day, and everyone who had surgery that Friday wound up in agony over the weekend - and had to have their lasik done over on Monday to clean the disinfectant out from under their corneal flaps. She has permanent starburst, can't drive at night or in low light conditions, and wasn't able to read for pleasure for almost a year. (Thank goodness she was a SAHM - had she needed to use a computer, she would have been unable to work.)  Her eyes still tire easily, she has frequent headaches, and oh, yes, she has to wear glasses to see.  That clinic is also out of business now.

I don't think for a moment that you need to pay the highest price for good service, tho. Dr. Averbach in Baltimore seems very nice, his staff is very responsive and friendly, but he quoted me a figure of $29K, which I can't afford, altho the appeal of having it done locally is not negligible.  He's only done 50 VSGs, tho.

From everything I've heard on this board and else, I think Dr. Almanza in Tijuana is a fine doctor, and the cost, at ~$6000, is certainly appealing.  However - and maybe it's all those years I spent in the Navy!! - I personally don't feel comfortable going to a clinic in TJ, and thus I'm willing to pay more for a full-service hospital setting. 

Bottom line: do your own research, find your own comfort zone, and make your own decision. 

There's no need to jump all over people who express an opinion in polite, not rude terms.  The guy with the gun avatar yesterday - he sets the standard for rude, not Rosebud.

In my opinion, for what it's worth.

Peace! 

Sheri
I've been fat, and I've been thin - and thin is better.  
--------------------------
I am 54 years old and 5'4".  I'm also a single Mom to two daughters from China, ages 8 and 7.


Jeff Q.
on 6/23/11 10:49 am, edited 6/23/11 10:49 am
hollykim
on 10/2/09 8:01 pm - Nashville, TN
DS on 03/05/13
Dr. Almanza uses a full service hospital.
H