Bariatric Surgery Patients in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Atlanta Now Have New Payment Option

April 09, 2010 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
(Chattanooga, TN - April 9, 2010) In Chattanooga, TN and from Knoxville to Atlanta, people seeking weight loss through bariatric surgery now have a new payment option available. The Gastric Band Institute, a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence, now offers a cash pay package for the sleeve gastrectomy procedure. This payment option includes all charges as well as BLIS® Complication Protection Insurance.

Sleeve gastrectomy, also known as gastric sleeve surgery, is a relatively new operation in which the volume of the stomach is reduced but its digestive functions remain intact. Unlike gastric bypass Roux-en-Y, the gastric sleeve surgery is not malabsorptive-the nutrient-absorbing parts of the stomach and intestine are not completely removed. This type of bariatric surgery allows patients to avoid complications such as vitamin deficiency and dumping syndrome. The bariatric surgeons at the Gastric Band Institute Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery offer patients gastric sleeve or lap band surgery in order to provide substantial results with reduced risk.

Patients who are hesitant to pursue a cash pay option may be surprised by what is offered at the Gastric Band Institute. The sleeve gastrectomy surgical package costs $14,900 and includes surgical, hospital, anesthesia and program fees. The insurance included with the plan covers the patient for 60 days against complications such as heart and lung problems, blood clots, bleeding, infections, leaking, perforations and strictures.

To proceed as a cash pay patient for the gastric sleeve procedure, a few criteria must first be met. The patient must be at least 18 years old and must not wish to proceed with insurance coverage for the bariatric surgery (many insurance companies currently do not cover the sleeve gastrectomy). The patient will also need to have a body mass index greater than 40, or 35 to 40 with associated medical problems.

The surgical candidate is responsible for obtaining a list of required pre-admission tests and x-rays determined by his or her bariatric surgeon. This testing is at the candidate's own expense, yet many if not all of these tests may be covered by primary care provider or network provider insurance. Additional tests may be required based on the results of the initial testing.

This package is part of the Gastric Band Institute's continuing promise to simplifying patient pathways to quality bariatric surgery. The practice features experienced bariatric surgeons and a staff of caring healthcare professionals. Drs. Jaime Ponce, Steve W. Paynter and Richard F. Fromm make each patient's unique health needs and weight loss goals their top priority. More information is available at