Study Shows That Weight Loss Surgery Actually Reduces Medical Costs

A new study shows that bariatric surgery may cut medical costs related to type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Obesity is linked to serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, which can be expensive and time-consuming to treat. As weight-related conditions are often chronic, these medical expenses tend to add up over your life-time.

Fortunately, weight loss surgery is an effective way to reduce or eliminate a number of health problems — as well as boost your overall quality of life. Though some people may hesitate due to the perceived cost of surgery, bariatric procedures can actually save you money in the long-run. By helping to manage or even reverse conditions like diabetes and hypertension, weight loss surgery can reduce spending on everything from prescriptions to hospital inpatient care.

The Cost of Diabetes

In 2017, the healthcare industry spent $327 billion treating diagnosed diabetes, making it the most expensive disease in the United States. In fact, the condition makes up roughly one quarter of all healthcare costs. Type 2 diabetes mellitus, the most common type of diabetes, is a chronic and progressive disease that requires increasing amounts of medication to manage.

In fact, diabetics spend 2.3 times as much on healthcare-related expenses as non-diabetics.  According to the American Diabetes Association, direct medical costs for diabetics in 2017 neared $237 billion. This spending includes but is not limited to insulin, hospital inpatient care, and doctors’ visits.

Plus, these staggering numbers don’t take indirect costs into consideration. Reduced productivity, inability to work due to diabetes-related disabilities, and increased absenteeism are only a few of the factors that contribute to a further $90 billion in diabetes costs. In addition to the financial drain, these consequences are very real for the people who struggle to manage their everyday tasks while dealing with a chronic illness.

The Financial Benefits of Weight Loss Surgery

A recent study conducted by the American Society for Metabolic Surgery shows that weight loss surgery can cut down on diabetes- and hypertension-related costs. The study included 210 patients who spent, on average, $225 on diabetes medication and $71 on hypertension drugs per month.

After weight loss surgery was performed, spending fell by up to $80, leading to an estimated $1,852 in savings per year. Further, people with severe diabetes were able to cut their direct medical expenses by 65 percent between three to six months after their procedure. These numbers don’t include the additional cost savings for those in complete remission from type 2 diabetes after weight loss surgery.

While there are a variety of causes for diabetes and hypertension, these conditions are strongly linked to obesity. Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment to keep weight and costs down for many years following the procedure. And weight loss surgery doesn’t just save you money, but it’s beneficial for your physical and emotional health as well.

If you’re considering bariatric surgery, set up an appointment with Long Island Laparoscopic Doctors today. Our experienced team of medical professionals will help determine which treatment is right for you, and provide support and guidance along your weight loss journey.