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Why do sleeves cost more than gastric bands?

Band vs sleeve cost
Band vs sleeve cost

It’s a fair question. When most patients compare the band and the sleeve one of the attractions of the sleeve is that it is lower maintenance and requires fewer visit to the postop clinic. So, shouldn’t it be cheaper than the band?

Unfortunately the aftercare savings are more than offset by much higher hospital costs.

When you consider the cost of your surgery it is made up of costs that fall into the following categories:

  • Pre-assessment costs (everything that happens before your op)
  • Hospital costs – the costs of the theatre and theatre team, your ward stay and all the equipment used in  your procedure. The disposable equipment costs are  called ‘consumables’.
  • Surgeon costs
  • Anaesthetist costs
  • Aftercare costs

There are also overheads that go towards administration, insurance, warranty costs, etc.

The two that are especially high for the sleeve procedure are the hospital ward costs and the consumables costs. Whereas band surgery is a day case, sleeve patients will stay in hospital for 2 nights. In most hospitals each night in hospital costs about £500. In addition there are the consumables costs. The biggest cost relates to staple cartridges which cost several hundred pounds each. Anything between 5 and 7 can be used in a sleeve procedure. In the case of the band, the total cost of theatre consumables is often less than the cost of one cartridge.

So, those differences alone add up to about £3,000 of increased cost. In addition there are extras such as post op blood tests and the longer time in theatre for the sleeve. Add it all together and the price of a gastric sleeve is about £10,000. You’ll see different headline prices but when everything is rolled in you’ll get to about £10,000.

If you see lower prices be cautious. Make sure that you are having your surgery in a major private hospital with robust HDU facilities and make sure that the consumables that are used are of the highest standard. The cartridges should be from a reputable manufacturer. You should also establish what will happen in the event you experience a complication and need an extended stay in hospital.

So, hopefully that explains the main differences. If you have any questions or comments on prices and finance plans let us know.

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Useful links

About the Gastric Sleeve 
Gastric sleeve prices and finance
Self funding weight loss surgery


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*Weight loss surgery results and benefits vary and are different for each individual. As such, Healthier Weight cannot guarantee specific weight loss goals.