A simple trip to the doctor can be costly without insurance, and it's even worse when you have to go under the knife. It can be a life or death choice. These procedures are tough on patients physically and can affect their mental health as well.
Some surgeries are outrageously priced and amount to more than a person makes in a few years. They are altering and give a person a second chance, but sometimes people may question if it is worth it. We have obtained information on all of the surgeries from Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic. Keep reading to learn about the 10 most expensive surgeries in the USA!
10 Tracheotomy ($205,000)
This is a life-saving surgery that is usually only implemented in dire situations. They cut a hole in the front of your neck and place a tube that extends into your lungs to keep a regular flow of oxygen in your body.
They only employ this method when the other routes for breathing are blocked or reduced to the point where you are not receiving a sufficient amount of air. You are probably hoping this never has to happen to you as it comes with a price tag of $205k, but it is better than losing your life due to unforeseen circumstances.
9 Pancreas Transplant ($347,000)
Pancreas transplants are usually performed in severe cases of patients who suffer from type 1 diabetes. The pancreas is responsible for producing insulin, and when the amount it releases grows too low, it can cause other complications that can only be solved with a transplant.
They are rarely used in cases of cancer because by the time the cancer is caught or a pancreas becomes available, it has already spread to surrounding organs. This transplant is often performed in conjunction with a kidney transplant, which drastically increases the $347k price tag attached to it.
8 Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant ($409,600)
When you have certain types of cancer, you might be required to go endure an autologous bone marrow transplant. This procedure involves taking out the stem cells from your own marrow and storing them until after your chemotherapy is complete.
It is safer than receiving marrow from a stranger, and it ensures they will help you after they replace the damaged or diseased marrow in your bones. It will cost you a lot, but in the end, you are granted a second chance to live your life.
7 Kidney Transplant ($414,800)
It's possible to live life with only one kidney, but when both of them stop working you will be required to have a kidney transplant. This chronic failure is usually caused by things like diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease, and chronic glomerulonephritis.
The decision ultimately comes down to whether you want to go through with a transplant or stay on dialysis for the rest of your life. It is obvious that most people choose to pay the $414,800 fee for a transplant instead of spending chunks of their days hooked up to a dialysis machine.
6 Liver Transplant ($812,500)
A liver transplant can be obtained from a living or deceased donor as this is the only organ that regenerates itself shortly after part of it is removed. This surgery is necessary when someone has liver failure which is deadly as this organ removes toxins from the blood, regulates immune responses, produces proteins, and so much more.
It is vital to your survival, and there are not enough livers out there from deceased victims to help them all. When you are faced with death or lifelong debt, it is obvious that we would all choose to be the latter.
5 Single Lung Transplant ($861,700)
A lung transplant is not offered to patients until they have tried other treatments and medications to solve their breathing problems. It's often people who suffer from COPD, scarring, high blood pressure, and cystic fibrosis patients who are eligible to receive a new lung.
A patient must meet all of the criteria in order to qualify as this is such an expensive procedure that the patient might not come back from if certain complications persist. It costs $861,700 which may be a lot for some, but it never is for those whose lives rest in the hands of their doctors.
4 Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant ($892,700)
This is a procedure that takes bone marrow from a donor, then gives it to a patient who needs it following harsh rounds of chemotherapy. This procedure is only used when the patient doesn't have enough healthy marrow left to transplant back into their own body following the chemo.
This is because this method is more dangerous and it is harder to find a donor as it must be an almost perfect match. The patient is ultimately paying for the donor's surgery, as well as their own, which is why this procedure costs upwards of $800k, rather than the $400k of the other surgery.
3 Intestine Transplant ($1,147,300)
This surgery is so expensive because so few are performed. According to data provided by UNOS, only 104 intestinal transplants were completed back in 2018, compared to the 8,250 liver transplants that were also performed.
Patients who undergo this type of surgery usually suffer from short bowel syndrome, chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, or tumors inside of the intestines. There are very few centers and doctors trained to do this surgery, which helps explain the $1.1 million price tag that is attached to it.
2 Double Lung Transplant ($1,190,700)
A single lung transplant costs about $850,000 to complete, so when it comes to a double-lung transplant, you are actually getting a deal. The same issues apply to these patients and they have the unfortunate luck of both lungs failing on them.
These patients are putting their lives in the hands of the surgeon as they have faith that their sure hands will make the foreign lungs work in their own bodies. There is no going back and no do-overs because none of your lungs remain behind after this procedure.
1 Heart Transplant ($1,382,400)
This is a life-saving procedure that replaces one of your vital organs with one that is up to pumping gallons of blood throughout your body on a given day. Patients are up for this procedure when they suffer from heart failure and it is obvious that their heart will soon give out despite other medicines and procedures.
There are even some surgeries that perform heart and lung transplants at the same time, which can be scary, but it is also a marvel of modern medicine. It will put you back about $1.3 million, and in the process, it will also save your life.