10 Most Expensive Medical Procedures

Leave a Comment
November 6th, 2012
Categories: Health News

With so much focus on the cost of healthcare, one has to wonder, what are the most expensive medical procedures? Below we list the 10 most expensive medical procedures. In cases of transplants, the hospital stay before and after the surgery makes up about 75 percent of the bill. Aside from the hospital stay and the medical procedure itself, other costs include pre-operation assessments, post-operation care, follow-up appointments and a variety of imaging and diagnostic tests.

The Top 10 Most Expensive Medical Procedures:

  1. Intestine Transplant
    Cost: $1,121,800

    Intestinal transplants are occasionally combined with liver transplants, making it the most expensive procedure at approximately $1,121,800. Nearly 80% of these costs go toward administration fees and inpatient recovery.

  2. Heart Transplant
    Cost: $787,700

    A high-risk heart transplant surgery costs about $997,700, including the extensive preparation of finding the best match organ donor, the minimum 6-month recovery and necessary follow-up procedures.

  3. Bone Marrow Transplant
    Cost: $676,800 Allogeneic ($300,400 Autologous)

    Bone marrow transplants can be done with donor’s marrow (allogeneic), or the patient’s own marrow (autologous), the latter at much lower cost. Bone marrow transplants are very complex procedures with high probability of complications. They can range from $300,400 for autologous to $676,800 for allogeneic procedures, which also covers the lengthy preparation and recovery time for a high-risk surgery.

  4. Lung Transplant
    Cost: $657,800 double ($450,400 single)

    Lung transplants are typically extensively long processes. A single lung transplant can cost $450,400 and double lung transplants approximately $657,800. Extremely long donor wait lists, complex testing, and long recovery time impact the end costs.

  5. Liver Transplant
    Cost: $523,400

    Liver transplants, approximately $523,400, are similar to heart transplants with high risk and high costs. To top things off, the criteria for eligibility is very strict, adding to the administrative burden.

  6. Open Heart Surgery
    Cost: $324,000

    Open-heart surgery is increasingly becoming a common procedure with heart disease as the leading cause of death at 26% in the United States.  It is typically an urgent procedure, followed by follow up procedures to handle complications, costing $324,000.

  7. Pancreas Transplant
    Cost: $275,500

    Pancreas transplant is typically performed on type 1 diabetes or renal failure patients and often done in combination with a kidney transplant. A transplant of the pancreas may cost up to $275,500 and even $439,000 if a kidney transplant is done as well.

  8. Kidney Transplant
    Cost: $259,000

    Kidney transplants present a unique challenge: a blood supply must be located to attach the new kidney to, since it is shown that removing the old kidney leads to higher risk of failure.  It is expensive due to the risk, recovery and preparatory expense like other procedures, costing about $259,000.

  9. Tracheotomy
    Cost: $205,000

    A tracheotomy, costing $205,000, generally requires lengthy recovery time in intensive care. Patients who receive this procedure are usually seriously ill, and intensive care amounts to significant costs.

  10. Destruction of Lesion of Retina
    Cost: $153,000

    Removal of lesions on the retina is an extremely high risk procedure, requiring precise skill. High costs for this procedure are associated with the level of skill necessary, amount of recovery time and follow up procedures.