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Seven

Looking for some info

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Hi all,

I am new to the site and still mulling over the idea of having the surgery. I was wondering if any one would be able to give me a rough estimate of what the cost was of having the operation etc in hobart?? This is pretty much the determining factor for me, and not becauseif its too much I wont do it, but I literally wont be able to, I am not very 'well off' Single income family and all that. I dont have private health.

I also was wondering about the waiting times? I am currently pregnant and would be looking at having the operation after the birth, but would like to get the ball rolling as soon as possible.

I really think this is the last resort for me and have pretty much decided it needs to be done, it will be the Cost factor which determines may fate I guess!

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Hi Seven

Im from Tasmania too.

To get lap banded at Hobart you have 3 options.

Pay up front the full cost - $10,000 upwards. It is actually suppose to be closer to $14,000

Private Health Cover - Between $3,000 and $5,000

Then there is the waiting list - From last check it was 7 years wait.

it isnt cheap if you are trying to get it done quicker, but if you have to wait it isnt any better either. The only up side is you dont have to pay.

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Thanks for your reply Kylez.

I feel pretty disheartened now

theres no way I could afford to pay upfront, and even private health is too expensive... but wow 7 years??

I though that the waiting times had reduced dramatically since new surgeons had began working in the north of the state as well, I will talk to my GP and see what they think is the best option for me? I am currently sitting on a BMI of 40 give me seven years and I might not be around to have the surgery.

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Sorry to say Seven but the waiting list numbers havent declined ...

Hobart will not get any better while both the Surgeons down that way choose to do private and pay up front patients over public health patients. (Dont get me started on them) <_<

And no there isnt more docotrs doing the lap banding ops in the north, there is ONE doctor now doing it but to be approved to be put on the waiting list in the north you have to fit into 7 criteria set out by the surgeon, and if you dont there is a good chance you may be turned down.

He is only doing public health patients that fit into the 7 criteria, that genuinely need it doing.

You can give it a try though... :)

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Thanks again. :)

I will talk to my Dr tomorrow, I imagine I will look into getting Private health, and wait the 12 months. Which really isn't too bad.

Do you have any suggestions on the best private health insurer to go to? I looked into a few different insurers and finding out about their cover when it comes to the surgery is like finding a needle in a haystack :blink:

and once covered is the waiting list long as well?

Really I think in some ways having to wait the 12 months would work out well for me, as I still have 3 months till I have my bub and then I plan on breast feeding, and I imagine surgery would effect that greatly, so I would want to allow at least 6 months for that, and then just to have a few months mental preperation..... and Saving!!!!:P

also I have a friend who had the surgery done a year ago, and even though she paid thousands for it they didnt give her any pain relief, and she ended up needing to go back to her GP to get a prescription?? sounds a bit harsh! :(

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HI

Just wanted to add my bit.

I am lapbanded with one of the two docs in Hobart who offer it and also am a RN who has worked in theatre and still currently in

the local public hospital.

Both docs do private and public surgery. The waiting times for public are lengthy. As this is considered elective surgery it is not prioritised obviously like

a broken arm. Surgeons are given specific list times by the hospitals for surgery and they are VERY limited for elective. There is a shortage of most theatre staff

to run theatres so it is not a case of the surgeons choosing to do private instead of public cases. There is simply not enough room in the public hospital systems with all the other surgeons also wanting list times. Secondly - the pain relief options are the control of the anaesthetist rather than the surgeon and it is worth discussing all those things prior to going home rather than hoping for the best. Most people do not have pain that needs more than panadol or panadeine forte.

My advice is to join private health insurance NOW. I would ring both surgeons rooms (without giving your name) and ask them to recommend which one to go with. I would also ask them the rough gap price (last I heard it was about $1800 for one of the docs) I have had surgery last year for another matter and the surgeon advised me to dtich MBF and go with AHM (australian health management). The gap was WAY less and the premiums were less too. AHM were EXCELLENT - very easy - could claim online and can check all benefits online. You won't be able use the private health for maternity care if you are already pregnant but thats no prob cos the RHH is great for maternity (I am a midwife there!!). But before you join any it might pay to ask them what they cover and what they don't. (dont tell them your name when you ring) Remember, if there is any record with a GP or another surgery that you want a LAPBAND it would be considered existing condition and they may not cover you so don't do anything until you decide whether you want to join a health fund. The waiting list at longest is probably around 6 weeks - usually you can get it done privately within a few weeks.

ALSO, I would get a referral to one of the surgeons ASAP to be seen via the public system and at least get yourself on the waiting list. If you have any other co-morbidities (asthma, diabetes etc) then you get a slight advantage but not much. The system works by Need and Priority.

I am a hopeless saver so what I have done is opened an online bank account that I cant use a keycard with (ME Bank) and I just have a tiny amount put into that account from my pay once a fortnight - I know it seems hopeless and like you will never get enough but I dont check this account and have no idea how much I have in there but thats a good thing cos I am not tempted to use it. I have no access to online banking either with it so I cant fiddle with it.. At least you will feel like you have a plan.

Goodluck...and hope this info helps...

Hope all is going well with the baby to be!

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Just a suggestion.... Would you consider travelling to another state where its ALOT cheaper ? i know the costs of flights accomodation would be pricey. but surely all up will still be cheaper in the end ?

Iam in adelaide, and i thought the cost of my surgery this week was a RIP, but after reading what people are charged in other states iam thinking i got it mega easy!

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I went in on the 9th February for my first consult and got my band done on the 18th I paid 1400 up front for the anathesiologist and have to pay 2700 to my doctor within 7 weeks but I can claim both back. I should only be out of pocket a maximum of 1500

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Hi All,

I was banded in March this year and I was lucky enough to draw some of my superannuation to pay for my banding and all up it cost $11,000........I am hoping it will be worth it.

It is an option worth thinking about if you have super and you medically need to have the banding then I think it has to be worth it as I don't think I would be around to enjoy mine at retirement as don't think I would still be here.

Good luck to all.

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I too got mine done in Hobart. All up my fees will be round $1,600 once medicare and MBF pay their part. I had my $250 excess of course and also $550 for anaesthetic which again most will be covered. Also i get 3 mths to pay Tony (surgeon). If you can hang in there your much better off getting top cover for health, waiting the period then going in. One of my friends is going in today and she is un-insured. $12,600 straight up. :blink:

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I too saw Tony just under 3 years ago. all up I was out of pocket approx $1800. (private health though).

Best thing I have ever done!!

Good luck!

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Hello,

Just wanted to state that as of June there was talk of one of the carriers cancelling coverage for gastric banding surgery, the some other companies to follow. Make sure when you are getting information on phone or websites dont leave your name with them. Be careful also about seeing a surgeon and getting a referral before you have your insurance because some cheeky companies may say it is a pre-existing condition and not cover it. Good luck...Kristi

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Just adding to what everyone else has said.....I thoroughly agree.

I was banded nearly two years ago.

Private health care a must, as well as having access to several thousand for gap and etc etc.....esp if travelling from further afield in the state. i am in the North west and there is no one up here doing it......I have just found a surgeon who will fill and take out fluid which is fantastic as I dont have to travel to Hobart or Launceston on one of tonys visits.

Getting back to your questions.....everything that has been answered as I see it is completely correct. Esp. check if your specific private you are looking at will cover it.

I have four small children. After the last I vowed I would do something about the weight. Lap band was definitely the best thing I ever did. It will be worth the private healthcare wait. I am in HCF. Goodluck

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I went to see Dr Wilkinson who said he would only operate  on me in Hobart which is out of the question because of the costs of travel and accommodation .I live in Burnie. My insurance company - GMHBA - said they will cover me 100% as I have top cover if the doctor uses a generic lap band. I rang Dr Wilkinson's rooms and was told he only uses Allergan bands which cost $500, so I'm wondering about the other doctors who do bariatric surgery in the state. Does anybody know anything about Dr Pande in Launceston? My daughter is on the public list to see him. My rheumatologist suggested gastric sleeve because I'm 67 and need a shoulder replacement and in his opinion I need to get the weight off first. I'm just confused and disheartened now because I saw Dr wilkinson an Friday last week all excited about getting lap band done. I would appreciate any information :( 

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I'm not from Tassie, but do you have a GP near Burnie who can do fills/unfills for you? If you don't, have you factored in the travel to and from Hobart every 4 - 6 weeks for adjustments? If the Surgeon only uses the allergan band, can you just pay the $500 for that and then your cover pays the rest?

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I am under Dr Pat , I see him for fills in Launceston. I travel from north west as well he only operates in Hobart and I was out of pocket clost to $5000 and I also had top cover 1/2 this was for the anethasist and Dr Pat has an up from fee of $1500 I think it was and u get $800 back from Medicare & PHI. Fills I'm about $ 80 out of pocket plus travel. I only had 1 night in hospital so hubby stayed at a cheap motel and was discharged and home the next day . Hope this helps

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I was just banded by Dr Pat in Hobart on monday, I am from the N/E. My husband stayed in a motel around the corner from the hospital - $100 a night but free parking for guests so that saved some $$. I was dischrged after one night but we stayed a second night as I didn't feel like travelling straight away. As Beckstimetoshine mentioned Dr Pat does fills in Launceston evey second thursday evening or friday which may make it easier for travelling distance. 

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