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Gato

Is it worth bypassing Canberra?

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Hello Canberrans

I'm feeling a bit grumpy that I live in a town with just one lap band surgery option!

Whilst Im sure that Canberra Bariatric do a very good job, the fact is that getting a lapband in Canberra is about $4000 more expensive than a similar reputable practice in Sydney.

ie I think Canberra Bariatric's 'gap' if you have health insurance is about $7500 now?

Are they worth it or is this cost just a result of being a sole practice in a town filled with high earning public servants?

Has anyone chosen to travel to Bowral or Sydney and save the money?

If you did, where did you go?

And in hindsight, do you think it was a good idea?

Do Canberra Bariatric offer something that makes the extra $4000 seem reasonable?

Other places (eg Oclinic) include fills, any future corrective surgery, dietician and psychologists appts in their quoted cost. Does anyone know if Canberra Bariatric does this too for the $7500?

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Hi Gato,

Canberra seems to have very little competition in everything.

I had my surgery with Canberra Bariatrics. I had considered going to Sydney for my surgery.

My costs were as followed

Surgeons fee $ 6000 - $900 refund from medicare/private health fund

Anesthesist - $1200 - $800 refund from medicare/private health fund

Pre appointments $260 - $100 refund from medicare

All up I was out of pocket around $5800

Now included in my surgeons fee was free follow ups, dietician, fills and revision for a year. After that you can pay an account keeping fee of $200 and get all of that for another year. The only thing they dont have in-house is a psychologist.

While they are maybe a grand higher to me going with Canberra was more convenient. If I had to factor in the cost of having to go to sydney for every fill, the cost of hotels for me and my family before and after the surgery and if there was a problem how quickly could I get to sydney.

For me I like the fact I can book a dieticians appointment or fill before or after uni or work and its not a huge imposition into my life. If I had to go to sydney thats at least 5 hours diriving for a 10 min appointment. To me my time is worth much more.

I do think the surgeons here are pretty good, and wouldnt change anything about my surgery or aftercare. But thats my opinion.

Best of luck whatever you choose.

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Ahhh, I think you must have more comprehensive health insurance than me.

I only have hospital cover, hence the higher costs.

Thanks for the reply - it is certainly a balance between time, money, convenience etc.

I presume Canberra bariatric must take on 'out of towners' for (fee for service) aftercare though, since Canberra's such a town of transients.

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I don't know..........

I was quoted $7500 so I presumed the difference was the private health fund refunds, but maybe its about something else.

How long ago was your surgery? Maybe there's been a price hike?

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Mine was at the end of June 2011.

The figures I gave you included the refunds from medicare which you should get. My PHI only refunded maybe $500 in total.

I wonder if the price you have been quoted is the full amount not including refunds. Because thats what I had to pay in total too.

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Hi Gato.

Like Tash I got banded in Canberra too in May 2011.

was about the same costs, slight different with amount back from health fund but not much...Personally for me it was about convenience and reputation, Charlie Mosse is considered to be one of the leaders in the field..and I find that I need that support close by for fills etc. dietician

I know someone who got banded in Sydney instead of Canberra because of cost and personal preference and they have gone back to Sydney each time they need assistance, not sure why they haven't gone to the clinic here in Canberra

I think if you had in done in Sydney you would need to go back there for the first few appointments but I"m sure after that you could start seeing them at Canberra Bariatric and just pay the ongoing maintenance fee or whatever it is.

:) Good Luck with your decision!

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Hi Gato

I was quoted $7,500 out of pocket and I got banded in August 2010. I can't remember what it ended up costing me in the end after I got Medicare rebates, etc but it was around $6,500 or slightly less.

The first 12 months includes unlimited access to the clinics services, including the dietitian. Up until about 4 months ago I was going once a month for a check up and had to drop everything and go in when I couldn't swallow water one day. I considered going to the OClinic in Sydney (I saw their ad on facebook and didn't realise there was a clinic here). But it would have cost quite alot more to have it done there. I would have had to stay in a hotel post surgery, the driving back and forth, even telephone calls to the clinic would have all added up!

Post-operatively I had to go to Calvary for some emergency help (leaking port wound) and I was fortunate that one day my surgeon was there so he came to see me. The other emergency doctors there have been trained in attending to port problems and emergency fill procedures.

I have just paid the $220 for the 'annual membership' which allows for unlimited access, including 'no gap' corrective surgery.

Yes, Canberra Bariatric do one off consults and you can pay as you go if you please.

Personally, I am glad I decided to go with a local clinic, especially with all the one offs that I had to go there for, especially as I work in Woden!

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Had my lapband fitted in Sydney 2 years ago. I drive in to Sydney once every 6 weeks for a checkup... and I wondered why I did that.....

I phoned the Canberra Barriatric this morning, to be called back and told that one visit will be $270 and they do not have doctors at the moment...

And not friendly or even attempting to assist, this lady told me... afterall, we did not do your band.... and

Then I remembered - that is why I drive to the O clinic in Crows Nest... Dr Craig Taylor is just the best.

Is it worth "bypassing Canberra"? Yes, have a by-pass done in Sydney... and do not get me wrong, I am a true blood Canberran... I just hate it if your fellow mates treat you like dirt ..... and.. overcharge you

(I worked it out.. $5000 up front for my op.. the rest on medical insurance. appt's paid for by medial insurance.. $80 fuel and $15 toll fees... one day on the road listening to my fav radio station and .... voila... still cheaper - and service with a smile)

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I nearly went with the O Clinic because I saw their ad on facebook. Then I found out about Canberra Bariatric. It's a shame you had a negative experience with the CanBari team. But at least you are able to offer your advice and experiences!

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Hello Canberrans

I'm feeling a bit grumpy that I live in a town with just one lap band surgery option!

Whilst Im sure that Canberra Bariatric do a very good job, the fact is that getting a lapband in Canberra is about $4000 more expensive than a similar reputable practice in Sydney.

ie I think Canberra Bariatric's 'gap' if you have health insurance is about $7500 now?

Are they worth it or is this cost just a result of being a sole practice in a town filled with high earning public servants?

Has anyone chosen to travel to Bowral or Sydney and save the money?

If you did, where did you go?

And in hindsight, do you think it was a good idea?

Do Canberra Bariatric offer something that makes the extra $4000 seem reasonable?

Other places (eg Oclinic) include fills, any future corrective surgery, dietician and psychologists appts in their quoted cost. Does anyone know if Canberra Bariatric does this too for the $7500?

Theres a thread on costs started by -Ithink - Nofluba today, have a search, prices vary widely

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Had my lapband fitted in Sydney 2 years ago. I drive in to Sydney once every 6 weeks for a checkup... and I wondered why I did that.....

I phoned the Canberra Barriatric this morning, to be called back and told that one visit will be $270 and they do not have doctors at the moment...

And not friendly or even attempting to assist, this lady told me... afterall, we did not do your band.... and

Then I remembered - that is why I drive to the O clinic in Crows Nest... Dr Craig Taylor is just the best.

Is it worth "bypassing Canberra"? Yes, have a by-pass done in Sydney... and do not get me wrong, I am a true blood Canberran... I just hate it if your fellow mates treat you like dirt ..... and.. overcharge you

(I worked it out.. $5000 up front for my op.. the rest on medical insurance. appt's paid for by medial insurance.. $80 fuel and $15 toll fees... one day on the road listening to my fav radio station and .... voila... still cheaper - and service with a smile)

I just had the same experience yesterday! So how do Canberra Bariatric cope with people who have just moved to Canberra? Grrrrr

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This is the dilemma I'm facing at the moment as well.  I spoke to a lady in Queanbeyan who had been to the O Clinic in Sydney and recommended it.  She had the sleeve (which is what I'm planning as well) so having to go back for fills weren't an issue.  With the sleeve, what else would I need to go back for?

 

The fee structure for the O Clinic (from an email I received from them in answer to my query) is :

 

Costs for patients with private health insurance:

(check with your private health fund if you are covered for the procedure 30511 for gastric banding, or 30518 for the sleeve gastrectomy)

 

Program fee (8 dietician visits, 2 psychology visits, follow up and band adjustments for life)
Hospital fee in either Mater Hospital or Sydney Adventist Hospital

Total Fee:  $4950.00 (out of pocket fee completely covers your anaesthetist, surgery with Dr Taylor, and assistant surgeon Dr Edwards)

 

Approximate waiting period for surgery is 4-6 weeks after initial consultation with Dr Taylor.

 

I'm not sure if this is the same for the sleeve, as it seems to refer to band adjustments.

 

 

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Hi

 

I had by lap band done in Hobart and have just moved to Canberra.  I phoned Canberra Bariatric to get an appointment  and had no trouble getting an appointment.  I had to wait a few weeks to see one of their surgeons and bring a copy of my operation report.  I went this week and the doctor was friendly and also the receptionist.  I was also told that they have a regular fill adjustment doctor once a fortnight who ran a clinic and after seeing their surgeon first, I was then able to attend that clinic. 

 

I think if you decide to go to Sydney to have your surgery for lower costs or any other reasons, it is reasonable to return to them for all your follow up appointments.  If you move to Canberra from another State, then it is reasonable to expect Canberra Bariatric to take you on as a patient. 

 

I also had to have fluid taken out of my band on a visit to Melbourne and had to pay over $300 to see a clinic and have fluid removed. 

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