Top 15 most expensive medical procedures in the USA
The United States is unique in that it is one of the only developed countries in the world that does not offer universal health care. Instead, health care is usually job-related, and those without insurance can even go broke trying to pay the bills. Edition Yahoo! talked about the 15 most expensive medical procedures in the United States.
In fact, a person without insurance can often be charged exorbitant amounts without justification because hospitals expect insurance companies to haggle and reduce the bill. If you're wondering how much it costs to have surgery without insurance, it can depend greatly on the hospital, your negotiating skills, and the type of surgery, but chances are the cost will be much higher than if the person were insured.
Unfortunately, although the United States tops the list of countries with the best hospitals in the world, such health care is often only available to a portion of the population.
Healthcare is one of the most lucrative industries in the country, and doctors and surgeons can command the highest salaries. Whereas in other developed countries the entire population has access to medical services, including Canada and most European countries such as Germany, France, Spain and Poland.
The largest hospital bill in history was in the US, in Florida, for $9,2 million.
Determining the most expensive medical procedures in the United States is not an easy task because there is no uniform price list for hospital services in the United States. These can vary widely between providers and insurance companies, making it difficult to get an accurate estimate. This list was compiled using information from healthcare analytics company Arcadia.
15. Mitral valve restoration
- Expected estimated cost: $ 74
Some of the most expensive surgeries in the world involve treating the heart, the most important human organ, including repairing the mitral valve.
14. Surgery on the lumbar spine
- Expected estimated cost: $ 75
Lumbar spine surgery treats one of the most important bones in our body and is therefore among the most expensive medical procedures in the United States. Surgery may involve correcting, adjusting, or even physically removing a spinal structure to treat a disease or injury.
13. Coronary artery transplantation by bypass surgery
- Expected estimated cost: $ 77 172
Coronary arteries are essential for supplying nutrients and blood to the heart. If these arteries become clogged with plaque, a coronary artery graft can redirect blood around the blocked or narrowed area—hence the name.
12. Carotid artery stent
- Expected estimated cost: $ 77
The carotid arteries can become blocked, which can seriously affect a person's health. When a stent is placed, a mesh metal tube is inserted into the artery to allow blood to flow freely.
11. VideoEEG monitoring
- Expected estimated cost: $ 77 664
VideoEEG monitoring is routinely performed before epilepsy surgery. This procedure helps doctors identify and separate epilepsy from other disorders. The procedure uses electrodes to monitor brain waves and remains one of the most expensive medical procedures in the United States.
10. Tricuspid valve repair
- Expected estimated cost: $ 82
Tricuspid valve repair is performed to treat a diseased or damaged tricuspid valve.
9. Replacing the tricuspid valve
- Expected estimated cost: $ 82
Replacement is always more expensive than correction, which is also true for surgery. Tricuspid valve replacement can be performed as minimally invasive surgery or even open heart surgery.
8. Transcatheter aortic valve replacement
- Expected estimated cost: $ 85
It is one of the most expensive procedures in the United States, replacing an aortic valve that does not open completely, and is a minimally invasive procedure using even smaller incisions compared to heart valve surgery.
7. Aorta transplant
- Expected estimated cost: $ 92
Several improvements have been made to the aortic transplant procedure, and according to Nebraska Medicine, the improved method used in rabbits will likely have a higher success rate.
6. Liver transplant
- Expected estimated cost: $ 101
The fact that liver transplants are prohibitively expensive and that patients have to wait on a waiting list for years should lead to a reduction in drinking, one of the main causes of liver damage.
- Expected estimated cost: $ 102
With a tracheostomy, a surgical opening is created in the patient's windpipe (trachea) to allow breathing through an alternative airway.
4. Decompressive craniotomy
- Expected estimated cost: $ 112
Neurosurgical procedures are among the most expensive in the United States and the world, and decompressive craniotomy is a procedure that removes part of the skull so the swollen brain can expand without being compressed. A recent study involving experts at Addenbrooke's Hospital found that parts of the skull that are removed should be replaced during surgery rather than later.
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3. Partial removal of the esophagus (esophagectomy)
- Expected estimated cost: $ 113
Partial esophagectomy is one of the most expensive medical procedures in the entire country, in which part of the esophagus is removed along with the upper part of the stomach and some lymph nodes. This is the main procedure performed in the treatment of esophageal cancer.
2. Aortic valve replacement
- Expected estimated cost: $ 135
Surprisingly, in this procedure, the aortic valve is removed and replaced with either a mechanical valve or a valve of animal origin, such as heart tissue from a pig, cow, or even a human. Medscape recently mentioned a new way to perform this procedure: "Transcatheter aortic valve replacement with intracardiac echocardiography using a transjugular approach is feasible and safe."
1. Exploratory surgery on the chest (thoracotomy)
- Expected estimated cost: $ 137
Topping the list of the 15 most expensive treatments/procedures in the United States is exploratory chest surgery, which costs more than twice the average annual salary in the United States of $55. A thoracotomy is a surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the ribs to see or reach various organs in the human body, including the lungs.
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