Guiding You Toward A Brighter Financial Future

How much does surgery cost in the United States?

On Behalf of | Jan 29, 2024 | Medical Debt

It’s well known that medical debt is one of the top reasons for bankruptcy in the United States. In other countries, citizens benefit from tax-funded healthcare, so they don’t have to privately pay for all of these expenses. But in the United States, the majority of people either have to pay out-of-pocket or through an insurance policy.

One of the problems with this, however, is that necessary medical care can be prohibitively expensive. Let’s look at the cost of some of the most common surgeries in the U.S.

5 surgical examples

To get started, here are five examples of common surgeries and the average costs. Remember that every medical case is unique and some patients could see much higher costs than others, depending on the specifics of their situation.

  1. Heart valve replacement: $170,000. 
  2. Heart bypass surgery: $123,000. 
  3. Spinal fusion surgery: $110,000. 
  4. Hip replacement surgery: $40,000. 
  5. Knee replacement surgery: $35,000.

These costs are as of 2021, so they could be even higher today. But even if the surgery costs exactly the amount noted above, it’s clear why this creates serious financial troubles for many patients. Someone who needs a heart bypass surgery isn’t necessarily just thinking about the financial cost. They know that they need the surgery to save their life. They’re going to make the choice to get it and then attempt to figure out the finances later.

While that is a very natural and understandable perspective to take, it can mean that one surgery puts them in an overwhelming amount of debt that they’ll never realistically be able to pay off. Insurance may not cover it, or may only cover a portion. This is when people find themselves facing serious financial issues that they couldn’t avoid. It may be wise for them to look into their options to file for bankruptcy to reorganize or eliminate their debt.