2018 Average Costs for Common Surgeries

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Surgery Costs

How much does surgery cost? Isn’t that always the first question?

The average cost of surgery can vary drastically depending upon the procedure.

2018 Average Costs for Common Surgeries

  • heart valve replacement: $170,000
  • heart bypass: $123,000
  • spinal fusion: $110,000
  • hip replacement: $40,364
  • knee replacement: $35,000
  • angioplasty: $28,2000
  • hip resurfacing: $28,000
  • gastric bypass: $25,000
  • cornea: $17,500
  • gastric sleeve: $16,000

With those figures, patients might think they know the ACTUAL cost of surgery.

Sometimes, they must think again.

There are numerous potential “add-on’’ costs to surgery that aren’t absorbed until after the fact, when financial reality becomes even more brutal.


Here are a few areas that are often included or associated with surgical costs:

  • Operating room per-hour costs
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgeon’s fee
  • Hospitalization costs (before surgery)
  • Pre-surgery treatment (such as dialysis and insulin pumps)
  • Anti-rejection medications
  • Visits with the surgeon
  • Insurance deductibles, co-pays and premiums
  • Non-medical expenses (such as child care, travel and lodging)
  • Lost wages

Ask the Right Questions —

If you want important answers, you must ask the right questions. And some of those questions must be asked to yourself.

Example questions you should ask:

  • How long will you have to repay the loan?
  • How much are the payments?
  • Will you be able to manage the payments? Or will you struggle to pay your bills on time?
  • Will the payments put too much stress on your credit cards because you can’t pay more than the minimum?
  • What’s the strategy if the cost of surgery becomes higher than the original estimation?
  • Can you afford the prescription medication that is needed after surgery?
  • Will paying for the surgery compromise your ability to save for future needs?


  1. Whitlock, J., (2018, 27 August), How To Pay For Surgery Costs That Insurance Won’t Pay. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-pay-for-surgery-costs-without-insurance-3157020
  2. Kutilek, P., (2017, 10 February), How To Find Surgery Assistance When You Need It Most. Retrieved from: https://www.gofundme.com/c/blog/surgery-assistance
  3. Whitlock, J., (2017, 24 May), Ways To Pay For An Organ Transplant Surgery. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-pay-for-an-organ-transplant-surgery-3157022
  4. Caldwell, M., (2018, 16 August), 6 Ways To Pay Medical Bills Without Insurance. Retrieved from: https://www.thebalance.com/paying-medical-bills-with-no-health-insurance-2385907
  5. Craft, C. (2012, July 17). Hospital Surgery Prices Vary Widely. The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved from http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/13/4628254/hospital-surgery-prices-vary-widely.html
  6. Heisler, J. (2009, January 4). The Costs of Surgery – Why Is Surgery So Expensive? Retrieved from http://surgery.about.com/od/beforesurgery/a/SurgeryCost.htm
  7. Birkmeyer, J. & Gust, C. (2010, December). Medicare Payments for Common Inpatient Procedures: Implications for Episode-Based Payment Bundling. Health Research and Educational Trust. Retrieved Dec. 7, 2012, from https://umchop.org/pdf/variations/medicare.pdf
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Inpatient Surgery. Retrieved December 7, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/insurg.htm
  9. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, May). Health, United States, 2011. Retrieved December 7, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf#132
  10. CALPIRG Education Fund. (2012, Summer). Your Price May Vary – Geographic Variation in Hospital Charges in California. Retrieved December 7, 2012, from http://www.calpirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/Your%20Price%20May%20Vary%20web.pdf
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