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Gallbladder removal: How much does it cost?

medical tourism infographic

Medical Tourism & Health Insurance 

How much does it cost to have your gallbladder removed? It depends where you live. Gallbladder removal is typically not something that has to be done urgently. Some might opt to fly to a nearby state to have their gallbladder removed in order to save tens of thousands of dollars. 

For example, if you live in New Jersey, the average cost of gallbladder removal surgery is $46, 850. In Maryland? It's only $10,747! A flight from New Jersey to Maryland is only 37 minutes; the drive is just under 3 hours (depending on where you live and where the hospital is located.) Traveling from New Jersey to Maryland will save you an average of $36,103! That's a lot of money. 

This is just one example. Our infographic below shows the most expensive states to have your gallbladder removed and the cheapest. California, Florida, and New Jersey rank as the most expensive; Maryland, North Dakota, and Utah rank as the least expensive.

The natural next question becomes, "Why is it so much cheaper in certain states to have this surgery?" The answer has nothing to do with quality, and everything to do with the bargaining power a hosptial has with insurance companies. If a hospital has a lot of bargaining power, then it is able to negotiate higher prices.

As a healthcare consumer, it's important to know that prices in different states and even at hospitals a mile down the road from each other will vary drastically. The question is: will you travel to another state to have your gallbladder removed? 

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