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Seeking inexpensive partial nephrectomy

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2018

I am self pay, no insurance, so obviously I wish not to pay an exhorbinate sum for my operation.

I have a 2 cm growth on my kidney. I  am a 56 years old man in otherwise good health. I have been told I need a partial laprascopic nephrectomy.

I have a couple appointments with local doctors scheduled, but I am thinking this is not a good approach to getting a good price.

I live in the US. I would be willing to travel to anywhere in the US, and most places Internationally. Obvioulsy I would want a big discount to travel a long distance.

I have spent some time searching on the da Vinci website and have found some doctors outside the US that do partial nephrectomies with the Da vinci system. Do you think this is a good approach?


note: if you reply with some platitude like "you get what you pay for", I will dismiss you as a shill for some overpriced surgeons that didn't read the entire post.



Posts: 489
Joined: Aug 2017

sorry you here but you  are on line for a very good result

i have no idea how the USA medical system works so can’t help you there

but i can tell you that if you are basing your decisions on the DA Vinci database of surgeons DONT DONT DONT

the list is vastly out of date and gives you no information on how many ops each surgeon had done

The two best surgeons in my area were not even listed on the database and they are very experienced expert surgeons

there some surgeons on there that are completely wrongly classified

i know you will be making enquiries through different routes but  that is not a source I would trust  

i know that if you contact a honest surgeon they will refer you to the best one they know but that might not always happen

Good Luck



Arknut's picture
Posts: 5
Joined: Mar 2018

I live in Indiana and just received my bill. I have an HMO plan. Without the costs of pre-op tests- stress test, blood work, and CT scan, the bill was $59,000 for an open partial neph with a hospital stay of 4 nights on March 22, 2018. Blessedly, my tumor was a benign oncocytoma, so no follow up is needed. I don’t know what the customary costs for robotic assisted surgery are, but thought you might want a comparison. Good luck to you.

BoondockSaint's picture
Posts: 242
Joined: Mar 2017

I want to say that my wife’s bill from just the surgeon alone was 39k. That does not include the bills we got from all the support disciplines (anesthesia, lab, E.R. etc...) Hell......I think we may have even gotten a bill from the lady in the gift shop at the hospital, I’m not sure.

the thing with medical care in the U.S. as it stands is you can’t get a quote for a procedure because they don’t want you to know a price as it varies between too many entities. If you do go that route make sure that you make it clear that you will be self paid. That way they know that they will not be dealing with insurance or other third party funding and you will have a better chance at getting a price.

good luck and best wishes.

CRashster's picture
Posts: 239
Joined: Mar 2017

was about $66,000.00.

Hd67xlch's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 2016

It will be cheaper to just have a traditional partial laprascopic nephrectomy, than to have one using the robot. You can do a search and see how much cheaper, plus there seems to be alot of info supporting using the robot isnt always the best way to go in the long run. Good luck

Posts: 6
Joined: Apr 2018

thanks for the replies. Much to my surprise, it turns out I can get health insurance with a pre existing condition, even renal cancer,  under the affordable care act. Seems crazy to me, but that is the way the law is written. It is like getting hazzard insurance on your house as the wild fire approaches. So the most I will be responsible for will be $5,000. FWIW, I probably would have had the surgery done in India for about $10,000 if I had to pay the entire tab out of pocket. There are some US trained doctors there with Da Vinci machines.

kiwi68's picture
Posts: 110
Joined: Oct 2017

Hi there, I had a partial nephrectomy in New Zealand 9 Nov 17. .  Scans were $1,500 NZ to $2,000 that was an ultrasound, X ray KUB and CT scan with contrast and the breakdown of the actual operation was as below.  I think I also had a follow up $250 or $150 visit with the surgeon to say 'hi, I am well' Lol.    My surgeon does the operation laprascopically but by hand becasue that was how he was trained.  He is the best, or one of the best in the country.  His wife is the sleep doctor and the private hospital I stayed in was awesome, food was amazing.   I was also sent home with all the tramadol, panadol and other drugs I could want.   A GP visit here is about $90.   New Zealand very kindly will cover all visitors for any accident they have here and treat them for everythng for free, it is funded from a tax we all pay here called ACC. (Accident compensation commission).  Just in case post surgery you fell down or something, that would be covered by our governent. 

Glad that you got cover.  I guess the below is just for anyone that is interested.  I had full private cover so maybe my costs are a little 'high' as they all new they were claiming from the Insurance company.  Private insurance is not the norm in NZ so we really have no co pays yet (or gap as they say in Australia) we just have our policy excess, mine was $400 for the year to cover all medical in hospital and $300 for diagnostic for the year. 

The bigger cost I guess would be the accommodation for 2 weeks while you recovered enough to fly back to the US. Economy flights are reasonable, but business class to NZ are really expensive (direct) because we only have 1 provider, otherwise you backward to Oz and then fly.  Painful. We can go to Europe for 2/3 the price of the USA and double the flying time! Crazy. 


Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy with Intraoperative Ultrasound

Surgeon's Fee                  $ 6500

4 night private room     $ 3612
 Radiology                   $ 1000
 Theatre 190 min         $ 4253
  Recovery                   $  270
  Consumables             $10000

Aneathatist Fee              $ 2050 


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