Medical care in the United States has reached gargantuan proportions in terms of advances and especially cost. New radical treatments can both save lives and break the bank, and with healthcare currently one of the most colossal messes in the history of the U.S., it’s no surprise that the price tags of common medical procedures might just cause cardiac failure.
Job seekers now have to take what they can get in terms of employment, which means employers can cut corners on healthcare. More and more Americans are getting by without health insurance, paying out-of-pocket for emergencies and skipping routine check-ups like Pap smears, dental visits, and eye exams. For those Americans fortunate to have paid health coverage, they’re finding more and more that the procedures they need or want are not covered.
However, in light of recent advancements in medical technology, there are some very impressive new discoveries being put to use. It’s one thing to undergo a routine physical exam or get a teeth cleaning; it’s quite another to, say, go under the knife for an organ transplant.
With high-tech, extensive, top-of-the-line new (or improved) procedures. New medical procedures or improvements on existing ones can bankrupt the average person, prompting community outreaches to raise funds for life-saving procedures or doctors to volunteer their time. If a patient is lucky and the procedure is new or experimental, it’s possible to obtain life-saving surgeries for little to no cost.
The down side is that often the procedure is uncommon and, well, experimental. If you (or your insurance company) is capable and willing to foot the bill, you might find yourself on the table for one of the world’s most outrageously expensive medical procedures. The four most expensive are outlined below.
Cryogenics is essentially freeze-drying organs and tissue for later use. In theory, one could cryogenically preserve one’s organs at a cost of $58,000 a pop, or a whole body for $125,000.
3. Da Vinci Care
The Da Vinci robot can perform all sorts of surgeries, but it’ll cost you. The surgical robot costs a whopping $1.5 million to make, takes twelve to eighteen months for a surgeon to learn on, and can increase your surgery bill by up to $8,000. That’s not including the cost to repair, replace worn parts, and provide updates, all of which are pretty much required. With that kind of price tag, you can’t afford to let it sit unused.
2. Mechanical Heart
A mechanical heart is exactly what it sounds like: it takes the form of an organ transplant without needing an actual organ. Waiting for a donor heart can kill; only about 30% of Americans are organ donors. In addition, many people are sensitive to or have moral objections to the use of porcine or other animal hearts or parts. A mechanical heart will set you back $25,000 and $18,000 a year to maintain it.
1. Triple Bypass… In Space
Triple bypass heart surgery is sadly a common procedure undergone by older Americans. Luckily, its prevalence in modern society means that surgeons get good at it, leading to safer procedures, less time spent under the knife, faster and easier recovery periods, and overall better patient health. However, in 2006, French doctors completed the first triple bypass in outer space.
While admittedly a fantastic advancement in medical science, it doesn’t come cheap. The price tag for an average triple bypass is $45,000, and that doesn’t include the space ship, the staff (both medical and aeronautic) wages, and equipment and material that come with space travel.
Doug Small is a MDS coordinator and guest author at HowDoIBecomeA.net, where he contributed to the guide on how to become a MDS coordinator.