A happy life is priceless, so how do you go about putting a price tag on life altering treatments? Well someone has obviously tried, so we decided to make up a list of some of the most expensive procedures out there at the moment.
1. Zero Gravity Triple Bypass
Photo: Marcin Wichary
In 2006, a team of French doctors successfully completed a zero-gravity triple bypass. The
operation only took 11 minutes and proved that a person can be operated on in space. The
surgery was both ground-breaking and bankrupting as an average triple bypass can cost up
to $45,000, add to this the cost of the aircraft and the crew’s wages and the price skyrockets.
2. Mechanical Heart
Photo: Brian Teutsch
The artificial mechanical heart was invented to give heart disease patients a new lease of
life, albeit a limited one. Its main use is to keep people alive until a real heart is available for
transplantation. The cost of the artificial heart is no laughing matter, a steep $125,000 one
off payment and then $18,000 a year to maintain the device.
3. Da Vinci Care
Photo: Erik Charlton
The Da Vinci Care surgical robot brings surgery bang up to date, the robot can perform all
class of surgeries but does come with a high price tag. It cost $1.5 million to make, takes 12
to 18 months training to use and will hike your average surgery up by $8,000 at least.
Photo: Daniel Parks
Cryogenically freezing a body or an organ until a cure is found is an expensive hedging bet.
A whole body freeze costs around $125,000, while an organ freeze such as the brain costs
5. Heart Surgery
Photo: Steve Winton
Death due to heart disease has been steadily declining in the last few years while the cost
of heart surgery has been soaring. Implanting a defibrillator or pacemaker can easily cost
anywhere in the region of $80,000 to a $102,000. So, it’s not for the faint hearted.
6. Cancer Treatment
Cancer drugs started out at the affordable and accessible price of $500 in 1999, now, a
patient will need to fork out at least $250,000 to get treatment.
7. Diagnostic Tests
Photo: Thirteen of Clubs
A spiral computed tomography (CT) is a very advanced form of X-ray which detects even the
most minute of tumours, cancerous or not. This has a bigger price tag as it will lead to many
unnecessary biopsies on non- cancerous tumours. A normal X-ray costs approx. $50 where
as a spiral CT comes in at a breathtaking $300 – $500.
8. Bariatric Surgery
People who are seriously overweight can look into a bariatric operation such as tummy tuck,
stapling or a gastric band; however these procedures are drastic, prone to complications and
very expensive. The average cost of surgery is an incredible $30,000.
9. Prosthetic Devices
Artificial limbs usually come with a price tag in the general region of $2,000, however a
decent pair of high-tech, lightweight and versatile limbs can cost you anywhere between
$10,000 and $15,000.
10. Full Body Lift
Photo: Chris Harrison
A full body lift is for people who suffered from severe obesity but have slimmed down and need to remove the excess skin left over. The only niggle here is that compared to
commonplace surgery, cosmetic surgery prices usually reflect the doctors experience and
expertise so you should probably pay up the extra dosh to make sure you have a good
surgeon. A full body lift costs anything between $11,000 and $50,000. In terms of cosmetic
surgery, you really get what you pay for.
So whether your dollars go on life changing treatments like prosthetics and pacemakers
or you prefer to spend a pretty penny on cosmetic surgery, remember; your health is your