Here's How Much The Surgeries On My 600-Lb Life Cost

My 600-lb Life is a TLC series featuring morbidly obese patients as they navigate the difficult and dangerous process of extreme weight loss with the help of pioneering bariatric surgeon Dr. Nowzaradan. Surgeries with this much risk can be difficult for a patient to obtain on their own as managing the surgery, lack of income, and medical insurance approvals can be difficult. Fortunately for those who appear on the reality series, TVOvermind explains that the life-saving surgeries are covered by the show. All doctor's visits, surgeries, and hospital stays supervised by Dr. Now (as patients call him) is covered during the year of the show's filming. In addition, people appearing on the show for weight loss also get some cash compensation. Just for showing up, patients get a flat $1500 fee and a $2500 moving fee if they need to relocate closer to Dr. Now's office.

These fees may not add up to much, but the overall value offered is a once in a lifetime deal. Money shares expert costs describing how staying obese costs 42 percent more for medical care and 77 percent more for drugs than people of healthy weight, plus 48 percent more in hospital stays. Many small business insurance plans won't even cover bariatric surgery, so those without this support frequently foot a bill of $20,000-$30,000 just for surgery, with one patient reporting $67,000 before insurance paid less than half.

Bariatric surgery is only one step for patients on My 600-lb Life

Yet while the show offers a great value in support for extreme weight loss, it doesn't cover quite everything. Most patients that experience a change in shape this significant will have extra skin that may warrant eventual removal. As this is considered a cosmetic procedure, TVOvermind states it is not covered in the appearance contract. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons lists average fees for three common procedures for skin removal: a thigh lift costs $4,863, a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) costs $5,798, and an upper arm lift (brachioplasty) costs $4,257.

In addition, My 600-lb Life patients will need to purchase new wardrobes and still treat any additional medical issues that may be ongoing during this time. The costs can definitely add up. Overall, however, it's difficult to put a price tag on quality and length of life — and the majority of people who have achieved health have enjoyed it. In addition, these costs upfront prevent many expensive medical issues down the road, helping to save money in the long term.

So good luck to all the patients as they share their stories on a life-changing journey — this surgery seems like a great deal for their health.