Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Price of Post-Op Life

Andrea made a great post on OH about how much she pays for vitamins and supplements after surgery. I thought I'd crunch some numbers and record my costs too. 

Often newbies don't realize how much things are going to cost after surgery -- it's best to go into this journey with your eyes wide open. Here's my vitamin / medication regime. Many of these figures represent a portion of the total price of the bottle. So if the Fish Oil tabs have 120 pills in a bottle, I calculated the monthly cost based on that quantity. So the monthly numbers might seem low individually, but the up front costs of these items might be higher when you buy them. 


  • 2 Multi-Vitamins/day (Centrum Adult Chewables) $12/month 
  • 2000mg Calcium Citrate (Bariatric Advantage Lozenges) $13/month 
  • B-12 Sublingual (4 tabs per week) $2/month 
  • Biotin (1 pill per day) $2/month 
  • Omega 3 Fish Oil (1 pill per day) $2/month 
  • Non-laxative stool softener (2 pills per day) $1/month
  • Papaya Enzyme (used in case something gets stuck and needs help) $1/month

  • Vitamin D - 50,000IU (1 per week) over the counter - $20/month 
  • Prevacid (1 pill per day for 1st year post-op) co-pay $25/month 

  • 1 Protein Shake per day $30/month (For the first 3 months after surgery I was required to drink 3 shakes per day, so $90/month) 
  • Approximately 2 boxes of bars per month $10/month 1 case of SlimFast Low Carb RTD Shakes (when I don't have time to make a shake) $6/month 
Approximate budget $30/month Extra stash for the Goal-Weight-Shopping-Spree fund $20/month 

I'm single and spend approximately $200-$250/month on healthy food choices at the grocery store.  This is about the same as what I spent pre-op because I eat similar to what I ate while dieting for 24 months before surgery. Although some of my protein supplements might be included in this approximate total. My point is that my grocery bill did not decrease after surgery. It's about the same as pre-op. 


  • Vitamins & Supplements --- $33/month
  • Rx Co-Pays --- $45/month 
  • Protein Supplements --- $46/month 
  • Clothes --- $50/month Total --- $164/month 

As Andrea mentioned in her post. This is a commitment I made for the rest of my life. I knew what I was getting myself into and knew an approximate budget I was facing. I did a written estimate about 2 months before my surgery when I was deciding about my Flexible Spending Account. I actually over-estimated my costs and now I might be stuck with an excess in my FSA. What I didn't account for was being OFF all my pre-op medications once I lost the weight, so all those prescription co-pays are gone. So in the end much of the added expense is evening out a bit.

I'll write a new post soon about my Shopping Spree Fund. Someone mentioned this when I was first starting my journey and I'm glad I've implemented it for myself. 


1 comment:

  1. Financially, that amount per month is a bargain to get well. For the price of a steak dinner at Morton's or something fancier you are getting healthy. Can you put a price on your health ? Good for you !!


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