Cost of Endoscopy: A Complete Guide

Cost of Endoscopy A Complete Guide

An endoscopy is a medical procedure in which a tube with a small camera inside (called an endoscope) is inserted into the body, via a natural opening such as the mouth. An endoscopy can be used to examine the inside of your body if you are experiencing certain symptoms.

Deciding which bodily part to insert the endoscope into will depend on the type of symptoms you are experiencing or suffering from. Common issues in which an endoscopy will be used include digestive problems, and issues within the respiratory system.

This article will discuss the different types of endoscopy, and how much you can expect to pay for them. In addition, it will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of endoscopies and aim to provide a balanced view of this procedure.

How much does an endoscopy cost?

As a general rule, the different types of endoscopies can cost more or less depending on which option you are having. For an average figure, an endoscopy can cost anywhere between $1000 and $5000, although this depends on a multitude of factors, which will be discussed below.

Factors affecting the cost of an endoscopy

As with many medical procedures, there are a range of factors which can affect the cost of an endoscopy. We will list these below.

  1. The type of endoscopy

As well as a traditional endoscopy, in which the endoscope enters the body via the mouth, there are other types of endoscopies which can vary in their price ranges. For example, a regular endoscopy will likely cost less than a colonoscopy or a specialized one, such as a capsule endoscopy.

This is due to different types of equipment that are used, and the types of specialist doctors and surgeons that are required to undertake such procedures.

  1. Geographic location of the medical center or hospital

Depending on where you live, the price of an endoscopy may fluctuate. This is down to the fact that areas with a huger cost of living and a more urban population will charge more for an endoscopy. For instance, an endoscopy in California or New York will cost more than if you had the same procedure undertaken in Alabama or Nebraska. 

Depending on how expensive the procedure is where you live, you could potentially save money on the overall cost of the endoscopy by travelling to a state or area of the country where the procedure is cheaper. Even with travel expenses included in the final bill, you could still end up paying proportionally much less for an endoscopy by travelling somewhere else to get one done.

  1. Facility fees

The type of medical center or facility in which the endoscopy is performed can also affect its overall cost. An endoscopy performed in a hospital will be more expensive than one performed in a doctor’s office or an outpatient center.

The reason that this is the case is because there are additional facility fees (such as hospital beds, specialised equipment and extra staff to name just a few) associated with a hospital, rather than an outpatient center or a doctor’s office.

For comparison, an average figure in a hospital tends to sit around the $4000 mark, whereas in an outpatient center, this figure is closer to $2500. 

  1. Anaesthesia

The majority of endoscopy procedures require some form of anaesthesia. Local anaesthetic (which means that you are awake during the endoscopy) is cheaper than general anaesthetic (which means you will be asleep during the procedure). 

On top of this, this also means that an anaesthetist is required to be there before the endoscopy and during, so this will also add to the overall cost of the procedure.

  1. Diagnostic testing

Another factor which can affect the cost of an endoscopy is if there is any diagnostic testing required. Depending on the reason for the endoscopy, additional diagnostic testing might be necessary, such as biopsies or imaging studies. Although useful, and often necessary, these tests can soon rack up the overall cost of the procedure. 

It is therefore important for you to check with your doctor so that you are aware of any of these additional expenses in case you need to budget for them.

  1. Doctor’s fees

Fees can vary depending on the doctor who performs the endoscopy. A more experienced doctor with specific endoscopy experience or a doctor who has performed the procedure on high-profile clients and/or celebrities will naturally cost more than a recently-qualified doctor at an outpatient center.

However, it is always worth doing your research before committing to a doctor to perform this procedure. For instance, a newly-qualified doctor may be cheaper, but they are unlikely to have the same level of knowledge and/or expertise as an older doctor.

In saying that, that is not always necessarily the case, and they could be just as competent. Additionally, a newly-qualified doctor in Los Angeles is still likely to cost more than an experienced doctor in a more remote city such as Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  1. Prescriptions

Depending on the procedure, your doctor may prescribe you painkillers or other forms of medication to help with the process, or to aid you after the endoscopy.

You can always ask your doctor if the painkillers that they are prescribing you are covered in your insurance policy, so that you do not have to pay more than you need to. It is also worth asking if there is an over the counter alternative medicine available, which can also help with lowering the cost.

  1. Follow up visits

Any alternative visits to the doctor or surgeon are also likely to incur a fee. Even before the procedure, a consultation with your doctor is likely to cost you. It is worth asking your doctor if any follow up visits are included in the total cost of your procedure.

This way you can avoid paying any extra costs when it is not necessary to do so, and you also know how much to budget for.

  1. In-network and out-of-network payment differences

An in-network healthcare provider refers to a medical center or health facility which has a contracted rate with a health insurance company. In-network providers are often much cheaper than out-of-network providers.

However, this does not apply to uninsured patients, whose responsibility it is to pay the full amount of the procedure.

  1. Insurance cover

Health and medical insurance plays another role in how the cost of your endoscopy can fluctuate.

If you are insured, depending on what type of insurance cover you have as well as your insurance company, the majority of the procedure may be covered by insurance, meaning you will have to pay less than you initially anticipated.

However, if you are not insured, you will have to cover the full amount, which could amount to many thousands of dollars due to any number of the factors mentioned above.

It is important that you check with your insurance provider first, to see what sort of coverage you are entitled to, and how much you will have to pay yourself.

Payment options

If you are uninsured, you will be responsible for paying the whole amount, so it is always best to have some sort of insurance.

Speaking to your insurance provider is another tip that we highly recommend, because it is very unlikely that your insurance provider will cover the full amount. It makes sense to speak to your insurance provider so that you know what they will cover and the out-of-pocket expenses that you will have to pay.

However, there are alternative payment methods which may be of interest to you. Some hospitals and medical centers will offer various grants and forms of funding. You may want to research these financial assistance options and to see if you are eligible before committing to any medical procedure.

Another option is to save up the money and pay it outright, although we appreciate how difficult this is in general, let alone in the current economic climate. 

Credit cards and personal loans are another method in which you can pay for an endoscopy, although we seriously advise that you are careful with this, as interest rates from credit card companies especially can be extremely high, and you may not have the funds to pay back the full amount in a few years, thus running the risk of incurring huge amounts of personal debt.


The overall cost of an endoscopy depends on a number of factors, which range from whether or not you are insured to the geographic location of the medical center in which you are having the procedure performed.

Moreover, whether or not you decide to travel somewhere more rural to have the procedure done or whether you are happy to stay local and potentially more for an endoscopy can also impact its overall cost. 

There are also a number of payment options available to you, from taking out a loan to pay for the procedure, to checking with your insurance provider to see if they cover the full amount or not.

Overall, you can expect that the procedure will cost somewhere between $1000 and $5000, although the final amount that you pay (due to the factors discussed earlier in this article) may still fall either below or above that amount.

It is important to thoroughly conduct your research before committing to this medical procedure so that you know exactly how much it will cost you – and how much you will be paying at the end regardless of insurance or not – so that you can budget accordingly and then ultimately make the decision on whether or not to go ahead with the procedure.

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