1. Intestine TransplantCost: $1,121,800
A transplant of the intestine is done to replace dead intestinal tissue with live tissue from a donor, often because of disease or the presence of a tumor. Because intestinal disease is sometimes accompanied by liver failure, intestine transplants can be done in conjunction with a liver transplant, adding more than $180,000 to the bill.
2. Heart TransplantCost: $787,700
Heart transplants are among the most complicated of procedures, carrying great risk. Waiting lists are long, and preparation for the surgery is lengthy and expensive. Add to this the expensive procurement of the organ, and you can see why the cost is so great.
3. Bone Marrow Transplant Cost: $676,800 Allogeneic ($300,400 for Autologous)
Bone marrow transplants can be done with a donor's marrow (allogeneic) or your own bone marrow (autologous), costing much less. Finding a donor for a bone marrow transplant is difficult, and complications after the procedure are very common. Add to this the risky nature of the procedure, the lengthy prep time in the hospital as well as an extensive recovery period, and you have a cocktail for a hefty medical bill.
4. Lung TransplantCost: $657,800 double ($450,400 for single)
When other therapies don't work, lung transplants are a last resort for patients of lung disease like emphysema and cystic fibrosis. As with other transplant surgeries, wait lists are long and cost is high because of the lengthy hospital stay.
5. Liver TransplantCost: $523,400
As with a heart transplant, liver transplants are high risk and high cost, with an accompanying waiting list. Criteria are high, which means administrative and prep procedure costs add to the bottom line.
6. Open Heart SurgeryCost: $324,000
With heart disease as the leading cause of death in the U.S. at 26%, open heart surgery is a more common procedure than may be expected. Part of the high cost of open heart surgery is because it's often an urgent medical procedure that is usually followed by complications. Longer care and follow-up needed after surgery add to the price tag.
7. Pancreas Transplant Cost: $275,500
Transplants of the pancreas are usually needed when a patient has type 1 diabetes or renal failure. It is often done in tandem with a kidney transplant, almost doubling the cost of the surgeries at $439,000.
8. Kidney TransplantCost: $259,000
Kidney transplants, like the other transplants on this list, are expensive due to the risk, recovery and prep expense. The one difference is that with kidney transplants, the old kidney isn't removed because it's been shown it reduces risk that way; surgeons find a different blood supply to attach the new kidney to.
9. TracheotomyCost: $205,000
A tracheotomy involves making an incision in the neck to allow the patient to breathe, either permanently or temporarily. Since this is often an emergency room procedure, costs are high. After care is extensive, adding to the bill.
10. Destruction of Lesion of RetinaCost: $153,000
When lesions on a retina (this is part of the eye), also called retinoblastoma, are removed, the risks are great as with the above-mentioned procedures. This procedure is pricey because of the precision skills required for this procedure, the lengthy recovery and follow-up.
Highest Paid Practicing Medical Doctors and Physicians
1. Cardiologists: Depending on the type of cardiology one practices, cardiologists earn anywhere from $418,000 to over $537,000 annually.
Cardiologists diagnose and treat diseases and disorders of the heart and circulatory system.
2. Radiologists: Radiologists use medical imaging technology to diagnose, and sometimes treat, medical conditions, disorders, and illnesses.
General, diagnostic radiologists earn over $470,000 annually, and interventional radiologists, who have completed additional training and can perform certain procedures on patients, earn over $507,000 annually.
3. Oncologists: Oncologists specialize in the treatment of cancer.
Demand for oncologists is increasingly rapidly; therefore a shortage of oncologists is predicted. Radiation oncologists, who treat solid tumors using radiation, earn over $528,000 on average. Hematology-oncologists, who treat solid cancers and cancers of the blood with chemotherapy, infusions, and bone marrow transplants, and other methods, earn about $449,000.
4. Gastroenterologists: earn an average of $457,000.
Gastroenterology, like oncology and cardiology, is a subspecialty of internal medicine. Gastroenterologists specialize in the treatment of digestive and gastrointestinal disorders and diagnosis of cancers and disorders of the digestive tract.
Surgeons: Several types of surgeons are among the highest earning physicians:
5. Cardiovascular/Cardiac Surgeons earn about $479,000 on average. Cardiovascular surgeons perform open-heart surgeries such as bypasses and other complex cardiac surgeries of the heart and circulatory system.
6. Orthopedic Surgeons earn anywhere from $450,000 for pediatric orthopedic surgery, to a high of over $600,000 for spine surgeons. Orthopedic surgeons specialize on surgeries of the bones and joints, including sports-related injuries, trauma, and arthritic deterioration.
7. Transplant surgeons and pediatric surgeons also rank amongst the highest paid surgeons.