The all-in cost is about
$19,000 to $20,000, but could be higher. I'm sorry that I can't give you a more precise figure. It's been two years since I did this, and there might have been changes in the meantime. Let's flesh out the numbers (in US dollars):
Physicians fees (including tax, 2011 data): $15,000
Hospital fees: [Included]
Airfare: $2100 [Today's fare from the East coast: It varies.]
Hotel fees: $900 [$150/night x 6 nights]
Food: $280 [$40/day x 7 days]
Incidentals: ? (Passport, Airport parking, Gifts, Gratuities, Insurance Co-Pays, etc., etc.)
Pre-op tests (see below): $0-$1500(?)
Post-op tests: ?
The medical fees are from 2011, when I had the procedure. I don't know whether he's changed them since, up or down. Dr. Gat wants you to stay at least four days after the procedure to ensure that your circulation is restored. (He palpates the testes for clotted blood, confirming the varicocele was repaired, an indication that the circulation will be/has been restored.)
Airfare: The price quoted above is what I found on Orbitz tonight from Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C. Yours might be a little higher. Or a little lower. In 2011, I arrived on a Sunday, had my consultation and procedure on Tuesday, my post-op visit with him on Friday, and left very late Saturday (like 11:00 p.m.). This worked fine; other schedules would have worked just as well. Dr. Gat often works part-day Sundays. Saturday is the Holy Day; everything is closed.
Tel Aviv is an expensive city. The hotel price above is for the Ami Hotel ($150), near the beach. I liked this hotel, but I transferred to the Crown Plaza-City Center ($300/night) because I wanted it cool. I visited in the Summer and I have idiosyncrasies in that regard. Most folks would be happy at a hotel like this. [NOTE: I checked their website (http://www.atlas.co.il/) today and the Ami wasn't listed for the dates I put in. Other similar hotels were listed at $180-$190 rather than the $150 I paid two years ago. It would be worthwhile to look for less-expensive accommodations. I admit that I'm not a super-shopper.] I don't know what time of year is the "off season" in Israel.
You get around by taxi: It's about
$40 to and from the airport, and similar to get to Dr. Gat's clinic and the hospital (where Dr. Goren performs the procedure). Food is higher than in the US, but $40 should easily cover it.
Pre-op tests: Dr. Gat will provide you a list of the tests he wants for your case. These will probably be different than the ones I took two years ago, because your complaint(s) are probably different from mine. Remember that this self-same G-G procedure treats several completely different conditions, so your tests will address your issues whether they includes BPH, low Testosterone, male infertility or whatever. So check with Dr. Gat before getting tests--that's all I'm trying to say.
I did several blood tests, including Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, LH, FSH, and three clotting tests (to make sure the sclerotization procedure will work). I also did a urine flow test at my urologist's. Varicocele can be diagnosed with a "testicular ultrasound -- color flow doppler for detection of bilateral varicocele." This painless test is performed by a diagnostic radiologist, who can also estimate the size of the prostate and look for kidney abnormalities at the same time. It's helpful to have a baseline prostate size if you're using G-G to treat enlarged prostate, however prostate sizes can be estimated by other ways (e.g., TRUS by your urologist). It would have been tricky for me to get this done under my so-so insurance, so I was lucky to have an alternative.
Some of my bloodwork was covered by my insurance, and I had the rest of it, along with the ultrasound, done while I was out of country. It cost me maybe $700 in all. If you're lucky enough to get everything covered by insurance, then it might cost you much less...but you'll have to work that out with Dr. Gat, your local physician(s) and your insurance carrier.
Post-tests: Basically repeats of the pre-tests to check for progress. (The clotting tests do *not* need to be repeated. I did not have to repeat the doppler ultrasound either, but still needed a TRUS test to estimate prostate size.) If testosterone levels aren't an issue, than maybe Dr. Gat will let you skip the pre- and post-testosterone levels. But it *is* kind of interesting to see if they change after the procedure, so I'd certainly recommend them anyway. I've had a couple rounds of the post-tests already, mostly covered by insurance.
Ira, I think this answers your question as best I can. I like this board, but it doesn't offer a private messaging feature that hides the email address. And I don't want to start another email account. So I've left my email in my first post.
Edit 7/2/13: Details on 2011 scheduling, upped airfare and daily meal allowance, increased subtotal cost, added "Incidentals" expense line--important, revised Dr. Gat's required post-op stay to *four* days based on an email from the clinic.
Post Edited (Chicago Dave) : 7/2/2013 8:56:18 PM (GMT-6)