Are There Grants Available That Will Pay for the Cost of Surgery?

Patients with financial difficulty paying for surgery may qualify for grants made available through hospitals and charitable foundations, such as the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America (WLSFA) and the Jim Collins Foundation. However, each foundation is usually set up to pay grants for specific surgical treatments, like weight loss surgery or reconstructive surgery, according to the WLSFA and Jim Collins Foundation websites.

Charities take applications from patients either year round or at specific times of the year for surgical grants. These grants may cover the entire cost of the surgery, part of the cost of the surgery or just costs for after-care.

Most charities and foundations offer grants in line with the specific area of medicine or social support advocated by the group. For instance, the Jim Collins Foundation provides one or two annual grants to help cover the costs of gender-affirming surgery. However, some groups may require patients raise a small amount of money towards their own surgeries or agree to perform some minor spokesperson duties for the foundation after treatment, as stated by the WLSFA. This group provides grants for weight loss surgery and reconstructive surgery.

It may also be possible to get help paying for surgery through a local charity without a grant. These charities themselves help cover the cost of surgical care and after-care. The funding for the charity may come in part from donations and grants awarded from larger foundations. For instance, the Plastic Surgery Foundation awards grants to charities to help them pay for breast reconstruction surgery for patients.