Cost of removing moles, lumps, and bumps?
I wonder if she was saying that freezing the moles (with liquid nitrogen (LN2)) would be $200 for all of them? But you bring up a good point, which is that prices vary a lot, depending on the clinic. Most insurance companies don’t cover benign growth removal, because it isn’t a medical necessity to remove these. Unlike a biopsy, for example, that determines whether something is a skin cancer. Most dermatologists can tell whether a spot/lesion needs to be biopsied by looking, using a magnifying lense, and/or a dermatoscope. For example, most companies pay for removal of a cyst, if it is constantly getting irritated or getting infected. I agree with the position of the insurance companies on this one. Removing benign growths IS an elective or cosmetic procedure.
Please don’t diagnose yourselves on these. It could be a fatal mistake. Have your primary care doctor or a dermatologist look at the spot/lesion!
Here’s what makes sense to me, and this is my opinion and based on knowledge of the field:
- Skin tags – Usually found in skin fold areas, but can be anywhere. Usually removed with LN2 or electrocautery. $25 – 300 depending on the number removed.
- Cysts – These can range from very small to golf ball size or large. These may be covered by insurance – ask your doctor. Range is usually $200-700 depending on where and how large.
- Seborrheic Keratoses (SKs or “barnacles”) can be found anywhere on the body. Note: These are NOT AKs which are precancerous spots/lesions and ARE covered by insurance. See the costs and methods for skin tags.
- Flat warts. The only way to know for sure is by a small biopsy. Removal is usually covered by insurance.
Removal of moles (Nevi):
- If it’s suspicious, your doctor will biopsy it, and that is usually covered by insurance.
- If it isn’t suspicious, it’s a “cosmetic” mole removal and you should be given costs at request.
- Dermatologists and the mid level providers that work with us, like PA-Cs or ARNPs, are generally less expensive than plastic surgeons.
- Occasionally a plastic surgeon is really needed due to the size or location of the mole.
- You are always trading a scar for the mole. The question is… will it be a good trade?
- Costs range from about $400 to over $1,500 depending on the complexity of the removal.
- Remember that the pathology fee is a separate cost and usually is from $150-300 depending on the lab.
Hope this helps, Dr. I