How Much Does a Punch Biopsy Cost?
A punch biopsy is a type of skin biopsy where a skin lesion is removed in order to diagnose a particular skin condition. This procedure usually recommended for patients who experience skin-related problems which are quite difficult to cure through topical treatments and other forms of medications.
How much does it cost?
- On average, the costs of a punch biopsy are going to be in the $150 to $1,200 range without any sort of health insurance plan. The costs will really depend on the doctor performing the procedure, if other procedures need to be performed with it and the geographical location.
- However, if you have a health insurance policy, be sure to check with your provider to see what is covered. Most of the time, you will only be responsible for your co-pay and deductibles. For those who either want a new policy or want to replace an existing one, feel free to browse through hundreds of policies at eHealthInsurance.com.
- According to Medicalhealthtests.com, the cost will vary depending on where the biopsy is conducted. The cost ranges from $150 to $1,000 if not covered by the health insurance policy.
What is going to be included?
- The cost of a punch biopsy may include an initial assessment by the doctor, the procedure, anesthesia, pre and post-biopsy care, and a histology report.
- A punch biopsy is done with a circular blade (1 mm to 8 mm in size) attached to a pencil-like handle, which is rotated down through the epidermis and dermis then subcutaneous fat, producing a cylindrical core of tissue. Depending on the size of the lesion, it will either be excisional or incisional.
- The common punch size used to diagnose most inflammatory skin conditions is the 3.5 or 4 mm punch.
- The wound is then closed, if necessary, with one or two nylon sutures. The suture generally creates good hemostasis, and antibiotic ointment and a bandage are then applied.
- A skin biopsy, such as punch biopsy, may include coverage by the health insurer.
- Most of the time a biopsy is done after trying other things to get rid of the skin infection or growth. For example, the doctor will try a few other things to get rid of a wart before ordering an excision.
What are the extra costs?
- You will shoulder all the costs involved in a punch biopsy if you have no health insurance or if the procedure is not covered by your health insurer.
- Extra costs may also be incurred in case of complications or extended medications and treatments after the punch biopsy is done. The cost also includes follow-up visits to the doctor or dermatologist.
- After the biopsy, tests will have to be performed, which are usually billed separately. These test can diagnose skin infections, mole growth and cancers.
- In case the skin problem is not totally healed or in the case of recurrence, other laboratory or skin tests may be required by the doctor which means additional expenses.
- During a shave biopsy, a doctor uses a razor-like tool to shave off the first few layers of skin. The difference between a shave biopsy and the punch biopsy is that the doctor does not get any part of the lower layers of skin.
- An excision biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor cuts out a section of skin the contains a lump of some type. This mean that the outer and inner layers of skin are removed. The main difference between this and a punch biopsy is that a punch biopsy will only leave a small hole and rarely leaves a scar, while an excision can be larger and leaves a scar much more often.
- Any type of skin biopsy can be used to diagnose skin conditions and diseases, or it can be used to remove a skin lesion. These conditions and skin lesions can be caused from keratosis, blisters, dermatitis, skin cancer, skin infection, skin tags, moles, warts, or other growths.
How can I save money?
- You can save money when you take advantage of a punch biopsy in a clinic instead of a hospital, which usually charges more.
- Ask your doctor for possible modes of payment such as payment on an installment basis. Some doctors would allow a more flexible payment option if the patient has difficulty paying the cost of a punch biopsy in full.
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