Almost all of us have moles somewhere on our bodies. Most are harmless and have no cause for alarm. However, some may be cancerous and require removal.
The cost of mole removal can vary and is largely dependent on the procedure and whether you have insurance or not.
Below, we take a look at the costs involved when not covered by insurance, the types of moles and procedures of removal, and the factors affecting cost.
What Does It Cost To Have A Mole Removed Without Insurance?
Most medical insurance companies cover mole removal. In some cases, you may have to make a small co-payment. However, if you do not have medical insurance, you will need to cover the full amount of the removal and any after-surgery costs.
The cost of mole removal ranges between $150 and $400. This will depend on several factors, which we will discuss in more detail below. These factors, like the size and shape, could make the procedure more complex and therefore lead to cost increases.
The first, and often the most costly, step in the mole removal process is the biopsy. A patient requires this medical procedure in a case where the mole needs testing for potentially cancerous or cancerous cells.
A biopsy ranges between $80 and $400. Again, this will be dependent on the size and the level of expertise required to remove the cells of the mole.
Over and above this cost, there may be laboratory fees for testing the skin sample of the mole. You will need to speak to your doctor to find out the cost of this as it will depend on the service provider.
Some other pre-mole-removal costs include:
- A full body skin check and mole mapping for around $360
- Individual mole check service between $95 – $140
- Follow-up sessions with photography are between $60 and $90
6 Factors That Affect The Cost Of Mole Removal
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of removing a mole without insurance. It’s important to know and understand these costs so that you can prepare your budget accordingly.
Your Providers Qualifications
Mole removals are performed by medical professionals. Dermatologists, dermatologic surgeons, plastic surgeons, and general physicians are all qualified medical professionals to conduct mole removals.
Depending on the level of expertise and qualifications held by your doctor, this may have an effect on the cost of the procedure.
For example, a board-certified dermatologist has a more advanced level of training and therefore would charge more for the procedure. But, in the case of the mole being difficult to remove due to its size or location on the body, it may still be better to go with a dermatologist.
For simple, run-of-the-mill procedures, you can use a general physician. For facial mole removals on delicate skin, a plastic surgeon may be a better option to avoid scarring. These procedures will all have different cost implications.
A plastic surgeon or family dermatologist may also be a cost-effective option to remove moles for cosmetic reasons and not due to skin cancer concerns.
The Location Of Their Practice
The location of your specialist will also have an effect on the price. You can expect to pay more for mole removal if you choose a practitioner in an expensive CBD area. This is because these doctors also pay high rent for their space and end up working these costs into the cost of their procedures.
So, their fees will be higher than doctors with the same services in smaller towns or more rural areas whether the cost of living is lower.
The Type Of Mole Removed And The Method of Removal
The nature of the procedure and the type of mole removed will also have an impact on the costs of the removal. There are many different kinds of moles in all different shapes and sizes. The type of mole will largely determine the type of method of removal.
The most cost-effective method of mole removal is shaving and is usually used in the case of a raised mole.
When it comes to larger moles or flatter moles, the best method is surgical excision. This procedure is more costly than shaving as it requires anesthetic and stitches. As a result, it may require the expertise of a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.
The Size And Location Of The Mole
The location of the mole on your body and its size will also have an effect on the cost of removing it.
A larger mole will take longer to remove and therefore cost more money.
The location also has an effect on the cost as some areas are more sensitive and require more precision. For example, even the smallest mole can be costly to remove if it is in a sensitive spot like on an eyelid, nostril, ear, or lip. These procedures will take more time and require a certain skill level to carry out safely.
How Many Moles Or Growths You Are Removing
The cost of removing a mole without insurance will also depend on the number of moles you are removing.
Some specialists provide discounts on the number of moles after the first. However, the cost will still be significantly higher than if you are only removing one.
If a mole looks abnormal, the doctor will send a sample of the cells off for testing. This is to determine whether the cells are precancerous or cancerous. If the results show signs of cancer, the doctor removes the mole.
These pathology tests can be expensive and it’s important to include this when budgeting for mole removal without insurance. If you have insurance, these costs are usually covered depending on your plan.
Types Of Moles
There are several different kinds of moles, but the most common are discussed below. The type of mole will affect the cost of removal without insurance. This is because some moles require tests while others do not.
A benign mole is the most common mole. We all have a benign mole somewhere on our bodies. These moles are not cancerous and therefore do not require removal. However, some people may have them removed for cosmetic reasons – for example, if the mole is on their face.
A doctor can usually tell by visually assessing a mole whether it is benign or not.
Atypical moles, also known as dysplastic nevi, are often precancerous. Your doctor may suggest sending cells off for testing or suggest removing them sooner rather than later. These moles tend to be larger in size, have irregular shapes, and have different colors. In some cases, they itch or even bleed and they grow in size regularly.
In the event that you do not choose to remove the mole, your doctor will recommend regular screening. This is to ensure that you can catch cancerous cells early should they develop.
Congenital moles are moles that you are born with or a mole that develops within 2 to 3 years after you are born. They are usually harmless but, in some cases, can turn into skin cancer if they are overexposed to the sun. In this case, they will require removal.
In most cases, however, they can be left alone or removed for cosmetic reasons.
Different Techniques For Removing Moles
There are several ways to remove a mole. The chosen technique will depend on the type of mole, its location on the body, and its size.
The techniques used for removing the mole will have a major influence on the cost of the procedure. The mole removal is usually covered by insurance and sometimes only requires a copayment. However, some of these techniques for removal can be costly when doing so without insurance.
This is a more laborious and time-consuming procedure. Anesthetic is used to numb the area and then the mole is cut out.
This procedure is usually reserved for big and deep moles and will require stitches once complete.
This method is usually more cost-effective and is suitable for raised moles. It entails shaving the mole down with a scalpel or medical razor blade. The doctor will then apply ointment and provide a bandage or plaster to assist with any bleeding.
This procedure is similar to surgical shaving but removes a lot more of the mole and allows for a deeper incision. Doctors use a tool that is similar to a cookie cutter to remove the mole.
This method is best suited for the cosmetic removal of moles. Bursts of light radiation are used to destroy the mole.
Laser removal, however, is not a suitable method for cancerous moles.
Just like warts, mole removal can also be done with the use of liquid nitrogen. Like laser removal, this method is not suitable for cancerous moles.
Screening For Atypical Moles
If you are worried that you may have a cancerous or precancerous mole, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist immediately.
But, you can also follow these helpful atypical mole screening tips below. This method is easy to remember as it ranks the riskiest features in the acronym ABCDE.
- A is for asymmetry. If the mole has one side that is not the same as the other, it may be cause for concern.
- B is for a border. An irregular border indicates the mole may be cancerous.
- C is for color. Different shades of brown, or red may indicate the mole is problematic.
- D is for diameter. If the mole is more than 6mm wide, it may be indicative of skin cancer.
- E is for evolving. If the mole is growing in size, has a change in its shape or color, or shows signs of bleeding, you should get it checked.
Mole removal can be an intense and expensive procedure that requires the skills of an expert. If you have any moles that need checking, don’t delay this as it could have serious effects on your health.
Contact our team at Enhance Health to set you up with medical insurance to avoid all the over-the-top expenses. Even if you have no income or low income, there is an option for you. So reach out and ensure that you don’t need to pay the exorbitant costs of mole removal should it become necessary.