Pricing for excision procedures is complicated. We can usually provide a price estimate for your procedure, but in some cases the fee can only be finalised after pathology results are available.
An excision is a procedure where the doctor surgically removes some skin and then closes the defect (hole) using stitches.
Excisions vary widely. Some of the variables include:
- Body location
- Number of stitches and layers of stitches
- Amount and type of supplies, drugs, equipment and dressings used
- Time taken to perform the procedure
- Amount of follow-up required after the excision
- Suspected clinical diagnosis
- Different doctors may charge different amounts for the same procedure
We can predict some of these variables before the procedure, but some are unknown. This means we can provide an estimated quote for a procedure, but the final amount will sometimes be different.
In most cases, the cost of an excision procedure is subsidised by Medicare (for Australian citizens). Our fee for an excision is calculated so that you pay an out-of-pocket expense (e.g. $150, 200 or $300) above the Medicare rebate amount. The amount paid by Medicare varies according to the location on the body and size of the excision, as well as the pathology result. This means that the Medicare rebate — and the total fee — is unknown until after the procedure.
As a rough guide, the most common fee we charge is about $240. This fee applies if:
- The size of the excision is less than 15 mm
- The location is not on the face, lower leg, or other cosmetically/technically challenging areas
- The pathology result is not skin cancer
- There is no skin flap or graft used to close the wound.
In cases where the pathology result diagnoses a skin cancer, or where the procedure is in other locations, or the size is larger, the fee will be higher. For example, the fee for excision of a large melanoma may be more than $700.
If we can't advise the total fee at the time of performing the procedure, we'll do so when your pathology results are available. This is normally 4-5 days after your procedure. When the total fee is known, we will contact you to arrange payment.
We offer a discount for pensioners, Health Care Card holders, DVA card holders and children under 18. Note: You must present a current and valid Pensioner Concession Card, Health Care Card or DVA card when you attend for your appointment. Discounts are offered at our discretion and may be withheld for patients who have previously missed appointments or cancelled at late notice. We don't offer a discount for Seniors Card holders.
Some procedures require special ski closure techniques involving the use of skin grafts or flaps. procedures on the ear or lip may require wedge excision, where some of the underlying cartilage or soft tissue is excised together with the skin.
There are extra fees for special closures, to be paid in addition to the basic lesion excision fee. Gap fees for special closures and grafts vary from $200 to $600.
Skin pathology fees
If you are covered by Medicare, the pathology laboratory will bill Medicare directly for the skin pathology service.
If you are not covered by Medicare, the laboratory will send a account for histopathology. We cannot advise the exact price, but it is normally in the area of $300 for the first specimen, and less for subsequent specimens. Some health insurance policies for international visitors cover the cost of skin pathology.