Each person has at least one scar on the body acquired in childhood or adulthood. In some situations, however, they do not fade over time – they even enlarge over the wound area, change color and become retractable, painful, and very difficult to hide. These are called keloid scars.
When the skin is injured, fibrous tissue called scar tissue is formed to repair and protect the lesion. In some cases, the scar tissue grows excessively, forming smooth and hard growths called keloids. They may be larger than the initial wound and are commonly found on the chest, shoulders, earlobes, and cheeks, but can affect any part of the body. A person can have several types of scars on their skin.
Keloid removal surgery cost
Factors that affect the cost of a keloid removal include geographical region, size, and location on the body, doctor you hire, facility’s billing practice, and medical insurance policy. The quotes we found online show that the costs for one injection can be around $85, while you may pay more than $2,100 for surgery.
There are several ways to remove a keloid. It depends on the severity of your injury and whether or not it’s covered by insurance. Check with your doctor about what is best for you, as well as how much it will take in terms of money and time off work/school.
A plastic surgeon in West Palm Beach noted that the average cost of a keloid removal at his facility would be about $800, not including anesthesia costs if needed.
|Method||Description||Average Price (without insurance)|
|At-home products||There are a few over-the-counter products that are known to soften and flatten the skin, while also reducing the redness of scars. They are usually in the form of a cream.||$20 to $50, depending on the products|
|Cryotherapy||This technique will require the injection or spraying of liquid nitrogen directly on the keloid, which will damage the scarred tissue and have it get smaller.||$100 to $200 per session, depending on the number of sessions and your circumstances|
|Pulsed Dye Laser||The pulsed dye laser is said to target only the scar tissue and nothing else, having an effect only on the scar and nothing else. This method is still pretty debated as some professionals see it as a hoax.||$100 to $250 per session|
|Silicone-based product||This treatment is non-invasive and will mean using small sheets of silicone to put pressure on the keloid. It will usually reduce the size of the scar tissue but also remove some of the symptoms, like the pain or itching that are often felt. You should apply this treatment around 12 hours per day and spread it over 90 days for the best results.||$25 to $80, depending on the shape and size of the sheets|
|Steroid Injections||This is often the most popular option before any other methods are even considered. Involving corticosteroids, such as Triamcinolone acetonide, the injection is injected directly into the keloid.||$75 to $300 per session|
|Surgery||Although surgery might seem like the most straightforward one, the high level of recurrence rate makes this a last resort for most doctors.||$500 for a small keloid to $2,500+ for a more complex keloid|
Other costs to be taken into consideration
Location and size of the keloid: When it comes to keloid removal surgery, size matters. If the surgeon is able to remove the keloid quickly and safely then there will be less physical pain for you when they are done with your procedure. However, if this skin growth cannot fit in one go then it might take more time, leading to higher fees or requiring additional sessions of treatment altogether which can lead to higher costs.
Skin grafts: Although the keloid removal surgery is considered to be a success, in some cases a skin graft may be required. The cost of this type of procedure can be thousands depending on how severe it is. This happens rarely though.
Anesthesiologist fees: When considering surgery, be aware of the anesthesia expenses. Depending on how long it will take to complete the procedure, you may be looking at an additional bill of over $850 for your anesthesia services.
Facility fees: Prices for keloid removal vary greatly depending on whether the procedure is done in a hospital, outpatient center, or doctor’s office. It will cost much less to have this removed inside your doctor’s office rather than at any other type of facility since there are fewer fees and expenses that need to be paid such as staff costs, equipment rental, etc. Furthermore, because each center has its own billing policies some facilities may send more than one bill from outside professionals like anesthesiologist and/or the surgeon fees.
Symptoms of a keloid may include:
- an area of the cut that turns into pink or red;
- the area enlarges over the cutting area, develops streaks that deform the surrounding area;
- the area that continues to grow gnarled long after injury;
- itching, stinging in the affected area.
What are the causes of keloid scars?
Keloid scarring can occur due to several types of skin lesions, including:
- traces left by acne;
- traces left by chickenpox;
- ear piercing;
- surgical incisions on risk areas (neckline, shoulders, etc.);
- traces left by vaccination.
According to the American College of Osteopathic Dermatology, about 10% of people suffer from keloid scarring. Men and women are just as prone to it.
Other factors that lead to the formation of keloids:
- Asian origin;
- Latin origin;
- age less than 30 years.
Important things to consider
When considering options for removing scars, it’s important to remember that surgery can lead to more scarring if the procedure is not carried out carefully.
Keloid scars tend to have a genetic component, which means that if one or both parents have had such scars, you may have them as well.