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Cost of skin tissue and cyst removal surgery in California

The average cash price for skin tissue and cyst removal surgery care in California is $2,481 at a surgery center versus $4,750 at an outpatient hospital. While an outpatient hospital may offer more complimentary and support services for patients, it costs almost twice as much (48%) when comparing skin tissue and cyst removal surgery procedures performed at a surgery center. Read More

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Average cash price in California

A common skin tissue and cyst removal surgery at surgery center facility in California includes

  Units Avg Cash price

Provider

Provider fee to remove congenital skin and tissue cyst

Standard Standard
1 $425

Facility

Surgery center fee to remove congenital skin and tissue cyst

Standard Standard
1 $1,530

Anesthesia

Anesthesiologist fee to be "put under" for procedure

Level 3 Standard
1 $234

Anesthesiologist time to be "put under" for procedure

Per minute Standard
126 $292
Total average cash price   $2,480.99

A common skin tissue and cyst removal surgery at outpatient hospital facility in California includes

  Units Avg Cash price

Provider

Provider fee to remove congenital skin and tissue cyst

Standard Standard
1 $425

Facility

Outpatient Hospital fee to remove congenital skin and tissue cyst

level 4 Standard
1 $3,799

Anesthesia

Anesthesiologist fee to be "put under" for procedure

Level 3 Standard
1 $234

Anesthesiologist time to be "put under" for procedure

Per minute Standard
126 $292
Total average cash price   $4,750.15

Skin cysts are surgically removed by cutting the sack that contains the fluid or other material filling the cyst out of the body. Removal of a skin cyst may be performed by a surgeon, dermatologist, and some family medicine doctors. 

Cyst removal is different from simply draining the cyst. A cyst is a sack of abnormal tissue that fills with material such as fluid, dead cells, or oil. If the abnormal tissue that makes up the walls of the cyst is not fully removed, the cyst may reform within days or weeks. 

Not all skin cysts require removal. If a cyst is causing you pain, is increasing in size, is located in an area that affects your appearance, or becomes infected, it should be removed.

Cyst removal is not typically painful. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the surgeon is cutting. The most painful part of cyst removal is the injection of the local anesthetic.

Most people have gotten shots of local anesthetic before at the dentist’s office. You will feel a pinching sensation at the injection location and a feeling of pressure as the medication is injected around the cyst. Following this injection, cutting the cyst leads to a sensation of light pressure instead of sharp pain.

The removal of a skin cyst does not require general anesthesia (being put to sleep). These surgeries are short, low-risk, and can be done in a doctor’s office with minimal pain and discomfort. A full operating room and anesthesia are required for only the most complex of skin cysts.

Almost any type of cyst can be surgically removed. By far, the most common type of cyst is a “ganglion cyst.” These cysts typically occur near the tendons of the wrist and hands. They are about the side of a pea, are not painful, and move around slightly when pressed on. These cysts are typically only removed if they press on a nerve leading to pain or loss of movement. Other forms of cysts include:

  • Epidermoid Cysts: these are small collections of skin cells that accumulate in a sack; these cysts may be located on the face or head and are often removed due to their appearance.
  • Sebaceous Cysts: these are small sacs filled with skin oil (sebum). These cysts are similar to epidermoid cysts and may also be removed due to their appearance. These cysts may become infected, leading to pain, redness, and potential scarring.
  • There are other rare forms of cysts that are the result of various medical and genetic conditions. These may or may not be removed depending on the patient and the condition leading to the formation of cysts.

Cysts do not need to be surgically removed unless they are causing you pain, affect your appearance, or become infected. Cysts are often relatively small, and the skin around them is typically unaffected. Because of this, very little skin needs to be removed, reducing the size of the final scar.

A skin cyst removal is considered minor surgery. The stitches used to close the skin after removal are usually absorbable and will fall out within 5 - 7 days. You may feel some itching and discomfort in the area for one to two days but should not have any activity limitations or significant pain.

You should keep the scar covered with a bandage for around seven weeks. This will protect the wound from the sun and reduce the visibility of the scar once fully healed.

Surgical removal is very effective at eliminating cysts. Several studies have found recurrence rates between 1% and 8%. The exact rate depends heavily on the type of cyst, how large the cyst is, and if it is inflamed or infected when removed. 

Surgical removal is much more effective at eliminating cysts than draining them with a needle or with pressure on the walls of the cyst. These methods do not remove the wall of the cyst and result in recurrence in many cases.

The scar left after cyst removal varies from minor to completely absent; there are several ways to make the incision during cyst removal that affects the final outcome.

  • Standard surgical incision: A typical cut with a scalpel over the top of the cyst. This technique is the default for most cysts and may lead to a small faint scar. 
  • Punch incision: Used for cysts that are very close to the surface of the skin. A “hole punch” like device is used to make a hole in the top of the cyst. That hole is used as an access point to reach in and pull out the sack that contains the cyst. This method is used for small cysts and leaves a smaller scar compared to a standard incision.
  • Carbon dioxide laser: This method leaves the smallest scar and is used on the face and in other sensitive areas. With this method, a laser cuts a small section of skin over the cyst as opposed to a scalpel.

About the skin tissue and cyst removal surgery Average Cash Prices

This procedure is most commonly performed at either a surgery center or an outpatient hospital.

Surgery centers, also known as ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), are independent, licensed medical facilities that are governed by distinct regulatory requirements compared with a hospital. Procedures performed at an ASCs are often less expensive than when they are performed at an outpatient hospital, but they typically offer fewer complimentary services, and may not have the full-range of support services that a hospital provides.

Outpatient facilities are outpatient departments or clinics that may be within or next to a hospital, but is owned and run by the affiliated hospital. These facilities can perform surgical treatments and procedures that do not require an overnight stay. Procedures performed at an outpatient hospital are often more expensive than when they are performed in an ambulatory surgery center, but outpatient hospitals may offer more complimentary and support services for patients because they are connected to the hospital system.

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* Savings estimate based on a study of more than 1 billion claims comparing self-pay (or cash pay) prices of a frequency-weighted market basket of procedures to insurer-negotiated rates for the same. Claims were collected between July 2017 and July 2019. R.Lawrence Van Horn, Arthur Laffer, Robert L.Metcalf. 2019. The Transformative Potential for Price Transparency in Healthcare: Benefits for Consumers and Providers. Health Management Policy and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 3.

Sidecar Health offers and administers a variety of plans including ACA compliant and excepted benefit plans. Coverage and plan options may vary or may not be available in all states.

Your actual costs may be higher or lower than these cost estimates. Check with your provider and health plan details to confirm the costs that you may be charged for a service or procedure.You are responsible for costs that are not covered and for getting any pre-authorizations or referrals required by your health plan. Neither payments nor benefits are guaranteed. Provider data, including price data, provided in part by Turquoise Health.

The site is not a substitute for medical or healthcare advice and does not serve as a recommendation for a particular provider or type of medical or healthcare.