There are several factors that will dictate birthmark removal cost. Costs are based on the type of birthmark, its location and what removal method is selected for the procedure.
Birthmark Removal Methods
Medication is the first route of birthmark removal. Small hemangiomas can be reduced in size with cortisone which can be injected or taken orally. The next method of birthmark removal is laser therapy, often used to diminish port wine stains. Surgery is used as a last resort or in case of emergency.
Medication is the cheapest method while surgery is the most costly. The size and location of the birthmark will also dictate the cost.
Hemangiomas are present at birth and will grow for about eighteen months. After that, they will slowly decrease in size for several years, called involution. Involuted hemangiomas are not cosmetically appealing. Early cosmetic intervention is key to reducing the likelihood of more extensive surgeries.
Internal hemangiomas and those that block the eyes, nose, and other parts of the body will require quicker intervention. Hemangiomas occurring in these locations may hinder normal activity and can even be life threatening.
Flat hemangiomas can be treated with laser therapy. Larger ones are too deep for the laser to penetrate and require surgery. The size and location of the hemangioma will dictate the severity. Removal will often result in a scar.
Port Wine Stains
Port wine stains are caused by a pooling of blood in the affected areas. Laser therapy can be used to diminish these birthmarks. However, the overabundance of blood vessels will not be changed and the blood will eventually pool again. These birthmarks will need to be treated often and permanently. It is best to re-treat the area as soon as the port wine stains begins to show up. Port wine stains which have not been treated early enough may cause the texture and thicken the skin as well. These stains will require more intensive and expensive treatment.
Cryosurgery is a technique involving the freezing of abnormal cells. This relatively new method is typically used in treating cancerous, pre-cancerous, and non-cancerous conditions. Cryosurgery can be performed inside and outside the body. This method has yielded mixed results. Long-term effects have not been studied.
Cryosurgery has mixed results with birthmark removal. It is not suggested as a method to remove hemangiomas on the body or in the oral and throat areas. It can sometimes be used to remove small sized or cavernous hemangiomas. Small port wine stains can also be removed using this method.
“Vascular Birthmarks.”American Academy of Dermatology. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2010. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_vascular.html
“Cryosurgery in Cancer Treatment: Q & A – National Cancer Institute.” National Cancer Institute – Comprehensive Cancer Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Mar. 2010. http://www.cancer.gov/templates/doc.aspx?viewid=C36AF201-3CA4-4C4A-B8FC-DF5499D54F50.