- If you don't have health insurance, the cost to sew up that gash at an urgent care clinic will cost an average of about $275, depending on severity and location.
- If the doctor uses sutures that don’t dissolve and require a medical professional to remove them, you will face an additional cost.
- The severity of the injury will also determine whether you can go to an urgent care facility to get stitches or if the wound requires a visit to the emergency room. Typically, for more serious lacerations that bleed heavily and expose your veins, muscle, bone, or fat, you should rush to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment.
You fell and got a nasty gash that’s going to require stitches. You can easily get it fixed at an urgent care clinic or emergency room. Unfortunately, you don’t have health insurance. How much are stitches going to cost without insurance?
If you have insurance, your copay should cover your part of the cost of the stitches, in most cases. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket to get the wound fixed.
If you don't have health insurance, the cost to sew up that gash at an urgent care clinic will cost an average of about $275, depending on how bad the injury is, where it is, and how many stitches are required, according to data collected for Solv ClearPriceTM. Deep gashes may even need two layers of stitches to repair the wound.
What factors impact the cost of stitches?
According to Solv’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rob Rohatsch, several factors determine how much it costs to get stitches to fix an injury, including:
- How large and deep is the cut?
- Where is the cut located?
- How dirty is the cut and what type of cleaning/debridement does this need?
- Will you require anesthesia?
- What kind of material is used (stitches, glue, or staples)?
There also may be additional costs if you need to get a tetanus or Tdap shot to prevent further infection. Tetanus is a serious infection that can result in muscle problems, seizures, and even death. You will most likely need to get a tetanus shot if your laceration was caused by a rusty nail or implement, notes Dr. Rohatsch. A Tdap vaccine helps protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis. A tetanus shot will usually cost anywhere between $25 and $60, while a Tdap can cost a little more.
If your laceration results from an animal bite or scratch, you may be required to get treatment to prevent rabies, which could cost thousands of dollars and will also require antibiotics most of the time.
If your doctor sends you home with antibiotics or some pain medication after stitching you up, you can add the cost of those prescriptions to the bottom line. Without insurance, those prescriptions will most likely cost you more than if you had insurance.
Does it cost to have stitches removed?
Stitches are usually removed five to 10 days after they’ve been added. Some stitches will dissolve, so there’s no need to go back to the doctor or urgent care. However, if the doctor uses sutures that don’t dissolve and require a medical professional to remove them, you will face an additional cost. The cost for the removal of stitches is usually bundled with the cost of placing the stitches. You should inquire about any fees associated with the removal sutures.
Don’t even think about trying to remove the stitches yourself. Doing so can lead you to much larger and more expensive problems. A doctor can assess your injury to make sure it is healing correctly—with no signs of infection—when they remove the sutures.
Do I need to get stitches?
Not all cuts will require stitches to heal. If your wound is less than ¼-inch deep and ¾-inch long, you may be able to let it heal on its own without the need for stitches, reports MedicineNet. But, you should seek immediate medical attention for injuries bigger than that. Dr. Rohatsch recommends you should also seek medical attention if your injury is:
- A bite wound (from animal or human)
- On your face, hands, or genital region
- Bleeding profusely, even after applying pressure
- Jagged in appearance
- Gapes open
- Dirty or contaminated
- Located over a joint
The severity of the injury will also determine whether you can go to an urgent care facility to get stitches or if the wound requires a visit to the emergency room. Typically, for more serious lacerations that bleed heavily and expose your veins, muscle, bone, or fat, you should rush to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment.
According to Dr. Rohatsch, you should head to the emergency room if your wound:
- Pulses or squirts blood
- Bleed bright red blood (as opposed to dark red blood)
- Doesn’t stop bleeding
- Could be associated with a fracture
If you are on any kind of blood-thinning medication, you should also have lacerations immediately attended to at an emergency room, according to MedicineNet.
Should I go to urgent care or the emergency room?
A visit to urgent care is usually more affordable because you are charged a flat rate that includes the procedure and the doctor fees. Meanwhile, for an emergency room visit, you are charged procedure and doctor fees and an emergency room fee that can be expensive.
Under no circumstances should you even think about trying to stitch up a wound on your own. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of getting an infection that could land you in the hospital and cost you a lot more than it will to get stitches from a trained medical professional.
What happens if I don’t get stitches?
According to MedicineNet, there is usually a 12-hour window from the time you injure yourself until it is too late for you to get stitches. After an injury, your body starts the process of healing itself, and if you wait too long to get stitches, it may be harder for your wound to heal properly. You also increase your risk of infection by leaving a wound open for too long.
How can you keep the cost of stitches under control?
If you don’t have health insurance or have insurance with a high deductible, it’s wise and perfectly acceptable to ask your health provider some questions to get a better picture of what your actual costs will be for stitches. Some of the questions to ask are:
- What kind of stitches are they using, and what’s the difference in price?
- Will you need a tetanus shot or follow-up medications like painkillers or antibiotics?
- Is there a charge for the office visit on top of the cost of stitches?
- What is the price to have the stitches removed?
How Solv can help you find a place to get stitches near you.
If you are looking for an urgent care clinic that can stitch up a wound, Solv can help. Our lab finder can help you find an urgent care clinic near you.
As a Solv Plus member, you’ll also get access to virtual medical providers who are available to you within 15 minutes of your inquiry. Solv’s telehealth services providers can help you assess your wound to determine if it requires stitches and then get you connected with referrals and follow-up appointments.
Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
- Stitches (Sutures, Wound Closures) (n.a.)