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Saturday Surgery: $150

My primary care physician has a cash-only medical practice, and he is paid by the hour for whatever he does – be it a phone call, email, office visit, house call, or outpatient surgical procedure. He doesn’t charge higher prices for procedure complexity – that’s factored into the time it takes to complete the procedure. It’s a wonderful model for those of us who’ve chosen high deductible health insurance plans, and pay cash for primary care services. My husband and I save thousands of dollars/year with our plan, and spend a few hundred of that savings to cover our primary care needs. We also have our family physician available to us 24-7 via phone/email, and can generally see him for an in-person visit within hours of a request for one.

Yesterday was a perfect example of the incredible convenience of this model of care – I called Dr. Dappen at 10:30am and asked if we could come in to have a sebaceous cyst removed from my husband’s back. Dr. Dappen said he’d be happy to see us at 11:30am that day, so we hopped in a car and were finished with the procedure by 12:00. I even had fun taking photos for the blog (see below)…

Cost of the procedure: (surgery plus supplies): $150

Days spent waiting for an appointment: 0

Time spent in a waiting room: 0 minutes

Convenience of having a cash-only family physician: priceless

*For more information, check out: Doctokr Family Medicine, Vienna, Virginia*

Pearly appearance of small sebaceous cyst

Pearly appearance of small sebaceous cyst

Excision of sebaceous cyst

Excision of sebaceous cyst

Wound closure with simple sutures

Wound closure with simple sutures


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6 Responses to “Saturday Surgery: $150”

  1. Bongi says:

    come over here as a medical tourist and i'll do that procedure for about 1/10th of the price.

  2. Bongi says:

    come over here as a medical tourist and i'll do that procedure for about 1/10th of the price.

  3. Matthew Holt says:

    My wife just hacks away at the same type of cyst on my neck whenever she's feeling like taking it out on me. Cost to me, $0 (in money)…and she's not even a doctor!

  4. Matthew Holt says:

    My wife just hacks away at the same type of cyst on my neck whenever she's feeling like taking it out on me. Cost to me, $0 (in money)…and she's not even a doctor!

  5. valjonesmd says:

    Cost to squeeze cyst repeatedly = 0 dollars

    Understanding the pathophysiology behind cysts (that the walls of the cyst must be completely removed or else they'll just manufacture more gunk eternally): priceless

  6. GeordieKin says:

    Thanks for the pics, I truly miss the “blood & guts” stuff as I've been off the ambulance for a few years (I also was an instructor for 13 years) due to my peripheral neuropathy progressively (in all 4 limbs due to lightening strike) getting worse. It really sucks having your body betray you as mine seemingly has while your brain retains all the knowledge I worked so hard to attain.

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