Stitches are surgical threads used to repair cuts on the skin and may be necessary if you have a large, open wound. The out-of-pocket cost for stitches at urgent care typically ranges between $165 and $415. Various factors impact the price you will pay for stitches, such as your location and your health coverage.
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The Cost for Stitches without Insurance
Many urgent care centers offer stitches as a service if you need them done. Without insurance, the cost will range between $165 and $415. With insurance, you will likely pay your copay (if your insurance is accepted at the urgent care). And any additional costs that your insurance does not cover (if any). At most urgent care centers, stitches are not included in the office visit price.
Price Breakdown for Stitches at Urgent Care Clinics
|Urgent Care Center||Cost for stitches*||Other Notes|
|CityMD||$200||If insured, you will pay for whatever your insurance will not cover|
|ProHEALTH Urgent Care||$115 office + $50-$70 for stitches||Prices will range|
|NextCare||$190 for office visit + $100-200 for stitches||Co-pay + what insurance does not cover|
|FastMed||$199||Co-pay + what insurance does not cover|
|Patient First||$125 to see a doctor, $100 for stitch removal, $100 to get stitches||Co-pay + what insurance does not cover|
|CareNow||$200 Base Charge + Additional Charges based on the severity of the wound (how many stitches, antibiotics, etc.)||Co-pay + what insurance does not cover|
|GoHealth||$250 for visit + $215 for sutures||Co-pay + what insurance does not cover|
*These are the baseline fees for stitches. Based on the severity of your wound and other factors, you may expect to pay more out of pocket.
Factors that Affect the Price of Stitches
The cost of getting stitches at urgent care can vary and depends on several factors, including:
- Severity, size, and complexity of laceration
- Location of laceration
- Cost of local anesthesia to manage pain
- Type of closure material used (glue, stitches, staples)
- Removal of stitches (if necessary)
- Tetanus shot (Td vaccine may cost from $25-$60, Tdap may be more expensive)
- Additional treatments or medications
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Avoiding High Costs When Getting Stitches
Seeking help from urgent care or a hospital can be expensive. However, there are a few things you can do to avoid high costs.
It is important to advocate for yourself and understand the factors that affect the potential cost. Outlined below are several questions you can ask to help advocate for yourself.
- How much will the stitches cost?
- Is there a price difference for different types of stitches?
- If I need a tetanus shot or antibiotics, how much will that cost?
- Is there a price difference between the TD and the TDAP vaccines?
- Is there an office visit fee?
- Will I be charged to get non-absorbable stitches removed?
- What other administrative fees can I expect?
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Frequently Asked Questions About Stitches (FAQs)
Here are answers to other questions you may have about stitches.
What are stitches?
Stitches, also known as sutures, are surgical threads that are used to repair cuts. In addition to stitches, some providers may use staples or glue to help close your wound. In general, there are two main types of stitches used to repair cuts on the skin:
- Nonabsorbable sutures: these stitches are used to close skin wounds and then must be removed by a provider after about 7 days.
- Absorbable: sutures: these stitches are not removed, and the body absorbs them within about 60 days.
When you get stitches, it is important to give your provider some information about your cut so they can use the appropriate type of stitches.
Some important things to disclose are how your cut happened, when your cut happened, your current medications, the date of your last tetanus injection, and any allergies.
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When should you get stitches?
Below are some ways to help determine if you need stitches. You should consider getting stitches if your wound:
- Is more than ¼ inch deep or more than ¾ inch long
- Has jagged edges
- It is located over a joint
- It continues to bleed after 15 minutes of direct pressure
- Is gaping open (meaning you cannot use gentle pressure to push it together)
- Is the result of an animal or human bite
- It appears to be contaminated or caused by a dirty object
- Is on the face, hands, or genital area
* Note: This list is not comprehensive, and if you are unsure if you need stitches, you should call a healthcare provider.
Should you go to the emergency room (ER) or urgent care for stitches?
Deciding whether to seek care at an ER or urgent care is a personal choice. However, it is important to seek medical attention quickly, as some cuts may not qualify for stitches if you wait more than 12 hours.
In general, you should go to an ER if you have a serious laceration that needs immediate medical attention. Some of the signs that you may need to go to an ER include:
- Cuts spurting bright red blood
- Cuts that continue to bleed profusely
- Deep gaping wounds
- Cuts that expose muscle, veins, or fat
- Cuts that contain embedded objects
- Deep facial cuts or severe animal bites
If your cut is minor, going to urgent care may be a more convenient and cost-effective option. Below are some of the cuts that urgent care facilities are equipped to treat:
- Shallow facial cuts
- Cuts with embedded dirt
- Minor cuts that were caused by rusty/dirty objects
- Straight cuts
- Animal bites that are not too deep
The Bottom Line
Stitches are available at urgent care centers, and it’s important to be aware of the pricing, especially if you are without insurance. While stitches can be expensive at urgent care (as much as $400 or more), there are ways you can advocate for yourself to avoid high or surprise out-of-pocket costs. One of those ways is getting affordable health coverage that you can trust.
Spencer is a Public Health & Biology undergraduate student at New York University.