When Insurance Covers Nasal Surgery

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As the nose is the most noticeable facial feature, it is much more difficult to hide or disguise than, say, protruding ears.  Whatever complaint you have about your nose, you are certainly not alone. But what type of nasal problem do you have?


Here are the two types of nasal problems:



FUNCTIONAL
  • Usually from an injury and results in disfigurement (often identified by a hump at the midportion of the bridge), making it hard to breathe.
  • The most common concern is difficulty breathing through the nose and severe headaches.
  • The reconstruction of a functional nasal problem is usually covered by one’s insurance.


COSMETIC/AESTHETIC

  • Are you thinking, “My nose is too large”, “I hate my hump” or “the tip is too large”? These complaints are characterized as cosmetic because they will not affect the function of the nose but rather the appearance of the nose.
  • It is important to understand that the shape of the nose is dictated by the bone and cartilage framework beneath the skin.  It is therefore the goal of the cosmetic nasal surgeon to reshape the framework beneath the skin to reduce the size and shape of the nose, without producing a result that looks “done”.
  • We must determine whether the results of the procedure can meet the patient’s expectations.  Many patients will show a picture of a celebrity and say “I want my nose to look just like this.” This type of result is often not realistic due to other facial features contributing to the nasal appearance and also because the nasal framework may not allow a specific result. However, certain characteristics of someone else’s nose may be incorporated into each individualized rhinoplasty.
  • Because this is a purely cosmetic procedure, it is not covered by insurance.


ANESTHESIA
Both functional and cosmetic procedures are done under a general anesthetic and on an outpatient basis.  Each procedure takes about two hours to perform. Most patients rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 as a 4 to 6.



*See results in Before and After photo gallery
Article by
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon